Who will win the fast grocery delivery startup race?
The race to bigger billion-dollar valuations for speedy grocery delivery startups hots up as Gorillas, Flink and Getir draw ever-bigger investments and valuations in a move to scale and expand internationally.
Investment in speedy grocery delivery startups hots up
It seems venture capitalists can’t get enough of fast grocery delivery startups, whose apps promise delivery of on-demand groceries in just 10 minutes (or 15, in the case of Weezy), with Mubadala Capital, Coatue, Tencent, BOND, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, Silver Lake, SoftBank and Creandum among the well-known funds getting in on the fast grocery delivery action.
In fact, venture-backed grocery delivery firms have raised around US$1.56bn in Europe this year to date, more than doubling the investment into these startups throughout the whole of 2020.
Pioneering the sector, Getir, which launched in 2015 in Istanbul, has just raised US$550m in funding giving it a whopping US$7.5bn, tripling its previous valuation of US$2.6bn, bringing its total raised just since the start of the year to US$1bn.
Berlin-based Flink (which means ‘quick’ in German) has just secured US$240m from investors, though hasn’t yet hit unicorn status; and Berlin-based speedy delivery startup Gorillas, which achieved unicorn status (US$1bn) following investment in March, just 10 months after launching, making it Europe’s fastest unicorn, is seeking a further investment round to bring its valuation to US$6bn, according to Bloomberg.
A pandemic phenomenon
Driven in no small part by the pandemic, the now highly competitive speedy grocery delivery phenomenon grew in line with the huge demand for online shopping during lockdown.
In fact, many of them launched during the pandemic, tapping into the fact that people couldn’t leave home, including Berlin-based speedy grocery delivery apps Gorillas (March 2020), Flink (December 2020), Weezy (summer 2020) and Dija (March 2021).
These services, namely apps, which promise groceries shipped to customers’ doors, from cart to doorstep, in just 10-15 minutes, have transformed how people buy groceries, edging out the supermarkets and transforming the food supply chain, with customers paying the same price as going to the store themselves.
The goal is simple, according to the CEO and founder of Gorillas, Kagan Sumer, “to change the game in the grocery retail market, which has been slow to implement new and speedier technological solutions”.
Getir and Gorillas to enter the US
All European-based startups, Getir, Gorillas, Dija and Flink have all expanded beyond their home countries, but only within Europe to date, with four of the five now in London, for example, and with recent investments being used by all to fund further expansion into European cities.
Flink, which is currently active in 24 cities across Germany, France and the Netherlands, is planning to use its latest investment to expand into more cities, and more countries; while London-based Dija recently expanded to France and Spain (Montmartre, Le Marais, Madrid).
However, both Getir and Gorillas have plans to utilise recent funding to enter the US. Getir – which currently serves 25 cities in Turkey and recently launched in Amsterdam and London – is planning to not just expand across the UK and in Paris and Berlin, but to begin operations in several US cities by the end of the year. While Gorillas, which now has operations in 25+ cities across Germany, the Netherlands, France and the UK, has announced its entry to New York.
Such global expansion would create greater competition for the more mature players, the food delivery behemoths (who don’t necessarily claim to be ‘fast’) such as Instacart, Glovo, Kolonial, Everli, Rohlik, as well as Uber and DoorDash, both of which have recently expanded into grocery deliveries.
How do these startups operate?
Known as ‘dark store startups’, the services are built around self-operated dark stores, which carry a select assortment of items, operating fulfilment centres which carry out online orders rather than serve customers in person and so have significantly smaller operating costs than high-street supermarkets and require fewer people to run them.
G7 Summit guide: What it is and what leaders hope to achieve
Unless you’ve had your head buried in the sand, you’ll have seen the term ‘G7’ plastered all over the Internet this week. We’re going to give you the skinny on exactly what the G7 is and what its purpose on this planet is ─ and whether it’s a good or a bad collaboration.
Who are the G7?
The Group of Seven, or ‘G7’, may sound like a collective of pirate lords from a certain Disney smash-hit, but in reality, it’s a group of the world’s seven largest “advanced” economies ─ the powerhouses of the world, if you like.
The merry band comprises:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
Historically, Russia was a member of the then-called ‘G8’ but found itself excluded after their ever-so-slightly illegal takeover of Crimea back in 2014.
Since 1977, the European Union has also been involved in some capacity with the G7 Summit. The Union is not recognised as an official member, but gradually, as with all Europe-linked affairs, the Union has integrated itself into the conversation and is now included in all political discussions on the annual summit agenda.
When was the ‘G’ formed?
Back in 1975, when the world was reeling from its very first oil shock and the subsequent financial fallout that came with it, the heads of state and government from six of the leading industrial countries had a face-to-face meeting at the Chateau de Rambouillet to discuss the global economy, its trajectory, and what they could do to address the economic turmoil that reared its ugly head throughout the 70s.
Why does the G7 exist?
At this very first summit ─ the ‘G6’ summit ─, the leaders adopted a 15-point communiqué, the Declaration of Rambouillet, and agreed to continuously meet once a year moving forward to address the problems of the day, with a rotating Presidency. One year later, Canada was welcomed into the fold, and the ‘G6’ became seven and has remained so ever since ─ Russia’s inclusion and exclusion not counted.
The group, as previously mentioned, was born in the looming shadow of a financial crisis, but its purpose is more significant than just economics. When leaders from the group meet, they discuss and exchange ideas on a broad range of issues, including injustice around the world, geopolitical matters, security, and sustainability.
It’s worth noting that, while the G7 may be made up of mighty nations, the bloc is an informal one. So, although it is considered an important annual event, declarations made during the summit are not legally binding. That said, they are still very influential and worth taking note of because it indicates the ambitions and outlines the initiatives of these particularly prominent leading nations.
Where is the 2021 G7 summit?
This year, the summit will be held in the United Kingdom deep in the southwest of England, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosting his contemporaries in the quaint Cornish resort of Carbis Bay near St Ives in Cornwall.
What will be discussed this year?
After almost two years of remote communication, this will be the first in-person G7 summit since the novel Coronavirus first took hold of the globe, and Britain wants “leaders to seize the opportunity to build back better from coronavirus, uniting to make the future fairer, greener, and more prosperous.”
The three-day summit, running from Friday to Sunday, will see the seven leaders discussing a whole host of shared challenges, ranging from the pandemic and vaccine development and distribution to the ongoing global fight against climate change through the implementation of sustainable norms and values.
According to the UK government, the attendees will also be taking a look at “ensuring that people everywhere can benefit from open trade, technological change, and scientific discovery.”