Online food delivery platform Just Eat is hosting a hackathon in Bristol this weekend in a bid to identify new technologies that could be used to improve its service.
The company, which became the first tech firm to list itself on the London Stock Exchange's new High Growth Segment, hopes the event will lead to the creation of a number of new technologies that could be used to bolster its website and mobile apps.
Held on Saturday at Just Eat's new Technology Innovation Hub, based out of existing start-up hub Bristol Engine Shed, the hackathon will see developers work in teams no bigger than four.
Each team will be given access to Just Eat’s application programming interface (API) and other useful data to support their efforts. According to Just Eat, they will join current employees and be given free rein to build anything from new app functions to digital marketing campaigns.
Just Eat CTO Carlos Morgado said: “Over the past 12 months Just Eat’s technology team has been working hard to deliver everything from innovative mobile apps to new electronic point of sale technology for our restaurant partners to ensure we remain the number one takeaway service.
“The regular hackathons we’ve been running at our central London offices are essential to this innovation process enabling us to learn from those both inside and outside the company. Now, with our new Technology Innovation Hub in Bristol, we can access the brilliant pool of tech talent based throughout the South West. I’m looking forward to seeing the results from the day.”
Joe McGeehan, chair of Invest Bristol & Bath (IBB), the inward investment agency for the region, which has supported Just Eat in setting up its Bristol hub, said: “It is great to have Just Eat in the region, a place which is all about collaborative spirit.
“This hackathon offers talented technologists a unique opportunity to engage with a major innovation-led business that is looking to recruit and grow its technology hub here. It promises to be a lively event where ideas and expertise are shared, relationships are forged and plenty of fun is had by all.”
Previous hackathon ideas since integrated into Just Eat’s operations include the development of NFC (near-field communication) enabled posters – recently rolled out across the company’s UK partner restaurants – and OpenRastaSwagger, a tool enabling the expression of public meta-data over an api, which Just Eat has made available to the wider developer community.
Just Eat, which has more than 36,000 restaurants on its books, charges nearly 11 percent commission for each delivery ordered over its platform, of which there were 40 million last year, worth an average of £2.11 per order.
Bristol is fast emerging as one of the UK's leading technology hubs, with Chinese networking giant Huawei announcing this week that it has invested in Bristol University spin out company XMOS and the SETsquared accelerator recently named as the number one university business incubator in Europe.