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Meet Yan Zagatsky – COVID-19 Boosts The Growth Of Alternative Delivery Platforms And DelivApp Is Here To Support Them 

Today we have selected Yan Zagatsky to take his interview. He is the CEO and the Founder of DelivApp.

How are you and your team doing in these COVID-19 times?

On a personal level – luckily, all the team is vaccinated, and we feel safe here in Israel. On a professional level – there is more work than ever before. We are a software solution for food ordering and on-demand delivery management, and global lockdowns triggered an unprecedented growth of our customers. We obviously grow with them.  

You started the company 6 years ago when on-demand delivery was not yet a thing. How did you come up with the idea?

Two of my biggest passions in life are technology and food. For many years, they lived separate lives: I used to be a tech executive in a public company who loved eating out. This was up until a point when a friend of mine, a renowned Israeli restaurateur, offered me to establish a restaurant together. I thought, “why not.” We opened a fast-dining venture, where I started as an investor, but then I became involved deeper. And the more I learned about the world of prepared food, the more technological gaps I saw in how it operated. Long story short, several months into launching our restaurant’s delivery service, I felt the urge to solve this pain for myself and all the other restaurant owners out there. I called my friends and former colleagues, we started building our software solution for deliveries, and in 2017 we launched DelivApp. This finally allowed me to combine my two passions of food and technology.   

How does your company evolve over time?

We started as the delivery management product only. However, as we worked and grew with our customers, we realized that taking care of the back of the house was not enough. We wanted our tech to help businesses not only to process the orders they already had but also to generate more orders. So even before the pandemic, we started moving towards the front of the house solution, inspired by many talks with our customers; about a year ago, we started to build our on-demand delivery marketplace technology, 

How does the Coronavirus pandemic affect your business?

When the pandemic hit, it turned out that restaurants became 99% dependent on large third-party delivery platforms such as Uber Eats and Wolt to generate revenue. The platform’s commission fees were very high, and in addition to paying high prices, restaurants were losing customers’ loyalty. Those eaters who once were customers of a particular restaurant are becoming customers of the platform, meaning that if for some reason a restaurant is not available on the platform, a user will look for a similar offer from another restaurant. This could not go n, so we see the rise of alternative marketplaces run by restaurants, rider unions, or local people in business who want to do a fair business and contribute to the community. And we are proud that our new marketplace product combined with our logistics offering can help those organizations launch and run their business. We also cater to smaller businesses that want to operate in the cities where big platforms do not open their operations. 

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

We have two main products and slightly different competitors for each one. If we are talking about or software for on-demand logistics management, we compete with several amazing products such as Onfleet and Tookan, for example. We hear from the delivery professionals who try these products and then come to us that we provide a much better toolset for on-demand delivery management. While others are mainly tailored to scheduled deliveries, our software was built to manage logistics on the fly. You have about 30-35 minutes from when an order came in until a delivery person should know a consumer on the door, many things have to be orchestrated well during this time, and this is what our system does best. At the end of the day, it was born out of our painful first-hand experience with restaurant logistics. Another advantage that we have for the logistics is that we allow customizing a lot of settings. Where others use algorithms that are essentially black boxes, we let our customers adjust the algo settings and play with it the way they want to.  

If we are talking about our platform product (marketplace plus logistics), our customers usually want to become an uber eats of their niche or city. This is not a trivial business from a tech standpoint, and there are not that many options available to them. First of all, they can build their own solution. This seems relatively easy, but it is, in fact, very challenging because of the difficult on-demand logistics component and marketplace management tools. It’s not a type of software that you can build quickly by pouring in a lot of money; it will take time. But the DIY approach is our number one competitor. Another competitor is not the solution but the integration of two technologies – this is what is available on the market. One would be marketplace software, and another one is the on-demand logistics solution. The problem here is that you must separately access both options and integrate them, which is always challenging. What is tricky, however, is that some companies in the market sell a solution that they call all-in-one even though, in fact, it’s integration, and if you don’t do good due diligence, you may not be able to understand that you are going for an integrated solution until it’s too late. 

Our advantage is that we are a mature product that is all in one, and also, we are tailored to on-demand delivery management. 

What are your plans for the coming year?

This year we have started our international expansion. We have already signed customers in Austria and UAE, and we are about to close more deals with customers across the globe. We see more and more requests for both of our products, so we are considering raising a funding round to boost our growth and fulfill the market interest. 

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