Swedes bake up success with online pizza site

Three Swedes have struck online (and pepperoni covered) gold after the online pizza service they created was bought by a German company

Swedes bake up success with online pizza site

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 ( 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.”

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

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Coronavirus pandemic: German schools lagging behind on digital learning

Schools in Germany had a harder transition to online teaching during the coronavirus crisis compared to several other countries.

Coronavirus pandemic: German schools lagging behind on digital learning
Children on a laptop in Freiberg, Saxony. Photo: DPA

That's according to a representative survey of parents in Germany, Australia, the UK, Italy, Canada, Mexico and Singapore commissioned by the technology company Citrix.

Germany came in last place compared to the other six countries, with only every tenth student (10 percent) reporting a smooth transition to online teaching during the pandemic.

But even in Singapore, the country with the best score, only 30 percent of children said they had a smooth transition to online lessons. That was followed by Australia (25 percent), Mexico and the UK (19 percent each), Canada (16 percent) and Italy with 14 percent.

During the lockdown, pupils were forced to stay at home and lessons had to be conducted online. However, there were issues in Germany with a lack of equipment and slow digital connections.

Many schools 'not prepared'

In Germany, 50 percent of the parents surveyed said that schools had not been prepared at all. This is why distance learning was only provisionally carried out during the crisis, they said.

READ ALSO: Digital upgrade – How Germany plans cheap Internet access for all school pupils

Yet as many as 38 percent of the parents said that their children's schools had been “sufficiently prepared” because, for example, some distance learning systems were already in use.

In the survey, the parents also named the areas in which they felt there was room for improvement: at the top of the list was teacher training for distance learning (53 percent), better organisation of distance learning (48 percent) and more direct interaction with teachers via video (45 percent). However, 20 percent of parents think that online teaching is generally bad for their children.

Among the students surveyed, almost half (49 percent) are in favour of a hybrid model of classroom and online sessions, while 12 percent would like to continue their entire studies online after the corona crisis.

One Poll surveyed 3,500 parents with children aged 6 to 18 years and 3,500 university students in July and August 2020 on behalf of Citrix. The survey was conducted simultaneously in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, Italy, Mexico and Singapore. From each country, 500 students and 500 parents took part.

Digital upgrade planned for German schools

Among the students surveyed, almost half (49 percent) are in favour of a hybrid model of classroom and online sessions. 12 percent would like to continue their entire studies online after the corona crisis.

In general, it is widely acknowledged that Germany is behind the times when it comes to broadband speed and connectivity.

Last month, German authorities drew up a plan to inject the education system with a digital upgrade.

The federal and state governments have agreed that schools should have faster WiFi connections, there must be affordable Internet access for pupils and that laptops should be available to teachers.

READ ALSO: More schools in Germany reopen to pupils – but with strict social distancing rules


Online learning – (der) Online-Unterricht

Distance learning – (der) Fernunterricht

Sufficiently prepared – hinreichend vorbereitet

Room for improvement – (der)  Verbesserungsbedarf

We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.