- Ultrafast grocery delivery startup Buyk has made its debut with the launch of 15-minute service in New York City, according to a press release.
- Currently available in Manhattan, Buyk offers grocery items, along with household essentials, personal care and pet supplies, relying on couriers on bicycles to deliver the orders. The service does not have delivery fees or order minimums.
- Buyk, which is backed by $46 million in seed funding, is the latest entrant to the competitive field of ultrafast delivery firms cropping up in the Big Apple.
As New York City sees an explosion of ultrafast delivery companies, Buyk is looking to stand out in part by relying on its real-time, in-house technology, the company's co-founders told Grocery Dive.
For example, Buyk, which has an order weight maximum of 26 pounds for each courier, has the ability to split larger orders up between multiple couriers if needed. Its technology allows it to fulfill orders within two minutes and then deliver them in between five and 10 minutes.
Buyk is competing in New York City against Gorillas, 1520, Fridge No More, Jokr and other delivery companies that have already entered the space. The city is the top market in the United States for the company to enter because multiple ultrafast delivery companies are vying for customers there and, combined, account for just 1% of its grocery market, Buyk Chief Product Officer and co-founder Rodion Shishkov said.
Along with leveraging efficiencies from its technologies, Buyk makes its money from the margins on its products and uses the money saved by renting small locations that don't need to be in prime spots for foot traffic to invest in employee costs, the co-founders said. By the end of the year, Buyk plans to launch private label offerings with more than 100 SKUs in categories like meat and pasta.
Currently, Buyk is available in most of Manhattan, with plans to reach all of New York City’s boroughs by the end of 2021. Next year, the company plans to arrive in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C., along with undisclosed locations in California and Florida, CEO and co-founder Slava Bocharov said.
Buyk has six dark stores that serve Manhattan, each with 2,000 to 3,000 SKUs, the co-founders said, likening the dark stores to convenience stores. “The absence of the cashier zone and the additional height [of product shelves] enables us to fit the same assortment as the convenience store in half the size of the store,” Shishkov said.
The maximum delivery radius is approximately 1 mile from each dark store, Shishkov said. The company plans to open another six dark stores next month, and by November, have several dozen more opened, Bocharov said.
Buyk relies on a mix of contractors and its own workforce and has more than 500 couriers and over 100 office workers, they said. Leaning into the gig economy, Buyk offers flexible schedules for its hyperlocal workforce and has already seen some employees working eight-hour days, while others take on shifts lasting one, two or more hours.
Shishkov and Bocharov previously created Samokat in Russia in 2018, turning it into a massive instant grocery delivery company in that country, and aim to repeat their success with Buyk. Bocharov previously worked at Magnit, one of Russia’s largest food retailers, while Shishkov developed a logistics platform used by Russia’s national postal operator.