Cajoo has raised $40 million as it dips its toes into the busy pool that is ultra-fast grocery delivery.
The lead investment was from French supermarket giant Carrefour as it aims to compete with some of the slightly older rivals including Getir, Gorillas, Weezy and Zapp.
The investment from Carrefour means that Cajoo will be able to offer its customers a larger catalogue of products thanks to Carrefour’s purchasing organisation.
Cajoo operates in a similar way to its rivals, by using dark stores to mange its own inventory of items.
Once the order has been placed, a delivery driver will turn up within 15 minutes with the groceries.
“It’s a category that is incredibly capital intensive,” Cajoo chief executive Henri Capoul told Tech Crunch.
“We own the entire value chain. If we want to expand, we have to launch hubs, we have to buy products.”
Cajoo plans to use the funding to solidify its market position in its home country, where it operates in 10 cities, before branching out
“There are a lot of players that have raised a lot of money,” Capoul added
“But it’s a regulated market. We own all our products and we have to comply with regulation. We can’t sell everything at a loss.”
Capoul has high hopes for the company and expects consolidation in the future, however he said that the brand is doing everything to remain a large, independent company.
“European champions will be national champions first. Right now, some players can overcome a lack of products with discounts.
“I’m convinced that the future of this category will be represented by three or four local players that are strong in other countries.”
Cajoo expects to double the number of employees working at its head office by the end of the year, as well as add drastically to its operations and delivery teams.
The company aims to achieve a fivefold increase by the end of the year.
While some people are hired directly by Cajoo, the company relies on third-party contractors and freelances, similar to its rivals Deliveroo and Uber Eats.