Food and grocery delivery platform Talabat will begin operations in Iraq next year, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
The online platform, owned and operated by German food delivery company Delivery Hero, will start operating in Erbil, the Kurdistan region's capital and the most populated city in Northern Iraq, early next year.
Talabat plans to expand further into the other cities throughout the country.
“Iraq is a country with a definite love of food, which is why we cannot wait to enter the market,” Tomaso Rodriguez, Talabat’s chief executive, said.
“The Iraqi market has massive potential and Talabat can help unlock that potential to get the country back on its feet after many years of turmoil when it comes to technology and digitisation of SMEs in the restaurant community.”
Talabat will collaborate with Iraqi restaurants and create new employment opportunities for local talent across various verticals, the company said.
Founded in Kuwait in 2004, Talabat currently operates in eight markets in the Middle East and North Africa, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan.
The company's network includes more than 13,000 restaurants and stores and nearly 24,000 branches. Some of its partners include global brands like Burger King, KFC, Pizza Hut, Papa John's, TGI Fridays and Subway.
Iraqi customers will be able to download the Talabat app on the Apple App Store and Google Play from December onwards, the company said.
Talabat has gradually been acquiring regional rivals to consolidate its operations and shore up its bottom line in a highly fragmented food delivery market.
Last year, it bought the Middle East operations of Zomato but has allowed it to retain its brand identity. However, it absorbed earlier acquisitions such as Kuwait's food delivery platform Carriage and Egypt's Otlob under its own brand.