During a conference held by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Mr. Mohammed Jaffar, Talabat’s former CEO, confirmed that the acquisition that has been signed with the German company is worth $170 million. The shares that has been sold sum up to 80% of the total shares of the company, while retaining a stake of 20%, pointing out that the administration will not be changed and Talabat will remain fully managed by them.
Jaffar mentioned that Talabat.com is a success story that Kuwait is proud to talk about. Talabat owns a large customer base of about 500,000 customers, with tens of thousands of daily visitors to the site and up to 25,000 orders per day.
He also added that Talabat’s acquisition was quite difficult, but he saw in it a promising transition for Talabat as a Kuwaiti company, pointing out to the potential of growth expected in the coming period, especially that the latter would expand in the region, particularly in a number of Arab countries. He also noted that the German company's experience along with their expertise would help to develop the company's service on a better level.
From his side, Talabat’s founder, Khaled Al-Otaibi, shared the beginnings of the project in 2004, and how four young students came up with the concept, while following their studies. Along with Al-Otaibi, there were Zaid Al-Heid, Mohammed Al-Roumi and the late Abdul Wahab Al-Koutami, who entered into a partnership resulting in founding their project with a capital of 4,000 Kuwaiti Dinars from their pocket money. They partially pumped this amount through the payment of 100 dinars per month and dedicated their efforts to make the project grow bigger. Al-Otaibi further pointed out the difficulties they faced in the beginnings such as how to convince the restaurants to register with Talabat while the local market was not yet familiar with the online food ordering. Eventually, they were able to overcome the challenges and convince the restaurant owners using multiple methods of persuasion.
Abdulaziz Al-Loughani, an investor who bought Talabat.com in 2009, emphasized that the secret of Talabat’s success lies under the teamwork over the three generations who handled all the stages of the project. This success was also complemented by their skills along with the convenient conditions, where the investment’s size in the infrastructure of the telecommunications’ sector in Kuwait and the region has evolved in the last ten years. This was behind the great increase in the number of Internet users and smartphones holders in Kuwait, of what contributed to the creation of a large market and helped the project’s growth on a larger scale.
He also stressed on the importance of creating the right team to contribute in the success of any project. In addition, team members must have a selection of different skills that complement each other in order to complete the project. It is as important as having a professional consultant who will help the team in avoiding mistakes. He further noted that the importance of the factor of time is very crucial to the success of the project, regardless of the results of its feasibility and market study.