Pop Market in Greece, another grocery delivery startup in dark stores, gets $ 3.5 million – TechCrunch


Make way for another ‘fast-trade’ player in the heavily heated on-demand grocery space in Europe: Pop Market is a Greek startup that was launched last week in Athens – taking orders via and an app and boasting 15-minute delivery times and a curated selection of “thousands” of items (including fresh fruits and vegetables).

The roundtable, which Pop Market says is the country’s largest fundraiser to date, was led by Global Founders Capital and 468 Capital.

TechCrunch can confirm that the startup has raised $ 3.5 million in seed funding to push its vertically integrated, dark-store-based on-demand grocery model in a country where it says online grocery shopping remains largely untapped.

Pop Market cites data indicating that the retail sale of groceries in Greece was valued at € 11.3 billion in 2020 – but indicates that analysts’ estimates suggest less than 2% (around 163.3 million euros) are currently online, which he says reflects a “huge gap” between customers. expectations and what existing solutions in the market offer, due to poor customer experience (such as long delivery times, high prices, and wrong or missing items).

Closing this gap by offering a more polished grocery service to Greeks – provided through its own network of dark city-center stores – is Pop Market’s primary goal. Even if it also claims international ambitions. (Although it faces a large number of very well-endowed competitors elsewhere in Europe, depending on where it might be looking to grow.)

Even on its soil, Pop Market has to contend with e-food owned by Delivery Hero (and Delivery Hero is now an investor in Berlin-based dark store operator Gorillas). The Finnish Wolt is also active in the market.

“The main 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 run deep in the restaurant meal delivery industry, which largely affects how. customers perceive them today, ”suggests Nick Telecki, co-founder of Pop Market.

“What makes Pop special is that we are 100% focused on delivering the fastest grocery, convenience and retail products. Being the only fully dedicated “Quick-Commerce” platform on the market is the only way to truly deliver an unmatched customer experience and capture consumer opinion. Just take the example of Germany, where Gorillas and Flink have grown enormously in such a short time, despite the presence of giants like Takeaway (Lieferando) and Wolt.

Telecki argues that for on-demand groceries Greece is underserved compared to “heated battlefields” in Western Europe, adding that its primary focus will therefore be its domestic market.

“The fact that online grocery penetration is only 2% represents a huge opportunity for us,” adds Founder and CEO Takis Malavetas. “If you look at Greece holistically, the delivery market is much more mature than many other countries in Europe. When it comes to grocery shopping in particular, there is still a big gap between customer expectations and existing solutions in the market, including long delivery times, high prices, and wrong or missing items. This makes grocery the last but the biggest piece of the retail puzzle that has yet to make the transition online.

“That said, the growth of the industry over the past few years has always been phenomenal with the first six months of 2021 up 150% from the previous year. The biggest change we’ve seen in this online shift is that customers are breaking away from the planned weekly trip to the supermarket and looking for more frequent, but smaller purchases. These are habits that continue to be underserved in the market and our goal is to meet these occasional daily needs. “

Pop Market’s co-founders have prior experience in on-demand grocery delivery, with Malavetas having previously been involved in setting up Home Run and Convibo in the UK, while Telecki was a member of Delivery Hero’s global strategy team until recently.

If the pair can grow a domestic business quickly enough, they could see a chance to quit for a bigger giant like Telecki’s former employer. But when asked about it, the startup kept its cards close to its chest, saying only, “We will assess any opportunities as they arise, but our ultimate goal is to build a strong consumer business. with the best retention in its class. “

In the meantime, the seed funding will be used to kick off the nationwide Pop Market sprint, with a plan to expand rapidly across Greece – expanding its nascent network of dark stores, evolving the supply chain and expanding. the team.

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