- Instant delivery firm Jokr announced Tuesday it has raised $170 million in Series A capital from several global investment firms, including GGV Capital, Balderton Capital and Tiger Global Management.
- Jokr plans to use the funding to fuel its growth in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. The company launched in New York City in June, where it now operates 10 fulfillment hubs, and offers delivery from nine cities worldwide.
- Tech investor Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, has joined the company’s board, according to the announcement.
Tuesday’s funding announcement marks yet another vote of confidence from investors for the quick commerce model as it expands across major urban markets worldwide.
Jokr is determined to be at the head of the pack racing to secure customers and build fulfillment hubs in cities like New York, where quick commerce firms have been rapidly growing of late. The company, which sells groceries and other instant-need items, opened for business in the city last month, and now operates eight fulfillment spots in Manhattan plus one in Long Island City and another in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood.
That tracks with Jokr’s expansion in cities abroad like Mexico City; Lima, Peru; Bogota, Colombia; and Vienna, where it collectively operates 100 fulfillment hubs offering delivery within 15 minutes. The company's overall order volume is doubling every two weeks, according to Tuesday’s announcement, as it opens roughly one new fulfillment hub per day.
Jokr didn’t specify its global expansion plans in its latest release, but in early June it noted that it plans to open in four more U.S. cities by the end of this year, including Boston. A company spokesperson said Tuesday that California is another market where it plans to soon establish a presence.
In addition to widely known brands across categories like snacks and beverages, quick commerce firms are also seeing high demand for locally sourced products among their city-dwelling clientele. Jokr noted that more than half of the goods ordered on its platform come from local businesses. Gopuff co-founder Rafael Ilishayev, meanwhile, said in a recent podcast interview that local products are “an extremely strong lever for stickiness with customers.”
Despite the frenetic expansion and deluge of capital surrounding it, instant delivery firms haven’t yet convinced e-commerce experts of their disruptive power given their high operational costs and the as-yet unproven demand for delivery in less than 30 minutes.
In an interview with Grocery Dive last month, Zachary Dennett, a former Walmart e-commerce manager who is overseeing Jokr's U.S. launch, admitted the company, which doesn’t charge delivery fees or have order minimums, is focusing primarily on acquiring customers.
“We're building the business for the customers, and then we need to solve for the economics,” he said.
But Dennett said ultrafast delivery is undoubtedly meeting a major customer need that existing online grocers aren’t.
“With 1- or 2-hour delivery, the consumer is still planning in advance. That’s not a customer-centric number — it’s the fastest that the mainline grocers are able to do it with their existing infrastructure,” he said. “What we've seen as we've launched in other countries, and what we're starting to see in our early testing in New York, is that 15-minute delivery changes the way you shop.”