In Europe, the financing of online grocery platforms
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put lives at risk around the world, consumers increasingly become accustomed to technologies that provide safe alternatives for potentially dangerous activities – and demand is only increasing for such solutions. In Europe, where vaccine deployment is progressing much slower than in the United States, funds are flowing for online platforms that offer remote, low-contact alternatives to traditional grocery shopping.
For example, Rohlik, an online grocery platform based in the Czech Republic, just raised 190 million euros (228 million US dollars) in its latest funding round to further develop in Europe. In addition, the company reported 101% year-over-year growth in 2020, with revenues of 300 million euros (US $ 361 million). Rohlik will use the latest fundraiser for its expansion in Germany and to expand its reach into the countries it already serves – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria. The platform, which describes itself as the “e-Grocery leader in Central Europe”, touts its 17,000 product selection and two-hour delivery as factors that set it apart from its competitors, both digital and physical .
Omri Benayoun, general partner with principal investor Partech, commented in Rholik’s press release: “Rohlik is the most exciting player in the European online grocery industry… Rohlik’s expertise in execution has earned him the trust of local traders and global FMCG companies, allowing Rohlik to outperform in terms of quality and price compared to the grocery store. giants. “
The title of “Most Exciting Player” is no small feat as more and more online grocery solutions are being promoted across the continent. Crisp, a mobile-only online Dutch grocer, has just raised € 30 million (US $ 36 million) in Series B funding to expand its vehicle fleet, inventory and base, reports FinSME. Crisp is positioning itself as a locally driven online grocery store, emphasizing its partnerships with farmers, bakers and other food producers in the region.
“Our growth is about building a healthy business”, Tom peeters, CEO and co-founder of Crisp, said in a statement excerpted in EU-Startups. “Healthy in our offer, which favors fresh and seasonal products, and healthy in the sense of responsible operation. Our dreams are big when it comes to developing smart and sustainable technology.
“The way we buy our food hasn’t changed much since the 1950s, creating inefficiencies in terms of quality, affordability and convenience,” added BaoY van Cong, investment director at round leader Global target. “Crisp reflects the changing relationship consumers have with food today: the European grocery market is starting to move rapidly online, super-accelerated by the pandemic… I firmly believe that the rise in power of food and grocery shopping online is here to stay. “
As big investors drive the online grocery industry by the millions across the EU, consumers are bringing their own funds to the UK. Delivery application Grocemania, which offers deliveries in under an hour, just hit its £ 100,000 (US $ 139,000) crowdfunding target, reports The grocer. As Instacart, Grocemania delivers from existing supermarkets, rather than offering its own selection of groceries. Fundraising came from Seed drills, a London-based crowdfunding platform for startups, and follows an increase of £ 80,000 in 2019 (US $ 112,000). The app, which currently serves London, Brighton, Nottingham and Bristol, will use the funds to promote its upcoming launch in Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Oxford.
“As we unlock new revenue streams, the company will be able to lower the prices of our delivery product to end users,” Founder and Director of Digital Marketing. Askar Boulegenov said the grocer. “We are… ready to demonstrate many improvements and USPs for customers and businesses over the next six months. “
Some might question the logic of investing in these services as consumers get vaccinated and regain their pre-pandemic comfort levels with brick-and-mortar retail. However, there is reason to believe that consumers will continue to integrate digital technologies into their grocery routines for years to come. PYMNTS researchers found in our omnichannel grocery report, created in partnership with ACI in the world, that 64% of consumers buy at least some of their groceries online and that 23% of grocery shoppers order more groceries online for home delivery than they were before start of the pandemic.
As Debbie Guerra, executive vice president of merchant payments and payment intelligence solutions at ACI, told PYMNTS in an interview, “Let’s face it – grocery shopping has gone digital, and it’s really gotten faster… because of the pandemic… I think we’re going to see consumer journeys through omnichannel shopping experiences continue in the future.