Four months after bootstrapping a London launch, which saw its co-founders initially jumping on a scooter to deliver customer orders themselves, local on-demand delivery app Jinn has raised a modest seed round of $200,000, to be used primarily for customer acquisition. Thus far the startup says it’s doing around 1,000 orders per month, with little to no money spent on marketing.
“It is remarkable how viral our growth has been,” Jinn co-founder Leon Herrera tells me. “Our mobile-first approach has definitely helped us reach popularity among affluent millenials, mostly young professionals and students. Unlike other competitors, who offer a set range of items or restaurants, our customer can get any item from anywhere on demand. This is certainly very catchy and that’s why everyone tells their friends about it.”
Currently targeting some of the more affluent postcodes of London, Jinn’s local on-demand delivery app for iOS and Android doesn’t rely on a set catalog of products or stores but allows you to simply write what you want and where you want it bought from, with the aim to have it delivered in under an hour. It does this by relying on a network of professional couriers and charging a £5.95 delivery fee plus 10 percent of the purchase.
“People are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of having anything they might be in need of in just a single tap,” says Herrera. “We also come in very handy when our users want food from restaurants that do take-away but not delivery, because we allow users to get their favourite meals and treats wherever they are.”
Perhaps the metric that got investors most interested, however, is repeat business. “A major driver of our growth is our user loyalty,” adds Herrera. “It looks like our customers become addicted to the magic lamp! At the moment, our average user orders every 10 days. On average, our users have spent £150 using the service.”
That said, Jinn’s very modest seed round comes at a time when much better-funded competitor Tok Tok Tok is thought to be eyeing up London as its next stop after its home turf of Paris, and U.S.-based Postmates, which is funded to the tune of a hefty $22 million, has also hinted at a potential expansion to the UK capital, though that hasn’t materialised thus far.
Today’s backing in Jinn comes from a number of individual investors including Doug Scott (founder of dicountvouchers.co.uk), Lawrence Marlor (founder of rentalcars.com, which was acquired by Priceline), Peter Thornton (owner of VroomVroomVroom.com), Andrew Weisz (ex-Goldman Sachs) and Simon Bichara (ex-Barclays). Aside from a small investment as part of being accelerated by Ignite100, this represents Jinn’s first external funding round.