Startups

Delivery app Glovo secures $169M funding


International delivery app Glovo has secured a $169M Series D funding round. The round was led by technology entrepreneur VC Lakestar, and Drake, owner of global pizza franchise Papa John’s, with support from new investors; Idinvest Partners, European private equity and venture capital firm, and Korelya Capital, supporting the growth of European start-ups.

The startup, which recently launched in Nairobi says it will use this injection of funding to bolster its growth within the Sub-Saharan Africa market.

Speaking during the announcement of the funding, Priscilla Muhiu, the firm’s head of marketing for Sub-Saharan Africa said that the move aims at improving their response to customers. “Glovo is committed to taking its tech capabilities and systems to the next level. We will use this opportunity to grow our team of tech experts to create a smarter and more efficient experience for customers and reduce waiting time for Glovers,” said Mrs. Muhiu. “We also intend to expand our footprint across Sub-Saharan Africa, with new operations in Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania,” she added.

Glovo hopes to ride on the rising number of smartphone users in Kenya which stands at 47 million. “Being the latest smartphone-centred business to launch in Kenya, we hope to leverage the high level of smartphone penetration in Kenya to boost our growth,” said Mrs. Muhiu She went on to add that Glovo will also invest heavily in growing delivery categories beyond food, including groceries, drinks, gifts and courier.

With the new funding, Glovo will also invest heavily in growing delivery categories beyond food, including laundry, alcohol, pharmacy products and groceries. To accelerate the growth of these categories further, the startup is investing in its groceries vertical, building dark supermarkets; enabling groceries to be delivered to customers within 20 minutes of placing the order.

The stores stock up to 1,000 items for Glovers to collect for customers in Barcelona and Madrid. This round of investment will fuel the expansion of these supermarkets across priority markets and help Glovo deliver a superior experience to customers worldwide. Glovo will also be focusing on its new project – Cook Room – customer free spaces specifically designed to help partners cater to orders in an efficient way. Glovo has opened up Cook Rooms in cities in Spain with aspirations to expand these dark kitchens globally.

“Glovo continues to scale rapidly and we have big ambitions for this round of investment. Our main priority is to invest in our people – our team have been fundamental to our success to date and as we grow we need an even bigger team of engineers to meet the demand we’re experiencing.”

“Our aim is to lead in every market we enter and provide an on-demand experience that delivers for our customers, Glovers and partners. We believe innovations such as dark supermarkets, as well as our appetite to innovate to provide everything through one app for city dwellers, gives us a significant competitive advantage in the market for the year ahead.” Oscar Pierre, Co-founder and CEO of Glovo said.

Last year Glovo raised $134M in Series C from Seaya Ventures, Cathay Innovation and Rakuten Capital, with funding to date of €285M ($322M).

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I write about tech, business and African startups. Founder and Editor For TechTrendsKE. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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