February 16, 2024

Italian grocery ‘soonicorn’ Everli being sold for €1, according to leaked document

Everli — once valued at €450m — had raised €140m from investors including Verlinvest, DN Capital and Italy’s biggest local VCs

Amy O'Brien

3 min read

Online grocery platform Everli — once valued at more than €450m — is being sold to an unknown buyer for €1 after facing a liquidity crisis and failing to raise funds.

According to an investor update seen by Sifted, Milan-based Everli’s backers have been forced to fully write down their investment in the company. They are selling the company for €1 to a buyer that was willing to assume the startup’s liabilities and invest in the company to rescue its operations.

The document said that the sale comes after Everli failed to raise fresh funding when Brussels-based investment firm Verlinvest, which had been set to lead a new round of financing, decided not to support Everli further. Verlinvest is not the biggest shareholder in Everli.

After Everli’s financial position deteriorated in the second half of last year, its board was forced to consider either liquidating the company or finding a rescue buyer according to the document — a Q4 2023 update which was circulated with insiders this week.


Responding to a request for comment from Sifted, Everli said: “At a time of challenging market dynamics for many businesses, we at Everli have been evaluating options for future growth.

“These conversations are ongoing and, as no fundraiser, sale, or transfer of shares has yet been finalised, there is no more information we can share at this point.”

Sifted has contacted Verlinvest for comment.

Big backers

Everli had raised a total of €140m to date from some of Italy’s biggest local funds like United Ventures and 360 Capital. Other investors included Oatly backer Verlinvest, DN Capital, and early backer Ithaca Investments — the seed-stage investment arm of the Berlusconi family office.

It’s another example of European grocery startups’ fall from grace. After raising a $100m Series C megaround in early 2021, Everli was touted by local investors as one of Italy’s few ‘soonicorns’. It had reached a valuation of €469m at this round, according to Dealroom estimates. 

The company was founded in 2014, but experienced a surge in demand during the pandemic according to Ex-CEO Federico Sargenti. 

“The pandemic was a real tsunami,” he told Sifted. “The number of demands doubled each day, and we had to act with enormous speed across a range of frontiers, from technology to logistics.”

Everli allowed users to place direct home-delivery orders from supermarkets like Carrefour, Lidl and Conad via a network of freelance “personal shoppers”. It expanded fast across several countries in continental Europe — including Italy, France, Poland and the Czech Republic. After its last fundraise, it expanded into Germany and Romania in early 2022. 

Sargenti, who had led the company since 2016, stepped down in May 2023. “I leave the company in a strong position and am confident that it will continue to thrive,” Sargenti wrote in a LinkedIn post at the time. He was succeeded by Andrea Zocchi, an ex-consultant who previously spent 32 years at McKinsey & Co.

Amy O'Brien

Amy O'Brien was a reporter at Sifted, covering fintech