German grocery delivery startup Gorillas has raised a $44 million Series A round of funding led by hedge fund Coatue, TechCrunch reports.
Gorillas promises super-speedy grocery delivery, with the company saying it averages a delivery time of 10 minutes. It does this by creating smaller, delivery only (or “dark”) grocery stores. These dark stores can be placed in neighborhoods closer to where customers live, and can be engineered to enable faster pick-and-pack orders only, instead of being set up to serve in-store shoppers as well.
The dark store concept is catching on with a lot of startups. Over in the U.K., Weezy promises fast grocery delivery thanks in part to its smaller neighborhood fulfillment centers. Here in the U.S., DoorDash created its own branded dark convenience store, and Fabric‘s automated fulfillment centers are meant to be built into smaller locations.
The global pandemic pushed people into grocery delivery earlier this year. And though sales have dipped from record highs earlier this year, e-grocery continues to be sticky with customers who are ordering more and more often online. Perhaps more importantly, online grocery sales are projected to keep growing and take up 21.5 percent of total grocery sales by 2025, reaching 250 billion dollars.
So it makes sense that we’re seeing a number of companies angling now to get your e-grocery business and hopefully your loyalty as the entire sector grows. And it’s not just startups either. Amazon and Walmart are aggressively touting speedy delivery and offering free grocery delivery as a perk for joining their respective membership services.
For it’s part, Gorillas told TechCrunch that it plans to use its new funding to roll out its service across more cities in Germany and throughout Europe, starting with Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
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