Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is expanding its reach even further after making a substantial investment in Deliveroo, the UK-based food delivery start-up.

Deliveroo confirmed on Friday that Amazon was the biggest investor in a $575m (£450m) funding round that also included existing investors T Rowe Price, Fidelity and Greenoaks.

It means that Deliveroo, which was founded just six years ago, has raised $1.53bn to date and it is expected that the funding boost and Amazon’s involvement will strengthen its hand in its battle with arch-rival Uber Eats.

Interestingly, Amazon closed its own London-based takeaway service last November largely because it came up against fierce competition from Deliveroo and Uber Eats, so its fresh investment in one of its former rivals suggests it has not given up on the rapidly growing UK market.

“This new investment will help Deliveroo to grow and to offer customers even more choice, tailored to their personal tastes, offer restaurants greater opportunities to grow and expand their businesses, and to create more flexible, well-paid work for riders,” said Will Shu, founder and CEO of Deliveroo.

“Amazon has been an inspiration to me personally and to the company, and we look forward to working with such a customer-obsessed organisation,” he added. “This is great news for the tech and restaurant sectors, and it will help to create jobs in all of the countries in which we operate.”

Outside of the UK, Deliveroo operates in 13 other markets, ranging from Germany to Hong Kong, and claims it works with 80,000 restaurants with 60,000 delivery drivers.

The company said that it would use the new funding to invest “heavily” in expanding its tech team at its London headquarters, create more jobs, expand its service to more customers and build on innovations in the food sector, such as delivery-only kitchens, sometimes referred to as “dark kitchens” or “ghost restaurants”.

“We’re impressed with Deliveroo’s approach, and their dedication to providing customers with an ever-increasing selection of great restaurants along with convenient delivery options,” said Doug Gurr, Amazon UK country manager.

Meanwhile, in a separate development, the Financial Times reported last week that UK sandwich chain Pret A Manager was in talks to buy most or all of rival Eat’s 94 outlets with a view to turning them into “Veggie Prets” and tapping into the growing vegan and vegetarian trend.

Sourced from Deliveroo, Evening Standard, Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff