Delivery Hero uses Kevel APIs to power their native ad platform and achieve faster time to market

Kevel’s API-based tools equips the world’s leading food delivery and quick commerce platform with a tailored solution that provides the customization needed for each of Delivery Hero’s unique brands.


Global markets


Portfolio brands


YoY GMV growth


YoY total segment revenue growth

What Delivery Hero Wanted

A global solution

With operations in over 70 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, there’s no doubt that Delivery Hero is a food delivery giant. Since their start in Berlin over ten years ago, Delivery Hero now boasts a portfolio which includes almost a dozen brands worldwide and is the world’s leading local delivery platform. 

To continue such rapid growth, Delivery Hero began their search for a flexible ad platform solution. Not wanting to lose momentum, Delivery Hero wanted to leverage an existing solution rather than build something from scratch. However, the quick commerce pioneer struggled to find a solution that could meet their needs -- something which could streamline ads across their variety of brands without sacrificing customer data or user experience. 

Though Delivery Hero had worked with other ad tech vendors, previous vendors had been unable to provide the flexibility to launch ads that maintained each app’s unique look and feel while upholding Delivery Hero’s brand integrity. 

A partnership 

Delivery Hero knew they wanted a native ad solution to help launch and scale their family of brands across different markets, so they turned to Kevel to achieve this goal. To ensure they selected the right partner in Kevel, they decided to start this initiative with just one of their brands: foodpanda, Delivery Hero’s Asian food delivery and quick commerce brand. After reviewing the success of this initial launch,the Delivery Hero team gave Kevel the go ahead to launch with one of their European brands, foodora. 

“When looking at all our markets, Kevel was very attractive,” shared Travis Taylor, Group Product Manager at Delivery Hero. “It had an ad server with all of the foundational features, but because it was API-based, [Kevel] really stood out as a way for us to get to market faster.” 

What Kevel Delivered 

A customizable, centralized ad platform 

Kevel’s APIs allowed the Berlin-based company to launch and scale faster with a centralized ad platform for native and banner ad placements. Now, Delivery Hero’s brands aren't forced to develop their own individual ad products. 

“We didn’t have to work so much to define a look and feel because it already existed,” Taylor said. “All of the code already exists in the app. Brands can say they wanted to launch in a certain market, fill in brand color, and then build the app -- already equipped with all of the code.” 

Delivery Hero was able to build the Kevel-powered tech they needed to consolidate and standardize their approach, helping them launch in new markets with other brands quickly and efficiently. Delivery Hero uses Kevel’s Management API to easily book campaigns, and then uses the Decision API to make all of the ad calls so that the end user sees the most relevant ad. Because they are launched on multiple sites, the Delivery Hero team is able to easily differentiate their inventory and identify the correct app to ensure the right ad is always displayed to the right site. 

“With Kevel, we’ve built this abstraction layer to transpose all of the calls coming from our different apps. We transform them into the Kevel API call and forward it along,” Taylor explained. “We also do the same with the tracking. We have this gateway layer that fits in the middle and handles all of the incoming requests, and then we send it to Kevel.” 

Because of this abstraction layer, Delivery Hero can easily launch at scale in new apps and countries. These Kevel-powered ad formats are on brand and maintain consistency across different apps, while preserving the look and feel of each individual brand. The Delivery Hero team is methodically moving off of Google Ad Manager ad units and over to Kevel to promote this consistency across apps.  

Additionally, Delivery Hero was able to create a booking interface to enable their internal account managers to easily book direct deals with advertisers. Delivery Hero created this user-friendly interface on top of Kevel APIs to streamline the process from the booking of campaigns by account managers and the creation of the campaign within Kevel, ensuring faster campaign launches.

Delivery Hero is live with Kevel in 15 unique markets with plans to continue scaling.

Delivery Hero Markets

Total control over their data

Kevel’s API-based tools allowed the delivery company to integrate with other data platforms and Delivery Hero’s own data warehouse. This meant Delivery Hero could leverage their proprietary data insights into customer behavior and preferences, without having to go through Kevel or any third-party unless they want to. 

Delivery Hero could collect information within their own data warehouse, giving them the freedom to send requests to Kevel or their own internal service. Taylor also shared that the abstraction layer Delivery Hero and Kevel built together meant less latency overall. 

“We get the click, we get a conversion, we get one call to our gateway,” Taylor said, “And then we can call Kevel and our own services at the same time.” 

Ads made to engage

Kevel ensured that each unique voice of Delivery Hero’s brands was able to shine through their respective platforms. Matching the look and feel of a brand’s voice to their ad units and overall platform helped maintain consistency, and notably, supplied advertisers with the variety they wanted conveyed from their own brands. 

delivery hero sponsored listings

“We’ve also done a custom video implementation,” Taylor shared. Using Apple’s HLS streaming protocol and Kevel Studio video implementation templates, Delivery Hero advertisers gain full control over creatives, including aspects like video size, resolution, bit rates, and more. The link to the advertiser’s playlist file is stored using Kevel, and once the creative is served, advertisers can access all of the logic from their end. 

Custom targeting fit for a delivery platform

Delivery Hero faced a unique challenge: while the home screen and order tracking page upon ordering are the same ad unit, not every ad unit is relevant for both the home screen versus the order tracking page. 

“The flexibility of being able to pass additional parameters in the placement request and then target those using custom targeting in Kevel has been really powerful for us.” - Travis Taylor, Group Product Manager, Delivery Hero

“We need to be able to target certain ads only to the order tracking page and not have them appear on the home screen,” Taylor explained. “We use custom targeting here to do inventory targeting at a much more granular level than we could get just using channels and sites.” 

With Kevel, Delivery Hero can also set additional parameters, including: 

  • Pickup flow vs. delivery flow
  • Card issuer
  • Device
  • Payment method(s) used in the past 30 days
  • High frequency / low value customer vs. high frequency / high value customer

A path to growth 

Since their initial launch with foodora and foodpanda, Kevel now also powers Delivery Hero’s Middle Eastern brand, talabat, with plans to launch in South America with PedidosYa by the end of the year. 

foodpanda, foodora, talabat, pedidosa logos

As of Q2 2023, Delivery Hero's overall business has seen: 

  • Around 16% YoY total segment revenue growth (in constant currency)
  • 8% YoY GMV growth (in constant currency)

Delivery Hero's platform is expanding globally, and their ad business is growing substantially. Advertisers love working with Delivery Hero because of their strong brand presence and total brand safety. Advertisers are able to trust Delivery Hero’s ads and impressions as being authentic customers, not bot traffic. 

What’s next?

Since partnering with Kevel, Delivery Hero has expanded their usage to include Kevel’s forecasting APIs which launched in July. Always on the cutting-edge of new features and tools, with a rapidly growing quick commerce takeover, the food delivery leader’s expansion into retail media is inevitable. 

Delivery Hero’s continued increases in GMV and significant milestones toward profitability is accelerated by their partnership with Kevel, providing advertiser revenue in addition to their existing platform revenue stream. Delivery Hero attributes their rising GMV not only to their expansion of delivery services, but also to the development of their advertising model.

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