Flink Grocery Startup
Instant grocery delivery continues to be a very frothy market, but today comes news of a major funding round for one player in it that investors believe will still be standing after the hype has died down.
Flink, the Berlin-based startup that sells food and other essentials at supermarket prices and aims to deliver them in less than 10 minutes, has confirmed that it has raised $750 million, a Series B round of funding led by a strategic backer, DoorDash, made at a pre-money valuation of $2.1 billion ($2.85 billion post-money).
Flink is already present in some 60 cities across four countries, where it covers 10 million customers; the plan will be to use the funding to continue growing that footprint, both organically and potentially by snapping up rivals (we have confirmed that most of the round is in equity, with a small portion in debt for acquisitions).
The involvement of DoorDash — which went public in December 2020, has a market cap currently of just under $57 billion and is making its first foray into Europe with this investment (a €7 billion deal to buy Wolt in Finland has not closed; projected date for that is the second half of 2022) — was a badly kept secret in this fundraise, with reports of the investment emerging several months ago. We can confirm that DoorDash’s investment officially closed in September, with the rest of the round completed in the months following.
What’s remarkable when you consider the size of the funding is that Flink has only been around for a year, and commercially active for just seven months. In a rare interview — the company has been media-shy up to now — CEO and co-founder Oliver Merkel said he believes that part of the reason Flink has attracted attention among what is a crowded field of instant delivery startups is because of the founders’ track records. Merkel spent years as a management consultant at Bain working in grocery and retail; co-founders Julian Dames and Christoph Cordes are Rocket Internet alums who respectively founded the Foodora food delivery startup and furniture e-commerce business Fashion for Home
“I think what we bring and why could we win market leadership in such a short amount of time is because we are obsessed about how we do things… and we bring some experience to the table. We made so many mistakes elsewhere, and we hope we’ve learned from those,”Oliver Merkel – CEO and CO-Founder
DoorDash had originally come to Berlin last summer looking at investing in Gorillas, one of Flink’s big rivals, but that deal fell through over differences between the two companies’ management styles and longer-term growth plans. So, DoorDash began talking with Flink, where it turned out executives were more aligned in their strategies and approaches to growth.
Flink Grocery Startup