Getir, the Turkey-based startup that has built a $ 7.5 billion business from a mobile app that allows consumers to buy food and receive it in minutes, has grown its business so far organically – by targeting urban markets in Europe (and soon the US) where you are disrupting the well-stocked corner store with service that requires even less effort and time on the part of the average shopper. Now, it is changing that strategy with its first acquisition to break into three more countries.
The company is acquiring Blok, another “instant delivery” food service based in Barcelona. The financial data for the deal is not being disclosed, but from what I understand, Blok (formerly called Huvi Technologies) was bootstrapped, fairly new and small (launched only in February 2021), and was already buying.
Founded by Vishal Verma, Hunab Moreno and Varun Kapoor, Blok operates in Spain and Italy, where its main markets were Madrid, Barcelona and Milan. Portugal was on their roadmap before Getir, and will be launching there soon too. More than 120 employees will join Getir as part of the deal.
Getir has been around since 2015 and is profitable in Turkey thanks to a combination of services that started with their fast delivery, but has since expanded to other categories such as broader grocery options (GetirMore, with longer lead times), delivery in restaurants (GetirFood), local businesses. delivery (GetirLocals), and… water delivery (GetirWater).
That has given it the boost from Getir which it is now using to expand its flagship fast grocery model to other markets such as the UK. I see their mopeds in my neighborhood in London all the time: the Netherlands, Paris and Berlin. The hundreds of millions that were raised this year (Getir has raised around $ 1 billion in total now) will also be used to bring the company to the US market, where it will go head-to-head with local rivals in the same space, such as GoPuff. .
But while he may be one of the first to move and arguably the best in capital letters, Getir is by no means the only player of his kind.
The European market is positively crowded right now with startups that are building services around the same basic principles of super-fast delivery on a variety of around 1,500 products, generally much smaller than what you might find in a grocery store. (17,000 is a normal number there), and closer to what you could get in the kind of small quick-stop market that exists in urban centers in Europe.
These startups, which include Flink, Gorillas, Glovo, Zapp, Dija, Cajoo, Weezy, and many others, have collectively raised hundreds of millions of dollars, but still less than $ 2 billion, Getir’s CEO and co-founder estimated to me. , Nazim Salur. scale your operations.
Acceptance has been quite enthusiastic, partly driven by the pandemic and the fact that many people have been living under stay-at-home orders, or are simply willing to stay out of public places to minimize the spread of Covid-19; but also driven in part by achieving good traction among millennial consumers and other younger consumers, who have really gotten used to using their mobile phones for all practical tasks, which turn into leisure activities when they are turned into apps.
Before COVID-19, Getir was experiencing annual growth that tripled, and some years, like 2017, the company was five times, Salur said. “During Covid we also grew 5x, but without it, it would have been 4x. It accelerated our growth, but Covid is not the main reason people use us. It is mainly because we are a great convenience. It means that we can grow. In Turkey, life has returned to normal, but every month we continue to grow. ”
Still, it’s a big enough market for all these players, we’ve already heard of at least one struggling to raise more to compete – capital is key, given the balance of logistics and delivery, dark stores to store items, having items to sell, not to mention stiff competition. and he is looking for a buyer as a result.
In that context, it might not come as a surprise to learn that Blok hadn’t raised any notable funding on his own and while he had developed some technology and a team of people, it was ready to sell less than six months after launch.
“We are very excited to join the pioneers of ultra-fast delivery in our common goal of leading the on-demand grocery market in Southern Europe,” said Verma de Block, in a statement.
“This is the way we operate,” Salur, who co-founded the company with Serkan Borancili and Tuncay Tutek, said in an interview. “But, it is a free market and if there is a good reason, a solid good reason, we might consider it. We will not look for ten different companies in this world, but if the right opportunity presents itself, we will talk to people. “