Glovo raises €5M for on-demand delivery in Europe

A new Postmates-like service is gaining traction in Spain, France, and Italy

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
August 11, 2016
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On-demand ain’t dead yet.

Glovo, a Barcelona-based on-demand delivery service, today announced that it has closed €5 million ($5.6 million) in Series A funding from Antai Venture Builder, Seaya Ventures, Entreé Capital, Caixa Capital Risk, Bonsai Venture Capital, and several of Glovo’s previous investors.

The round was first reported by TechCrunch, but I've also confirmed the news directly with Glovo.

An all-purpose, on-demand delivery app, Glovo lets you order from nearly any kind of establishment, including restaurants and fast food joints, pharmacies, gift shops, grocery stores, and more. The app even has an “Anything” tab, encouraging the idea that its users can order literally anything.

Glovo co-founder and CEO Oscar Pierre told TechCrunch that non-food items, including electronics and pharmaceuticals, make up 50 percent of the company’s orders. That’s interesting because the company’s counterpart in the U.S. (Postmates) initially did all kinds of delivery, but has lately seemed to focus exclusively on meals. That could have something to do with the extensive prevalence of hefty on-demand delivery services from Amazon and Google.

"We see ourselves as the leaders of this revolution and that is why, within a few months, we will be able to deliver anything a user might need in 25 minutes and for a delivery cost of between €0 and €2,” said Pierre in a prepared statement.

As with other apps of this sort, the entire purchase is handled within the app through Stripe, so there’s no cash required to complete payment. And the customer can track their "glover" (or courier) in real time while the order is on the way.

Also similar to other on-demand delivery apps, Glovo makes a big play to attract couriers to its platform. Couriers can use any means of transportation available to them (motorcycle, bike or car), work as independent freelancers on their own schedule, and can earn up to €10 (approximately $11.10) per hour.

Today, Glovo is live in five European cities, including Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia (in Spain), Paris, and Milan.

In Europe, the company faces competition from Jinn a London-based service that earlier this year closed a $7.5 million Series A round led by Samaipata Ventures with participation from Elderstreet, Bull Partners, and existing angel investors. At the time of its funding, Jinn was only live in London and Manchester, though it had plans to expand to other regions in Europe. So far, it looks like it has added service in three additional UK locations (Canary Wharf, Edinburgh, Birmingham) as well as its first on the continent (Madrid).

In the U.S., the big name in on-demand delivery is Postmates, which has raised nearly $140 million in outside capital. The company has brought its service to dozens of cities across the country and has planned to roll out in Europe too, but hasn’t yet acted on these plans.

Notably, Glovo backer Entreé Capital also has a stake in Postmates, so there’s potential for a partnership or even acquisition between the two companies at some later stage.

Glovo will use its new funds to drive expansion in its current three markets—France, Italy, and Spain—and to continue developing the platform.

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