Jiffy, a new superfast grocery delivery service, announced today that it has raised £2.6 million ($3.6 million USD) in Seed funding. The round was led by LVL1 Group, with participation from AddVenture, TA Ventures, Vladimir Kholiaznikov, and angel investors Oskar Hartmann, Alexander Nevinskiy and Dominique Locher.
Jiffy’s hyperlocal stores will carry roughly 2,000 SKUs and offer 15-minute delivery with no minimums. Jiffy will launch this month in the London neighborhoods of Westminster, Waterloo, Lambeth, Battersea, Clapham Town, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Hackney, Whitechapel, Stepney Green, with another 20 stores planned to roll out across the U.K. later this year.
Rather than building out big or even medium-sized grocery stores, hyperlocal markets are small, delivery-only stores that are tucked away deep inside a neighborhood. They carry a limited inventory and have a small delivery radius, ensuring that orders can get to homes in minutes. Additionally, being hyperlocal means that products carried can be tailored to that particular neighborhood, making inventory management easier.
Hyperlocal delivery markets are becoming quite the trend. Jiffy is just the latest in a string of funding announcements for such companies. Weezy, also in the U.K., raised $20 million in January. Germany-based Gorillas raised $44 million at the end of last year. And just this week, Fridge No More raised $15.4 million for its hyperlocal stores in New York City.
The hyperlocal model is better suited to big cities, where a large population lives in a small delivery radius. Plus, delivering in compact urban neighborhoods means that orders can be fulfilled by someone riding a scooter or bike, rather than driving a full-sized car in traffic (and then needing to find parking).
If they catch on, hyperlocal markets are poised to change the way people shop for food (at least in cities). If they work as promised, they are essentially groceries-on-demand and reduce the need for weekly stocking up trips to the market.
Given the rate these types of stores are rolling out, we’re sure to find out if the hyperlocal approach works in a Jiffy.