Deliveroo has launched a £5m innovation fund to back new delivery-only brands.

The group said it would use its Editions sites to host chefs for new brands, with the first to be a Sicilian-style pizza brand, Nonna’s Square Pizzas, launching in Cambridge this month.

Deliveroo also plans to increase the number of Editions sites in the UK from 74 at present to 130 by the end of the year, and open in Madrid, Paris, Sydney and Amsterdam. It has recently opened kitchens in Singapore, Dubai and Melbourne.

Caleb Merkl, vice-president of special projects at Deliveroo and co-founder of the New York based delivery start-up Maple that Deliveroo bought last year, said: “Expanding our delivery-only sites, giving restaurants access to our super kitchens, Deliveroo will bring new, exciting brands to local areas.”

Last week, Deliveroo founder Will Shu wrote to staff offering part of a £10m share pot, which was seen as a move towards an eventual public listing, writes Sky News.

Permanent workers were told they would be handed stock options worth an average of £5,000 during the coming months.

Deliveroo’s army of delivery riders, who are classed as self-employed contractors rather than permanent employees, will not share in the windfall.

Deliveroo was valued at well over £1.5bn last year when it raised a new round of funding from the asset managers‎ Fidelity and T Rowe Price.

Bankers believe an initial public offering, which could take place in London or New York, is unlikely for at least 18 months.