Gorillas, a Berlin-based startup that aims to provide groceries and other daily necessity products on-demand, has acquired $290 million in Series B funding, valuing the company at more than $1 billion.
Gorillas claim it will honour its driver team and warehouse workers with $1 million in incentives after being one of the quickest European companies to reach so-called "unicorn" status. However, the company isn't revealing how this one-time incentive is distributed to employees, and it's unclear if the reward is in cash, shares, or a combination of both.
In May of the previous year, Gorillas Inc. was established in Berlin by Jörg Kattner and Kaan Sümer and has spread to over 12 cities, including Munich, London and Amsterdam. With an estimated delivery time of 10 minutes, the company allows its customer to order food and other home products on request. To perform this, it employs a vertical or "dark shop" model, in which it establishes 40 micro fulfilment centres throughout the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Germany. Consumers will pay only around $2 per delivery and can choose from over 2,000 important products at retail rates.
As per CEO and co-founder Kağan Sümer, the setup believes that the weekly supermarket run is out of date as people's lives are becoming more unpredictable. As a result, there has been a shift in the shopping patterns. He further mentioned that exposure to supermarkets has grown, and the amount of storage available for Gorilla to stock products has shrunk as people in cities live in smaller spaces.
Sumer points out the significance of Gorilla by targeting the increased need for groceries during the pandemic. If one can purchase apparels and jewels online and get them delivered to their house, the same person can even expect to get basic necessities online. Be it a big weekly shopping list or any small item, Gorillas enables consumers to provide what they want and whenever they need it.
The firm's services could attract only the traditional customer base initially as it was a completely new experience, and the application was accessible only in English. Since then, Gorillas acquired a very large and highly loyal potential audience. It has met a rapid geographical extension and could appeal to everyone who used to visit the supermarket. Gradually, Gorilla's basket size is increasing as they build confidence in its items and service provided. At the same time, consumers incorporate a larger portion of their traditional supermarket purchases into their Gorillas orders. Fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables and items from local producers are included in its basket.
Coming to the finances lifted, Sumer states that Gorilla will put money into maintaining a healthy work climate, rider safety, and a good career development programme. Besides, each rider will earn a one-time payment. Concurrently, dark store rivalry is heating up in cities like London, where Gorillas recently grew and is a major hub. Companies are issuing coupons and offering significant discounts to attract customers quickly. In contrast, venture capitalists are pouring large sums of money into a room where unit economies aren't yet confirmed.