Greece’s Pop Market, another dark store grocery delivery startup, gets $3.5M – TechCrunch


Make method for but another ‘quick-commerce’ participant in Europe’s closely heating on-demand grocery area: Pop Market is a Greek startup which launched final week in Athens — taking orders through and app and touting 15min delivery instances and a curated number of “thousands” of things (together with recent fruit and greens).

The seed spherical, which Pop Market claims is the nation’s largest seed increase up to now, was led by Global Founders Capital and 468 Capital.

W3Techy can verify the startup has raised $3.5 million in seed financing to push its vertically built-in, dark store-based on-demand grocery mannequin in a rustic the place it says on-line grocery buying stays largely untapped.

Pop Market cites knowledge indicating that grocery retail in Greece was valued at €11.3BN in 2020 — but factors to analyst estimates suggesting lower than 2% (roughly €163.3M) is at the moment on-line, which it suggests displays a “huge gap” between buyer expectations and what current options out there supply, because of poor buyer expertise (corresponding to lengthy delivery instances, excessive costs and improper or lacking gadgets).

Squeezing that hole by delivering a slicker grocery service to Greeks — fulfilled by means of its personal community of metropolis heart dark shops — is Pop Market’s first focus. Although it additionally claims it has worldwide ambitions. (Albeit, it is going to be going up in opposition to a lot of very effectively resourced opponents elsewhere in Europe — relying on the place it’d search to develop.)

Even on house soil Pop Market has Delivery Hero-owned efood to cope with (and Delivery Hero is now an investor in Berlin-based dark store operator Gorillas). Finland’s Wolt can also be energetic out there.

“The biggest players in this market today are efood and Wolt. While both offer groceries, mostly through partnerships with traditional chains, the reality is that their roots are deep in the restaurant food delivery industry which largely affects how customers perceive them today,” suggests Pop Market co-founder Nick Telecki.

“What makes Pop special is that we are 100% focused on offering the fastest delivery of grocery, convenience and retail products. Being the only fully-dedicated ‘Quick-Commerce’ platform in the market is the only way to truly offer an unparalleled customer experience and capture consumer mindshare. Just look at Germany as an example, where Gorillas and Flink have grown tremendously in such a short amount of time, despite the presence of giants like Takeaway (Lieferando) and Wolt.”

Telecki argues that for on-demand groceries Greece is underserved vs “heated battlegrounds” in Western Europe, including that its first focus will subsequently be on its house market.

“The fact that online grocery penetration is only 2% presents a massive opportunity for us,” provides founder & CEO Takis Malavetas. “If you look Greece holistically, the delivery market is rather more mature in comparison with many different international locations in Europe. When it involves groceries particularly, there continues to be massive hole between buyer expectations and what current options out there supply, typically together with lengthy delivery instances, excessive costs and improper or lacking gadgets. That makes groceries the final however largest piece of the retail puzzle that has but to transition on-line.

“Having said that, the industry’s growth in the last few years has still been phenomenal with the first six months of 2021 up 150% compared to the year before. The biggest change we’ve been seeing in this online shift is that customers are breaking away from the planned weekly trip to the supermarket and are looking for more-frequent, yet smaller purchases. Those are habits that continue to be underserved in the market and our focus is to cover those daily occasional needs.”

Pop Market’s co-founders have prior expertise in on-demand grocery delivery, with Malavetas having beforehand been concerned in organising Home Run and Convibo within the UK, whereas Telecki was a member member of Delivery Hero’s international technique crew till lately.

If the pair can scale a home enterprise quick sufficient they might see an opportunity to exit to a bigger large like Telecki’s former employer. But requested about this the startup saved its playing cards near its chest, saying solely: “We’ll evaluate any opportunities as they come, but our ultimate goal is on building a strong consumer business with best-in-class retention.”

In the in the meantime, the seed funding will probably be used to spin up Pop Market’s home dash, with a plan for speedy enlargement throughout Greece — constructing out its nascent community of dark shops, scaling the provision chain and rising the crew.