- Talk about fast — tech startup Weezy has launched 15-minute grocery delivery in the heart of London, according to Tech Crunch.
- The firm, which just raised $1.3 million in pre-seed funding, uses bicycle and electric scooters to deliver to the city’s Fulham and Chelsea districts. Customers can order groceries, many of them locally sourced, as well as household goods through Weezy’s app. Delivery costs around $4, and the order arrives in 15 minutes on average.
- Weezy operates a single fulfillment center currently and plans to open up to 15 more in London before expanding further in the U.K. Among the company’s backers is Ocado’s former head of retail and an early funder in Australian delivery firm Deliveroo.
Weezy’s 15-minute promise is a way to stand out amid London’s fiercely competitive home delivery race. But it also highlights the growing focus on delivery speed as more consumers have become reliant on online grocery.
From FreshDirect to the corner grocer, food retailers across the U.S. are lighting up same-day delivery amid the pandemic. Many offer service in as little as an hour, and some have evolved to offer 30-minute delivery. This includes Farmstead in San Francisco, and Kroger, which has piloted a Rush delivery service in Cincinnati. 7-Eleven last year tested 30-minute delivery to public places like parks and beaches.
In suburban markets, shoppers are showing a strong preference for curbside pickup service. In cities, however, delivery promises to become even more of a free-for-all. Uber drivers will soon be delivering groceries in cities across the country, and this week DoorDash launched a service called DashMart that, like Weezy, specializes in speedy delivery of small orders.
An arms race for faster delivery times could develop in this environment, though it’s not yet clear that 30-minute delivery offers a competitive edge over one-hour delivery, or that a 15-minute delivery would trump all.
More than anything, news about Weezy and DashMart points to a growing competition for small fill-in trips that most grocery services don’t promote. Weezy co-founder and CEO Kristof Van Beveren told U.K. trade publication The Grocer that the service quickly built hundreds of orders without publicity after it quietly launched earlier this year. It’s currently doubling its customer signups every week.