Gorillas, which operates a chain of dark grocery stores that offer fast delivery, has raised a $290 million Series B round of funding, according to TechCrunch. The round was led by Coatue Management, DST Global, and Tencent, with Green Oaks, Fifth Wall, Dragoneer, and Atlantic Food Labs also participated. Gorillas raised a $44 million Series A round of funding in December of 2020.
The Berlin-based Gorillas is among a cohort of startups building out small, delivery-only grocery stores deep inside residential neighborhoods. Thess dark stores carry a limited inventory (that can be customized per neighborhood location), and have a limited delivery radius, so orders can be fulfilled and dropped off, usually in less than fifteen minutes. Gorillas currently operates stores in more than 12 cities across Europe including Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam and London.
A funding round this big and this fast following a recent Series A for a grocery related startup is not at all surprising. As noted, Gorillas is just one player in the speedy grocery delivery space. Similar startups in Europe that have recently raised funding include Weezy, Jiffy, and Flink. Here in the U.S., DoorDash is building out a chain of DashMart stores, Fridge No More is making deliveries in New York City, and GoPuff, which delivers many household items in addition to groceries, raised $1.5 billion this week.
As we have written a lot lately, the big question for these stores is whether they can scale. On paper, the ability to get last-minute groceries delivered in just minutes is great. But it also needs a certain population density to make the economics work, and we have yet to see those economics scale on a national level. If Gorillas can use its funding to do so, then it could become, well, an 800 lbs gorilla in the space.