Getir – the new on-demand grocery delivery unicorn

What is seven-years old, raised more than half a billion dollars in its latest funding round and is currently worth more than food delivery apps Deliveroo and Grubhub, as well as UK supermarkets WM Morrison and Marks and Spencer? It is Turkey’s second unicorn – Getir, an online grocery delivery start-up, offering delivery services in 10 minutes, which is now expanding throughout Europe with its eye set across the Atlantic.

Getir was founded in 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey, where it operates around 500 dark stores across 30 cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, offering a selection of around 1,500 items from micro-fulfilment centres spread around the city. With the outbreak of the pandemic and lockdown measures in place, consumers turned to online delivery services like never before. According to the Guardian, more than $14bn has been invested in the market since the start of last year. This resulted in in a five-fold revenue growth in 2020 for Getir, as well as a doubling of its footprint across Turkey. In its third investment round in 2021, the company raised $555m.

Its first funding round was in early 2020, where it raised around $38m, with investments from Michael Moritz, the Managing Partner of Sequoia Capital, and unnamed investors in Brazil and Turkey, according to MENAbytes. In a Series B round in January 2021, the company raised another $128m, which put its valuation at about $850m at the time. In mid-2021, and its latest funding round, it raised an additional $555m, which was led by existing investors including Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, joined by a number of global blue-chip investors such as Silver Lake, DisruptAD and Mubadala Investment Company and large, diversified asset manager on the West Coast. This brought its 2021 investments to nearly $1bn and a valuation exceeding that of Deliveroo and Grubhub.

The latest investments have been invested towards its expansion in several European cities, with the newest target being the United States, by the end of the year.

It launched in London in February 2021, with plans to expand its UK operations further to include Birmingham and Manchester. According to UK Tech, Getir currently serves 45% of London, predominantly zones 1, 2, 3 from 28 dark stores and intends to eventually expand over 15 cities across the country with 90 dark stores.

In May 2021, Getir expanded into the Netherlands, starting in Amsterdam, and the following month, it began operating in Paris and Berlin, as it pushed forward with its expansion plans.

As Getir gears up to dive into the US market in the last quarter of 2021, it will have established itself in six countries. And there is some urgency in its endeavours too. The Financial Times cites Nazım Salur, Getir’s Chief Executive, “The reason we raised so frequently is because we decided to go to the US this year rather than later. Suddenly a lot of clones are popping up everywhere. If we don’t take care of business, others will.” However, in the same article, Tim Bradshaw reports, despite sceptics towards the rapid delivery model, Salur remains optimistic and confident, stating that “traditional supermarkets and grocery delivery pioneers such as Ocado […], will soon be eclipsed by Getir’s model of hundreds of ‘dark stores’ and electric mopeds. ‘Scheduled delivery is BlackBerry,’ said Salur. ‘We are the iPhone.’”

Recently, the European online grocery market has become a busy place and competition intensified. Start-ups such as Germany’s Flink, which raised $240m, Dija, Gorilla, and JOKR are only a few of the competing companies. Even though Getir is the one of the oldest and has raised the highest investments among its peers, competition is stiff. The crowded market is already rumoured to see some acquisition activity in the future, likely acquirers could be food delivery companies like Deliveroo or Glovo.

Source: Transport Intelligence, June 29, 2021

Author: Dila Cebeci