Brazil delivery startup iFood buys Colombian rival

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil delivery startup iFood on Wednesday announced it had bought a controlling stake in Colombian rival as it expands in the region and targets Rappi, the largest delivery company based in South America.

iFood already has a footprint in Colombia and competes fiercely in Brazil, Latin America's largest economy, with SoftBank-backed 9984.T Rappi and Uber Eats UBER.N. It also has a presence in Mexico. is a subsidiary of Germany-based holding Delivery Hero SE DHER.DE.

“It’s time for us to increase our presence in Colombia, which is a strategic country,” said Fabricio Bloisi, iFood’s CEO, in a statement announcing the deal.

The Colombian company is already present in 30 cities and has a network of 12,000 businesses.

Together, iFood and say they will have the largest geographic coverage of any food delivery company in Colombia.

The transaction still needs regulatory approval and iFood said they expect the review to take place within two months. iFood will control and own 51% of the new venture, with Delivery Hero owning the remaining 49%.

Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Additional reporting by Oliver Griffin in Bogota; Editing by Marguerita Choy