The rapid grocery delivery space was one of the winners of the pandemic-fuelled lockdowns and the subsequent boom of ecommerce startups.
A wave of startups promising the delivery of grocery products in 60 minutes or under caused ripples within the grocery space.
The gig economy boomed, as did the pockets of some of the most successful brands, as thousands of couriers motored or cycled themselves out of vast networks of fulfilment centres all over the capital – otherwise known as ‘dark stores’.
However, with a huge number of firms trying to take a bite out of the market, some have been pushed to the sidelines of the sector or taken over by the market giants.
Charged took a look at the seven rapid grocery delivery brands delivering in under an hour back in April this year, but since then new players have come to the scene and are overtaking some of the pioneers of the space with the promise of faster delivery or a more reliable stock of products.
Since then, major firms have secured millions of dollars in funding, consolidated and taken over rivals and suffered IPO disasters.
We decided to revisit the sector and see which brands are still consistently delivering a fast and reliable service.
Turkish startup Getir started out as one of the pioneers of the space, however it has now morphed into one the sector’s giants.
The company tripled its valuation in June this year, making it more valuable than Morrisons, Deliveroo and Marks & Spencer.
Getir only began expanding outside of its home country of Turkey this January, when it raised $550 million in new funding, dramatically driving up its valuation to $7.5 billion.
Since then, it has expanded exponentially and acquired one of its rivals, Weezy, last month. Weezy had reported struggling finances, with revenue of £161,400 against losses of £676,000 in 2020 – despite the surge in home grocery deliveries due to the pandemic.
It is understood that the company had been looking for a buyer for some time, having recently shut almost a quarter of its dark stores due to industry competition. It had also been in talks with Getir rival Gopuff.
German grocery delivery expert Gorillas has exploded all over Europe, delivering products in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain.
It has taken London by storm, delivering to a vast number of locations across the capital, promising delivery in as little as 10 minutes. It does this very successfully, with the company recently announcing a tie-up with the UK’s largest grocer Tesco, initially delivering to shoppers in South London.
The deal saw Gorillas set up micro-fulfilment site at five large Tesco stores where items will be picked, packed and delivered to customers all within the 10-minute window.
Another indicator of Gorillas’ success in the heated market was the news that it raised $1 billion through a funding round led by Delivery Hero in October – the largest amount of funding in the European grocery delivery sector to date.
After only being founded last year, Gorillas underwent a period of massive expansion, operating over 180 warehouses in nine international markets, delivering over 4.5 million orders over the past eight months.
GoPuff saw massive success in the US, which helped it acquire Dija and Fancy, both of which had been making a name for themselves in the UK.
“Our goal was always to be the world’s go-to solution for everyday needs, and making GoPuff available in the UK is just the start of our international expansion,” GoPuff co-founder and co-chief executive Rafael IIishayev said at the time.
Founded in 2013, Gopuff is currently valued at around $15 billion, making it one of the most valuable food delivery startups around.
It operates in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Sheffield, and aims to be in 33 UK cities by mid-2022.
One of the more fresh-faced startups, Joker it has emerged as one of the winners, promising to deliver groceries in as little as 15 minutes, as well as offering a no minimum order value, which plagued a number of the firms at the start of the sector’s boom.
Jokr gives shoppers the chance to purchase from local businesses for certain, location-based products or specialities, while a sustainable business plan will hopefully see the company become carbon neutral by next year
What makes Jokr’s success even more impressive is the fact that it was only launched in March this year.
Jokr founder Ralph Wenzel said: “We are true believers in the fact that the world needs a new Amazon, a better one, a more sustainable one, one that appreciates local areas and products.
“We continue to build Jokr into the premier platform for a new generation of online shopping, with instant delivery, a focus on local product offerings and more sustainable delivery and supply chains.
Another of the sector’s lesser-known players, but still hugely successful. With branding all over London, it has been a symbol of startup-success during the pandemic.
Jiffy announced an industry first with its own line of fresh produce in September, with the new own-brand range including everything from blackcurrants and bananas and strawberries. The produce comes from family-run business Watts Farm, based in Kent and Essex.
Jiffy mounted a serious assault on London’s popular on-demand grocery delivery sector after securing another $28 million in funding at the end of September. It operates a selection of dark stores across London and promises to drop groceries off to buyers in 15 minutes or less.
The company has seen astronomical growth after only being founded earlier this year, despite being up against more experienced rivals such as Gorillas, Getir and Uber Eats.