Czech on-demand grocery delivery startup Rohlik bags $230M to expand across Europe – TechCrunch

Food delivery – be it ready orders from restaurants, meal kits, or groceries – is one of the most used services in this final year of living under the cloud of the global health epidemic, and among the companies with ambitions today One is announcing a major round of funding to help build a pan-European empire in the third of these categories.

Rohlik, A Czech startup that has built an online grocery ordering and delivery business that is your typical grocery rental – which sources it directly on its own and also offers it in concert with established businesses such as Marks and Spencer – local small Along with items received from businesses, has raised €. 190 million ($ 230 million at today’s rates). It plans to use its footprint in metropolitan areas to use the funds to break into its existing three markets – the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria – as well as Germany, Poland, Romania and other markets.

The company – which has some 17,000 items in its online store – generated 250 million in revenue last year, ending it with 650,000 customers, and is profitable – though this round is significantly more fuel to grow it from its balance sheet. Will give. , Tomhall, Rohlik’s CEO and founder, told TechCrunch in an interview. Its unique selling point is to engage in the typical shopping habits of the average European urban consumers, who regularly associate shopping in small businesses with supermarkets.

“We found a sweet spot of great service, a 2-hour delivery turnaround ordered in 15-minute windows, and an amazing assortment. Traditionally you find supermarket attentions in online grocers, but what is there to wait for? We also have a supermarket, but we married it to local butchers, fishermen, bakers, fruits and vegetarian vendors, things you can’t buy in retail at large, ”said upr. “We are saving people 5-7 shopping trips, not just to the supermarket.

The round was also led by Index Ventures with significant involvement. Quadrille Capital, J&T, R2G, Kaiser Permanente Ventures and Enern Miton (a current investor) were also in the round.

The valuation is not being disclosed but Czech version of Forbes, When reported to be on a round of works in January, said it was worth more than € 600 million ($ 723 million). We understand from sources that it is about $ 600 million.

Founded in 2014, Rohlik’s funding is an interesting and important moment in the online grocery business in Europe and beyond.

First, we as consumers have proved the immediate and permanent demand for these services in the final year.

Shelter-in-place orders, and Kovid-19 as a general step to socially distance from a large segment of the consumer population to help keep the community spread of the epidemic, online food for consumers’ overwhelming needs Using orders has increased drastically for their grocery needs.

The reason, in many cases, for those systems to be overloaded. For example, Ocado in the UK, where I am a customer, saw its system fall with demand, leading it to implement a strict online queuing system; Many companies were unable to solicit for stock demands and delivery slots; etc.)

Even with some (not many) countries in Europe fulfilling their orders, the grocery remains a heavily used online category in the markets where it is available. That is to say, whatever the growing trends were a year ago, there was a boom in adoption and got stuck.

Second, online grocery delivery has become an important sector for investors. Last year, we Reported That Dija – a new startup of former Deliveroo employees in London – was raising a round; Gorillas in Berlin Raised $ 44 million In December; Ocado in the UK (listed here but run as a startup) More than $ 1 billion.

These three in particular are taking a slightly different approach to Rohlik as to what kind of model they are building around logistics and fulfillment either taking on “dark” convenience stores in cities , As with large fulfillment centers outside gorillas or urban. Centers, such as Ocado. Part of the attraction with Rohlik is that he has used logistic technology combined with a close understanding of the market (one of upsupr’s previous startups was a restaurant delivery business) Acquired by Delivery Hero) Belongs to.

“We are making a big bet and we are not looking for any business that offers an alternative to existing services,” index partner Jan Hammer said in an interview. “We have invested in various models across the world and we have good experiences with good eggs. As a technology investment firm, we look at commerce payments, warehouse software, and related models that can be synergistic. The macro trend is universal offline for online migration through an improved business model. This is the direction of travel. As Vice Chancellor we will also say that it is down to the persons involved in it. “

Ruhlik said, uses large fulfillment sites that are not as large as city centers, but are very close to where their customers are based. (This could potentially give the company an opportunity to expand into new cities: as large supermarkets are less profitable, they may present themselves as a real estate opportunity for online delivery companies like Rohlik.)

Interestingly, a company perhaps similar to Rohlik’s closest competitors, Picnic from The Netherlands, last raised money in 2019, $ 300 million, To build an automated distribution center to serve their country and Germany. Maybe it will be next in line for a big round of money. (I will also note that both the index and Excel were interested in gorillas but neither was invested in the end. With the index now placing its bets on Rohlik, you’d wonder what Excel could do next, if anything.)

Many of the location’s companies have so far focused on national markets – Instacart has not expanded outside North America, Ocado is in the UK only, and so on. There is an opportunity for a company like Rohlik to export its model to more and more countries, which are already serving it.

“, Rohlik is the most exciting player in the online grocery industry.” “We are honored to partner with Rohlik founder Thomas Eupra, whose passion for service, sustainability and vision for the grocery sector we share. Rohlik’s execution expertise has earned it the trust of both local merchants and global FMCG companies; Allowing Rohlik to perform better at quality and price than the Kirani giants.