The instant grocery delivery sector has had its share of ups and downs over the last few years. Startups that sought to deliver groceries and other small items to customers within 30 minutes or less saw the same rush of capital, and the resulting inflated valuations, in 2021 as many other categories did. Now they are crashing back down to earth alongside them.
But unlike other categories, where economic conditions had more to do with demand fluctuations and the broader sector’s decline, instant grocery delivery companies seem to have a bigger problem: their business model.
Last year was fractious for the sector. Fridge No More and Buyk, both focused on the U.S., closed down for good in 2022, and other startups in the space have struggled to fundraise. Gorillas was sold to Getir at the end of last year for €1.1 billion, less than the $1.3 billion it had raised until then. Getir is also rumored to be raising money at an even lower valuation than its last cut in December, according to the Financial Times.
But not all quick grocery delivery companies are struggling. Indeed, those that have continued to grow in 2023 all have something in common: They aren’t focused on Western Europe or the U.S.