Grocery delivery start-up Gorillas hits unicorn status

26 Mar 2021

Image: Paleworks

The Berlin-based start-up surpassed $1bn in valuation following a mega funding round with Tencent among its investors.

Gorillas is an on-demand grocery delivery start-up that promises ultrafast deliveries in as little as 10 minutes. It was founded in Berlin in 2020 by Kağan Sümer and Jörg Kattner, and has already hit unicorn status.

The start-up has just received $290m in Series B funding, with Chinese tech giant Tencent among its backers, bringing its valuation to more than $1bn.

Other participants in the round included DST Global, Green Oaks, Fifth Wall and Dragoneer, as well as previous investor Coatue Management which led the funding round.

This latest round of funding follows a $44m Series A round in December 2020 and an earlier seed round.

In a LinkedIn post, Gorillas said the company could not believe how fast it would reach these milestones.

“This has only been possible because of the incredibly hard work of our rider crews, our teams in the fulfilment centres and the rest of the Gorillas family. Because of this, the riders and warehouse crew will benefit from a $1m distribution following our new Series B round of $290m,” it said.

Gorillas promises to deliver fresh groceries in 10 minutes on average by using hyper-local fulfilment centres or ‘dark stores’, similar to the dark kitchens that operate as delivery-only restaurants.

The company currently operates in several cities including Amsterdam, London and Munich, with more than 40 micro-fulfilment centres.

Gorillas also employs its delivery drivers, a major differentiator to other food delivery companies such as Deliveroo, which has come under scrutiny for how it operates its gig economy model.

The new funding will be used to further drive growth as Gorillas looks to expand to more than 50 cities, including Paris and New York City.

Company founder and CEO Sümer said he wants to change how grocery shopping is seen by its users. “It’s not a chore, but a fun task that results in healthy and fresh food choices,” he said.

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic