Overview Online supermarket, that delivers groceries for the lowest price to people’s home, without delivery costs
Sifted Take Back in 2015, Picnic began a pilot program in the Dutch city of Amersfoort, testing out a smart way of approaching the logistics of grocery delivery.
First, the startup formed a distribution centre to collect and package up local produce, then used custom-built electric vehicles to deliver them to people’s doors.
The electric minivans started doing routes like milkmen, following a set route so costumers always know when to expect their fresh food. This was cheaper and allowed it to offer free delivery. Picnic also had other supply-chain tricks, such as only ordering food from suppliers once a customer has ordered.
Not only were the economic great, but as it turned out customers loved it as well. In Amersfoort, Picnic quickly grabbed 80% of grocery deliveries from incumbent supermarkets.
All this helped Picnic pick up an enormous €100m Series B funding round in 2017 just 18 months after launching (which at the time raised a few eyebrows). Then in 2019, the startup secured a €250m financing round to build a giant (42,000 square metre) automated distribution centre in Utrecht.
The €250m largely came from the same four wealthy families that provided the better part of the €100m round before: namely Fentener van Vlissingen (NPM Capital), Hoyer (Hoyberg), De Rijcke (Kruidvat) and Finci (from supermarket chain Boni).
The wider trend here is the rise in mainly middle-class households ordering groceries online, with now more than a third of people using such services in Europe.
The question though is whether the business model will come under threat from companies offering “on demand” or same-day delivery services, such as those offered by Instacart in the US. Could there also be a long-term threat from highly automated competitors such as Amazon.com or Ocado? The other big question is when Picnic can successfully expand across Europe.
Overview Cloud-based file transfer service based in Amsterdam designed to send small to large files
Sifted Take When WeTransfer launched in 2009 the Dutch startup did something seemingly impossible — it made file sharing cool.
The team created a striking aesthetic for its site, in part by giving away advertisement space to artists, and allowed users to send files for free without any irritating registration.
The result was that, even if the service was technically no better than rivals such as Box or Dropbox, creatives flocked to the site, which has since seen rapid growth. Today, WeTransfer has more than 50m users sending 1.5bn files every month.
In 2019 the company announced a €35m secondary funding (meaning no new money was raised by WeTransfer but existing shareholders sold) in a round led by the European growth equity firm, HPE Growth. It would not release the valuation but said it was “significantly” higher than in 2015.
This is believable as the company is not only growing but has been profitable for six years. It makes money through a premium subscription service called WeTransfer Plus and selling advertising in the form of full-screen ads called wallpapers on Wetransfer.com.
It also has other services include content-sharing app Collect (claiming 4 million monthly users), sketching tool Paper (which has had 25 million downloads) and collaborative presentation tool Paste (which claims 40,000 active teams).
WeTransfer also makes a lot of its quasi-social mission. It says it allocates up to 30% of its advertising inventory and “billions of impressions” to support and spotlight up-and-coming creatives, and causes, such as spearheading campaigns for social issues.
At a recent event hosted with Sifted and Second Home in London, Damian Bradfield is cofounder and chief creative officer of WeTransfer, said that the decision to show one big and good-looking advert rather than many banner ads went against the grain back in 2009, but has been key to the company’s success.
Sifted Take The VanMoof bike is a thing of beauty. To see one is to want one. The only drawback, as far as the Sifted team are concerned, is that they cost around €3,000 at least.
Still, biking enthusiasts are seemingly willing to pay for quality and a range of gadgets that come with it.
The bike makes a range of sounds to communicate with you, from powering up to a growl if you try to move it when it’s locked. You can control power, check its charge and even the bike’s location all from your phone. It’s also hard to steal, with stealth locking features and inbuilt GPS.
Two bike frames are offered – the S and the X – and these can be bought as regular bikes or as ebikes.
VanMoof (pronounced VanMoaf) is the brainchild of two Dutch brothers, Taco and Ties Carlier. The pair founded the company in 2009. Both came from outside the bike industry, which has helped them (they say) come to the world of bike design with fresh eyes. They see Tesla and BMW as competitors, not other bikes.
The 10-year-old company had had success with raising money from crowdfunding. One campaign in 2017 raised €2m in a week. In April 2019, the company raised €2.5m in just 12 hours.
At the same time, VanMoof announced it had sold 11,000 of its electric S2 and X2 city bikes. The company added that the sales –worth nearly €30m – were generated through its website and its eight standalone stores.
The broader trend is that ebike sales are booming. One million e-bikes were sold in Germany in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 36%. And in The Netherlands, e-bike sales have overtaken non-electric bike sales.
Overview Monitoring for electric city buses and trucks
Employee GrowthHYPER GROWTH
NB The Dealroom data about employee growth is mainly from LinkedIn, and so is not perfect (people may not always update their profiles when they move jobs, for instance). But it gives some idea about the rate of change from 2018 to 2019. We have classed 0%-20% growth as “staying level”, 20%-100% growth as “growth” and 100% plus growth as “hyper-growth”.Logos provided by Clearbit
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