Alelo’s nice offensive to “bar” iFood
Alelo’s Pede Pronto app has 300,000 customers. Goal is to reach 1 million by the end of this year
Over the last few years, iFood has not only consolidated itself as the main delivery platform in Brazil, with an estimated share of 80% of this market, but has also entered several sectors, such as credit and benefits. In this last area alone, it won over 6,000 companies and 650,000 employees, as revealed by Fabricio Bloisi, iFood’s CEO, in an interview with NeoFeed.
Now, one of the largest companies in the area of benefits in Brazil is looking to win a slice of a sector in which iFood reigns supreme. Alelo, controlled by Bradesco and Banco de Brasil, is discreetly advancing in the delivery area through Pede Pronto, its independent unit that defines itself as an application that goes beyond deliveries.
Starting this October, Pede Pronto is starting an expansion plan to reach 100 cities and have a presence in all Brazilian capitals by the end of this year – today it is only in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. At the same time, it is announcing a partnership with Habib’s, Ragazzo and Tendall for the use of its digital wallet, entering restaurants that have exclusive agreements with iFood in delivery.
“I believe that in the next three or four years we have room to reach 10% to 15% of market share”, says Márcio Alencar, director of digital strategy, marketing and business at Alelo, to the NeoFeed. “We know it’s a difficult mission, but we’re going to take advantage of the group’s synergies.”
It will not be, in fact, a simple task. Pede Pronto is present in only 45 cities in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais and currently has 300,000 users, 4,000 registered establishments and has made 500,000 orders so far this year.
The goal, with this expansion, is to exceed the number of 1 million users, reach 10 thousand establishments and surpass 1 million orders by the end of 2022. For comparison purposes, iFood is present in 1.7 thousand cities, has 40 million customers and makes 70 million orders per month, an infinitely higher number than Pede Pronto.
“This is a BRL 200 billion market and, before the pandemic, delivery represented 15% and it increased a lot. But the experience inside the restaurant is once again being valued by consumers”, says João Bibar, general manager of Pede Pronto, referring to the app’s addressable market, which is not limited to delivery only.
Pede Pronto’s strategy is to use the strength of Alelo, which has 10 million customers and serves more than 150,000 companies in the benefits area, to scale its operation. An example of this synergy is the fact that the application is embedded within Meu Alelo, an app that concentrates the company’s benefit cards.
The plan is also to rely on Alelo’s commercial structure in all the markets it enters to seek partnerships with regional anchors. Another point is to expand partnerships with restaurants with national reach. This year, Pede Pronto has already made an agreement with Madero, Jerônimo, Giraffas and Vivenda do Camarão.
The partnership with Habib’s, Ragazzo and Tendall will also be fundamental to help Pede Pronto reach 1 million customers this year. With almost 600 stores, the agreement provides discounts on several menu items for those who download the app and use the digital wallet of Alelo’s delivery service. Annually, the three brands carry out approximately 70 million transactions in all their modalities (delivery, take away, salon and drive through).
“We will have a four-month discount schedule and the agreement involves payments only for customers who buy at the salon, drive through or take away”, says Rafael Polachini, Habib’s marketing director. “It will generate user acquisition for us and for Pede Pronto.”
In addition to delivery
The partnership with Habib’s is the latest move in Alelo’s strategy in the area of delivery, which began in 2020 with the purchase of Onyo, a company that managed take-away orders. At the time, the idea was to use the app in shopping mall food courts together with Alelo’s own food cards.
But the pandemic changed plans. Over the last two years, the company changed its name and started to operate independently, as did Veloe, Alelo’s toll and parking tag operation that competes with Sem Parar and ConectCar.
Bibar commands a team of more than 100 employees who, in the last two years, developed the technological platform to operate beyond delivery. With this, Pede Pronto works at all ends of the food sector: from the salon tables to the drive through and take away. The company also has a partnership with Allianz Parque, the Palmeiras stadium, which allows scheduling of orders before concerts.
Unlike iFood, Pede Pronto does not have partner bikers to deliver. The company has partnerships with companies, with national scope, that take care of the orders. The revenue model, however, is similar: a commission on the order value. The fee amount is not revealed.
“Alelo has scale and musculature. It does not enter as a startup, but from a solid customer base”, says Alberto Serrentino, founding partner of the consulting firm Varese Retail, referring to the fact that it is controlled by Bradesco and Banco do Brasil. “Now you need to scale your customer base, create recurrence and capture data so you can monetize in multiple ways.”
According to Serrentino, there is pressure to regulate the delivery sector and end exclusivity contracts, one of iFood’s great assets. “The market is large, growing and evolving, which opens up space for new entrants,” says Serrentino.
Pede Pronto wants to “bar” iFood at a time when many players are fragile. Uber Eats, linked to Uber, withdrew from the Brazilian market earlier this year, claiming that it could not compete with the market leader in the country due to exclusivity contracts.
Delivery Center, which had as partners BRMalls, Multiplan, Cyrela Commercial Properties (CCP), Bloomin Brands and Grupo Trigo, in addition to the family office of José Galló, chairman of the Board of Directors of Renner, also closed its doors last year.
A group of dozens of food delivery apps led by Rappi filed a representation with the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), claiming that iFood does not comply with a decision by the body that prevents it from signing new exclusivity contracts. More: they also want this practice to be banned in the Brazilian market.
Alelo is not part of this group that went to Cade, but says it is against exclusivity contracts. “We hope that exclusivity ceases to exist, which will be good for everyone”, says Alencar. Pede Pronto also adhered to Open Delivery, an open programming standard that promises to facilitate the management of menus, orders and deliveries.
By launching into the open sea of delivery apps, Pede Pronto adds more ingredients to this battle, whose plate is quite hot.