Weee!, an online grocer with a focus on Asian and Hispanic communities, announced today that it has raised a $315 million Series D round of funding. The round was led by existing investor DST Global, with participation from new investors including funds managed by Blackstone, Arena Holdings, and Tiger Global. Weee! has raised more than $415 million in funding in total.
Founded in 2015, Weee! initially offered products for the Asian community, but the company recently added Hispanic foods to its roster. In its press announcement today, the company referred to itself as an “Ethinic Grocer,” and said it serves 14 key regions across the country. According to Weee! website, the company offers more than 3,500 products and has fulfilled more than 8.8 million orders.
Weee!’s funding comes during what appears to be salad days for investment in grocery-related startups. A raft of startups in the space have raised big funding amounts just since the start of the year. Part of the reason for all of this frothiness, of course, is the pandemic. With restaurants closed, and various lockdowns, record numbers of people turned to buying food online last year and retailers of all sizes scrambled to keep up.
What’s worth noting with Wee!’s funding is how the online grocery market is starting to segment. In addition to more general grocery startups like Instacart and Good Eggs getting funded, we are starting to see more focused startups raise lots of money too. Weezy and Fridge No More create hyperlocal stores that offer fifteen minute delivery, Imperfect Foods focuses on food surplus and rescue, and Weee! focuses on specific demographic audiences.
The question now is whether that is all money well spent. We’ve already seen a drop in the use of grocery e-commerce between January and February of this year. As more people get vaccinated and feel free to move about more, will they stop their online food buying habits in favor of getting out of the house and back into the store?
Wee!’s focus on serving Asian and Hispanic communities could actually help it weather any potential downturn in the grocery e-commerce market. By offering delivery of items that may not be stocked at general grocery stores in suburbs across the country, Weee! could become a go-to resource for Asian and Hispanic communities looking for particular types of food, but unable to get it at their local retailer.
With its new funding, Weee! says it will continue to add products and features and expand nationwide, with plans to reach 30 cities across North America by 2024.