Embattled speedy grocery unicorn Gorillas could be acquired by Turkish competitor Getir, at a valuation much lower than the $2.1bn price tag investors gave it last year.
The acquisition talks, first reported by Bloomberg, follow months of rumours that Gorillas was seeking fresh funding. If Getir does acquire Gorillas, the latter’s shareholders could collectively take home $100m in cash as well as stock worth 12% of the combined entity, reported the Financial Times on Tuesday.
Based on Getir’s last valuation of $12bn, this deal would value Gorillas at roughly $1.5bn. It might actually be less, however, as it’s likely that Getir’s valuation has fallen given valuations across the market are down.
With the deal set to value Gorillas at significantly less than previous rounds, who stands to lose the most?
Sifted analysed German credit agency documents, which show the shareholder structure of Gorillas as of January 24 of this year. These documents do not provide any information about which investors own which class of shares or who might have preference in a payout.
US crossover fund Coatue, best known for its investments in Snap, Spotify and Doordash, is the largest shareholder, according to the documents, holding a 23.2% stake. That stake would have been worth $488m a year ago when the company was valued at $2.1bn.
Crossover funds like Coatue, and others such as Tiger Global and D1 Capital, that previously invested in public companies before turning to VC, fuelled much of the private market boom in Europe in recent years. Yet now they’re pulling back on startup investments as they struggle to cope with losses in their public portfolios.
This is bad news for private tech companies like Gorillas, which have thrived off fast rounds at high valuations but are now suffering amid the downturn.
3x a week
We tell you what's happening across startup Europe — and why it matters.
FoodLabs, a pre-seed fund based in Berlin, was the only investor in Gorillas’ seed round. FoodLabs is the company’s second largest shareholder, with a 12.6% stake, the documents show. At a $2.1bn valuation, that stake would have been worth $265m.
Alongside Gorillas, Atlantic’s got unicorns like Choco (the founder and CEO of which is an investor in Gorillas), GetYourGuide and Omio in its portfolio.
Gorillas’ founder Kağan Sümer has a sizeable stake of 12.41% in his company. A year ago, when Gorillas raised a $1bn Series C at a $2.1bn valuation, Sümer’s stake would have been worth $260m.
A sale of Gorillas to Getir may not be the best-case scenario for Sümer, unless he’s already taken money off the table. Founders typically have ordinary shares while investors own preference shares. This means that in the event of a sale or liquidation, investors get first dibs on proceeds, while founders (as ordinary shareholders) get paid last.
Food delivery platform Delivery Hero invested $235m in Gorillas’ Series C round and took a stake of 8.8%. At a $2.1bn valuation, that stake would have been worth $185m.
At the start of the speedy grocery boom, investors speculated that a mass market consolidation would take place in Europe, with bigger food delivery players moving into snaffle up smaller competitors — and it did.
Last year, Getir (now worth $12bn) acquired UK-based Weezy while DoorDash invested in Berlin-based Flink — which then bought out French rival Cajoo. Gorillas also played its hand at acquisitions, acquiring French competitor Frichti earlier this year — but now it might be taken over by Getir, which pioneered the speedy grocery model in the first place.
G Squared, an American firm which has previously backed companies like Uber, Airbnb and Alibaba, owns 7.5% of Gorillas. This would have been worth $157.5m at Gorillas’ last round.
China’s Tencent invested in Gorillas at Series B and Series C. It owns a 7% stake in the company. That would have been worth $147m this time last year. Tencent’s backed companies like Tesla, Uber, Snap and Discord in the past.
DST Global, which has offices in the US, UK and China, owns a 5.8% stake in Gorillas. A year ago that would have held a paper worth of $122m.
DST was founded by Yuri Milner, an Israeli-Russian billionaire who announced this week he had renounced his Russian citizenship. Some of DST’s previous bets include Meta, ByteDance, Stripe and Alibaba.
Sifted reached out to each investor for comment. Gorillas declined to comment.
Freya Pratty is a reporter at Sifted. She tweets from @FPratty and writes our climate tech newsletter — you can sign up here.
Miriam Partington is Sifted’s DACH correspondent. She also covers future of work, coauthors Sifted’s Startup Life newsletter and tweets from @mparts_
This piece has been updated to reflect the fact that the acquisition of Gorillas by Getir would value Gorillas at approximately $1.5bn, based on Getir's last valuation of $12bn, and updated the language on proceeds to avoid confusion.