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Swedes bake up success with online pizza site

The Local · 2 Apr 2012, 15:24

Published: 02 Apr 2012 15:24 GMT+02:00

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The men stumbled upon the idea in 2004 when they were students at Linköping University after a late night out resulted in a lazy Sunday morning.

"We were all sitting around in our apartment and someone suggested pizza," co-creator Erik Mellströmsom told The Local.

"Rather typically, none of us had any money, and we thought how great it would be if we could just order it online and pay with card."

Mellströmsom and his co-creators Per Anders Bjelkstål and Dan Castillo, who were all studying degrees in economics or engineering, soon realized the potential of their idea. They set to work, and gradually built up the concept until it became well-known and widely used in Linköping, central Sweden.

Their project, "Online Pizza", became an online hub where buyers can decide exactly what sort of pizza they want, order it from whichever shop that was featured online, pay by card and have it home delivered.

The idea took off, and the students soon found their hands full with a hobby that was sucking up all their spare time, and only earning them a crust, even though the student population was repeatedly coming back for seconds.

Within a few years, the trio had completed their studies and focused their attention solely on the pizza. Soon, their website (onlinepizza.se) really started bringing in the dough, and swept across Sweden.

In 2009, Mat24, another online takeaway company, wanted a slice of the company, and the two joined forces, opening sites in Poland, Austria and Finland.

But it wasn't until last Friday that the company made its biggest deal.

German food delivery company "Delivery Hero" bought Pizza Online for what Aftonbladet newspaper reported to be 250 million kronor ($37.8 million).

Mellströmsom, however, only sees this as another stepping stone.

"To be honest, this doesn't mean so much to me, our story does not end here" he told The Local.

"This just signifies the end of chapter one. We have built a successful company – that was the goal. Now we'll be in 10 different countries, featuring 19,000 restaurants," he said.

"Eventually, we want to be the best company in the world."

Story continues below…

As for future "chapters", Mellströmsom is keen to concentrate on the current projects, but is quick to add:

"What more can you do once you're best in the world?"

Oliver Gee

Click here to follow Oliver Gee on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:44 April 2, 2012 by reader
Now if they can just get the beer delivery sorted out.......
18:24 April 2, 2012 by kenny8076
lol im confused... the story acts like this is breaking technology or something.... dominoes and poppa johns has been doing this since the late 90's.... in highschool this was the only way we would pay for pizza...... i think the only thing that makes this make since is that there are NO pizza chains here... just all middle eastern owned pizzerias and kebab shops.... so going onto Online Pizza just offers ALL the shops based on your location... instead for example going to pizza hut dot com, building your pizza and paying for it online....... same stuff...... 10 years late, as usual
18:54 April 2, 2012 by martiancat
Sweden is full of middle-of-nowhere places where no pizza restaurant is ever going to deliver!
20:17 April 2, 2012 by NYGiants
Wow! This is so innovative! I wonder when Sweden will discover Netflix or FreshDirect! Who wants to be a millionaire?
02:57 April 3, 2012 by Spuds MacKenzie
I don't get it. You could do this now for 15+ years in the USA! How is this even remotely innovative??
09:22 April 3, 2012 by cogito
Sweden is about to invent the wheel. Stand by....
09:56 April 3, 2012 by EtoileBrilliant
Ditto - Swede discovers home food delivery service! Stop the world I want to get off. I've lived here for 10 years and most Swedes just shrug their shoulders when you complain about the lack of pizza delivery services.

I live in Central Stockholm and the site gives me a few choices, none of which deliver.

Yesterday, I say an ad on the side of a bus for aptid.se "from restaurant to home in 60 mins" - this was supposed to be a major selling point!

When it comes to service industries Sweden has lost the plot completely.
10:45 April 3, 2012 by Migga
Wow, two Swedes makes a million dollar company out of nothing and the thing people react towards in these comments is that the concept isn`t new. Talk about focusing on the wrong issue. Stop being so bitter and recognize their sucess instead. Sweden is also one of the most innovative countires in the world, even though it`s only 9 million large. It`s leading the way in fields like health, medicin, telecom and enviormental science.
11:03 April 3, 2012 by LagomSucks
Why can you only get real pepperoni pizza at PizzaHut? I wish Dominoes would come here.

Really tired of Svennebanan pizza with hushållsost :-(
09:56 April 4, 2012 by robban70226
Swedem Pizza market s operated by 98% middle east people that do not know what a real pepperoni pizza is, shame,

uch to be learned in Sweden about how to make a pizza.
13:02 April 5, 2012 by Atlas
The only innovative idea here is Online Pizza Order & Delivery in Sweden. Thats it, its not that those guys invented something other countries haven't seen, for Gods sake, in Denmark you can even call a taxi to bring booze to you...Kudos to those guys for "reintroducing the wheel to Sweden"...
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