Miki Kuusi, CEO and co-founder of Wolt.
LONDON – Venture capital firms and private equity investors are excited about European e-commerce startups looking to take on Amazon.
So far this year, three potential Amazon competitors have announced substantial funding rounds in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Turkish startup Getir, backed by venture capital billionaire Michael Moritz, announced on Friday that it had raised $ 300 million for a valuation of $ 2.6 billion. The money comes from Silicon Valley VC heavyweight Sequoia and New York hedge fund Tiger Global.
Getir’s announcement comes a day after German startup Gorillas announced it had raised $ 290 million worth over $ 1 billion.
Finnish Wolt announced in January that it had initiated a $ 530 million round of funding at an undisclosed price. However, the total investment in Wolt now stands at over $ 856 million.
Although Getir and Gorillas are initially focused on food and Wolt is focused on takeaways, all three have plans to significantly expand their remit and encroach on Amazon’s turf. Your courier network is already delivering some “everyday items” from stores.
“We firmly believe that the next wave of e-commerce will be standard delivery within the next 30 minutes from delivery within a week and on the same day,” Wolt founder Miki Kuusi told CNBC in January. “This is what we focus on in all of our markets, starting with the restaurant.”
Wolt’s funding round was led by ICONIQ Capital, which has also invested in Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and Zoom. Tiger Global, DST, KKR, Prosus, EQT Growth and Coatue joined as new investors, while existing investors 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, EQT Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners also participated.
The Gorillas funding round, meanwhile, has been led by Chinese tech giant Tencent along with DST and Coatue, who appear to be spreading their bets by supporting multiple horses in the same race. Other investors were Fifth Wall, Greenoaks and Atlantic Food Labs.
“We have a simple goal: to change the game in the food retail market that is slow to implement new and faster technological solutions,” said Kagan Sumer, CEO and founder of Gorillas, in a statement.
“By providing easy, instant access to fresh and healthy food at retail prices, we are essentially simplifying the grocery shopping process,” said Sumer. “We focus radically on our customers and their needs: With a team of more than 2,000 employees and in close cooperation with our community, our investors and our partners, we are building an infrastructure for the fastest delivery of important products on the last mile to human Needs.”
Daniel Senft, Senior Managing Partner at Coatue, said in a statement: “Just a few months after their Series A, we wanted to lead the Series B round for Gorillas. The Gorillas team was incredibly inspiring. Their speed of execution and exceptional efficiency in building the product vision was downright outstanding. “
Senft added that his company is “fully convinced” in this area and that he and his colleagues “firmly believe that the Gorillas team will dominate on a global scale”.
Amazon Reality Check
While Amazon is huge in the US and many other countries, it’s not that well established in some corners of Europe and much of Asia. In fact, the tech giant has only set up online shops for around 17 countries around the world.
Amazon launched its first Nordic online shop in Sweden with the domain name Amazon.se last October, but there is no equivalent in Norway or Finland. This means that customers there have to make purchases through Amazon stores in other European countries such as Great Britain (Amazon.de).
While Amazon isn’t known for grocery delivery, it has invested in both grocery and take-away deliveries. Amazon sells groceries on its platform in supermarkets such as Whole Foods as well as in Morrisons and Booths in the UK
While there was a special take-away app called Amazon Restaurants, it closed due to fierce competition.
Amazon has invested in the London-based company Deliveroo and carried out a financing round of USD 575 million for a share of 16% in May 2019. Deliveroo has also started delivering groceries in the past few months as part of the coronavirus pandemic.