Quiqup, a London-based on-demand delivery startup, raises £20M Series B

Quiqup, a London-based delivery startup that operates a “shop on your behalf” app similar to Jinn in Europe or Postmates in the U.S., in addition to a growing B2B business, has raised £20 million in Series B funding.

Leading the round is Jobi Capital, a New York-based fund, with participation from Transmed, a leading distributor of fast-moving consumer goods, and existing investors.

The company says it plans to use the new capital to expand to other U.K. cities beyond London, and to “kick-start” international expansion.

It also will invest heavily in its tech platform, including recruiting more engineers and data scientists, to improve its algorithm. This will enable Quiqup to provide better delivery estimates and to anticipate demand patterns, co-founder and CEO Bassel El Koussa tells me.

Founded originally to let consumers order anything from its app for local same-hour delivery, and with an initial emphasis on food, Quiqup has since expanded its proposition to become vertical agnostic and to providing last-mile delivery to businesses, too.

The B2B offering takes the form of “Quiqdash,” a web app that allows smaller retailers to instantly order or schedule a delivery, or a full API integration service that incorporates Quiqup’s delivery service into large retailers’ e-commerce solutions.

The latter is currently being used by 25 or so Burger King restaurants in London as one of a number of delivery companies powering the takeout giant’s online ordering and delivery option.

Quiqup has also partnered with Whole Foods in London to be their sole online ordering option via the Quiqup app, as well as ventured into non-food verticals such as independent florists and pharmacists.

El Koussa says that the B2B side of the business now makes up around 45 percent, up from 40 percent in January. He also says there are a number of other partnerships with large retailers that he is unable to disclose at this point in time.

Adds the Quiqup founder in a statement: “As consumer expectations change, retailers of all sizes and verticals will be expected to offer flexible, efficient, and affordable delivery services. Time is a precious commodity for today’s consumer and Quiqup was created to help people make more time for what they enjoy most. Today’s investment brings us one step closer to our goal of bringing on-demand delivery to the mass market, and we’re thrilled to have Jobi and Transmed join us on this venture, as well as to have the continued support of our existing investors.”

Meanwhile, Quiqup says that since launch it has experienced 170 percent growth year-on-year — as meaningless as a percentage metric is — and has delivered more than 550,000 orders. The startup has a headcount of more than 110 employees, and more than 2,000 self-employed couriers, dubbed “Quiqees,” have signed up since the company was started.

As a reference point, consumer rival Jinn recently announced that it has surpassed 1 million completed deliveries since launching in late 2014. It also disclosed that 5,000 couriers are registered with the Jinn app and about 1,000 are active on a monthly basis.