Lastminute.com has bought Urbanbite, a food home-delivery service founded two years ago by a former investment banker and an Internet entrepreneur. The buyout comes nine months after Urbanbite went live. Since launching, the site has attracted 5,000 customers.
An announcement is expected in two weeks time, on how Lastminute intends to develop the business.
Lastminute.com, which is paying the equivalent of £140,000 in its shares for Urbanbite, gains EUR100,000 in cash reserves through the deal. Lastminute.com has moved into over-the-phone sales and negotiated tie-ups with the likes of Thomas Cook to secure future prosperity. The firm, while widely viewed as a travel site, has also sought to stress its presence in other etail markets.
Two weeks ago Lastminute.com announced a tie-up with the new media arm of broadcast giant Granada over a service which allow sports fans to buy late-availability tickets for events such as Arsenal and Liverpool football matches and the British Grand Prix.
In the restaurant sector, Lastminute.com has been most widely used as a booking service, although the Urbanbite move may herald an expansion into a home-delivery sector once a top target for internet entrepreneurs.