DoorDash marked its market entry in Asia with its official launch in Japan, beginning with the city of Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture. The U.S.-based food delivery platform’s international expansion to Japan is only the third country outside the U.S., after Australia and Canada.

“We look forward to helping power the Sendai economy by helping merchants to grow, connecting consumers to those merchants, and creating jobs and flexible earnings opportunities for Dashers,” said DoorDash CEO and Co-founder Tony Xu.

SoftBank Group-backed DoorDash is looking to take advantage of the unique market opportunity in Japan, which is one of the most restaurant-dense countries in the world. The company said it is already receiving overwhelming support, with Dashers and merchants signing up for the launch.

Consumers in Sendai can now use the DoorDash app to order from hundreds of local restaurants as well as national favourites. These include osteria humming bird, Bistro Bonten, Ducca Sendai, Steak Miya, Gyu-Kaku, Kappa Sushi, Yoshinoya, KFC, Pizza Hut, Gusto, Musashi, and Marugame Seimen.

DoorDash is also offering Sendai merchants access to its Storefront product, an affordable online ordering system that allows customers to place takeout and delivery orders directly with the restaurant. This service was launched in the U.S. in 2020.

The Storefront product will enable merchants to access their existing customer bases to establish a new sales channel by implementing online ordering seamlessly regardless of the size of the store or whether the store has a website.

The Storefront product in Japan will initially be commission-free through the end of the year, with the only cost to the merchants being payment processing fees.

Both the Storefront product and the DoorDash app will enable delivery and takeout. Customers can either place an order and Dashers deliver to the specified location or they can order products in advance and pick them up when ready.

DoorDash is currently the largest food delivery company in the U.S., with a reported 56 percent market share. It overtook Uber Eats in December 2018 to hold the second position in total US food delivery sales, behind GrubHub. It then became the largest in early 2019.

By June 2020, DoorDash had raised more than $2.5 billion over several financing rounds from investors including Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Group and Charles River Ventures. In December 2020, DoorDash became a public company via an initial public offering, raising $3.37 billion.

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