Consumer/Food/News/

On-demand grocery delivery: A regularly updated list of market expansions

All the latest news about the on-demand grocery delivery sector in Europe in one place.

By Amy Lewin and Cecile Bussy

The on-demand grocery delivery sector is as spicy as Nando’s hot sauce right now. 

And it’s changing every few days, as companies raise money at a record-breaking pace, plow into new markets and hire like wildfire. 

So, to keep you up to date on the latest developments, we’ve pulled together this cheat sheet. We’ll update it as and when we hear of on-demand grocery delivery launches and expansions.

And if you hear of something before we do, please tip us off. Email [email protected] 

* This article was last updated on September 22. 

Known companies in this space

Turkey’s Getir was the pioneer of the dark store model in Europe. Launched back in 2015, it’s now the leader of the pack in terms of funding raised — and has a shiny $7.5bn valuation

France’s Frichti, also founded in 2015, delivers groceries in around 15 minutes to customers in France and Belgium (since June this year). It has more than 20 dark stores and offers ready-made meals from partner restaurants as well as groceries.

Barcelona-based Glovo was the first takeaway food delivery platform in Europe to begin experimenting with dark stores in Spain back in 2018. In 2019, Germany’s Delivery Hero followed suit, launching dark stores in Turkey. 

Then the pandemic hit — and demand shot up as people saw a real need for an alternative to physically going to a supermarket or convenience store. Berlin-based Gorillas, London-based Weezy and UK-based Fancy all launched in 2020, while Helsinki-based food delivery platform Wolt began experimenting with dark stores too. 

And in 2021 the frenzy truly began, with dozens of on-demand grocery delivery startups launching across Europe. (This is how things looked in March; here’s an update from June.)

Glovo landed a €100m real estate partnership in January to help it open up hundreds of dark stores in 2021. Gorillas raised €245m in March, at a $1bn valuation, to move fast into new markets.

At the start of September, French company Cajoo announced it had raised $40m, with supermarket Carrefour as an investor, which it says will give it a strategic edge.

Also in September, Jiffy announced it had raised $22m to fund expansion in other parts of the UK beyond London.

Between them, these businesses have raised over €1.5bn.

Latest market expansions

Companies offering 10-15 minute grocery delivery are expanding thick and fast across Europe. 

Berlin-based Flink plans to open 50 stores across France in the coming months.

Getir plans to launch in 15 cities in the UK with 100 stores by the end of 2021.

In July, London-based Zapp expanded to the Netherlands, its first international market. Also in July, New York-headquartered JOKR launched in Poland.

Weezy is yet to leave the UK but is expanding into new cities within the country. Gorillas is doing the same; it expanded to Nottingham in June. Zapp expanded to Manchester in August.

Meanwhile, a few companies are heading into new continents. Delivery Hero has been running dark stores outside of Europe since 2020, when it launched in Latin America.

JOKR launched its first operations in Latin America in April; then Gorillas and JOKR both launched in New York in June.

New on-demand grocery launches

New competitors keep launching too. 

Since March, Stash has been up and running in Switzerland

In April, Lisek –– which was founded in 2018 –– re-launched in Warsaw under the new fast grocery model. 

In May, Macai launched in Italy and Kavall in Stockholm

In June, Ding Dong started delivering in Ixelles, a district of Brussels.  

In August, Wuplo launched in Berlin.

Latest on-demand grocery acquisitions

Consolidation is kicking off. 

In May, US-based Gopuff acquired Fancy. In July, Getir acquired Spain’s Blok and in August, Gopuff acquired Dija.

In September, Glovo announced that it had bought two grocery delivery companies: Lola Market and Mercadão. Lola Market, based in Spain, uses personal shoppers to pick up customers’ orders from supermarket partners like Lidl and Carrefour, as well as more traditional markets, like Barcelona’s La Boquería. Lisbon-based Mercadão, which launched in 2018, is another personal shopping startup.

Further reading

Questions remain around whether these companies can deliver on their lofty valuations. (Getir reached a $7.5bn valuation at its Series fundraise; Sifted analysed whether it is worth it.

Pundits are also divided on whether it’s good business to back this on-demand grocery sector. (Nicolas Colin thinks the VC funding frenzy around on-demand grocery delivery is warranted.)

Meanwhile, Gorillas is having to deal with increasing rider unrest; it would not be surprising if other on-demand grocery startups face similar HR issues with couriers.

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s deputy editor. She covers VC, foodtech and diversity in tech, and tweets from @amyrlewin.

Join the conversation

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of