DoorDash today announced the official launch of its delivery service in Japan. This is the San Francisco-based company’s first foray into the Asia market, and its third international expansion after Canada and Australia.
Service begins today in Sendai, a city with just over 1 million inhabitants in the northeastern part of Japan. The choice of location is in keeping with DoorDash’s strategy elsewhere, which is to focus on smaller cities and suburban markets over major metropolises. Historically, this has helped DoorDash reach customers normally outside most restaurants’ delivery ranges, and it’s arguably a factor that has kept DoorDash in the top spot for marketshare, at least here in the U.S.
Whether the company can repeat that success in Japan remains to be seen. Japan is a restaurant-dense country, which means plenty of prospective DoorDash merchants and customers. However, the country is also home to a lot of competition in the delivery space, including major services like Uber Eats and Delivery Hero.
DoorDash, meanwhile, has recently added services like grocery and convenience store delivery as a way of reaching new customer types and also standing out from the competition. (Uber also offers grocery delivery in some U.S. locations.) The company has not yet said if these services will be immediately part of its expansion to Japan.
DoorDash went public at the end of 2020. Last month, the company reported revenues of $1.08 billion for the first quarter of 2021, up from $362 million in the previous year and beating out Wall Street estimates.
Restaurants in Sendai will also be able to use DoorDash’s Storefront feature, which lets businesses process orders and payments directly, rather than going through the marketplace.