Miki Kuusi, CEO and co-founder of Wolt.
Wolt, a food delivery app extended to grocery and retail stores, has raised $ 530 million as it tries to take on Amazon.
The six-year funding round in the company was led by ICONIQ Capital, which also invested in Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and Zoom. This brings the total investment in the business to $ 856 million. Wolt, who has not disclosed his latest assessment, said he will use the money to “continue to expand beyond restaurants.”
Miki Kuusi, who founded Wolt in 2014 in Helsinki, told CNBC: “Our mission is to empower local restaurants and other physical operators to have the tools at their disposal to provide a better e-commerce experience for their customers. local than what their massive foreign competitors are capable of doing today. “
He added: “We are confident that the next wave of e-commerce will move from same week and same day delivery to delivery within the next 30 minutes or so. This is what we are looking to build in all of our markets, starting with the restaurant. ”
When Wolt launched in Helsinki in 2015, it only had 10 restaurants on its platform and a small handful of downloads. In 2016, Wolt had approximately 100,000 app users and 450 restaurants.
Today, Wolt has more than 10 million users in 129 cities in 23 countries. It claims to have 27,000 restaurant and retail partners, 50,000 couriers and 2,000 employees.
While Amazon is huge in the United States and many other countries, it is not as well established in parts of Europe and large parts of Asia. In fact, the tech giant only has online stores dedicated to around 17 countries around the world.
Amazon launched its first Nordic online store in Sweden last October with the domain name Amazon.se, but there is no equivalent in Norway and Finland. This means that customers have to make purchases through Amazon stores in other European countries such as the UK (Amazon.co.uk).
But as Wolt seeks to take on Amazon, Amazon is also encroaching on Wolt’s territory: restaurant deliveries.
Amazon invested in Deliveroo in London, leading a $ 575 million fundraising round in the company in May 2019 in exchange for a 16% stake. Deliveroo has also started delivering groceries in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic is causing people to think twice before leaving their homes.
Amazon also sells groceries on its platform from supermarkets like Whole Foods, as well as Morrisons and Booths in the UK.
Increase capital during the coronavirus
Kuusi of Wolt said it took the company less than three weeks to close the new round of funding.
“We went from the first calls to signing a session sheet in about two and a half weeks,” he said.
Tiger Global, DST, KKR, Prosus, EQT Growth and Coatue have joined as new investors. Existing investors 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, EQT Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners also participated.
Kuusi is also the founder of European technology events company Slush. Slush has gone from a gathering of 300 people in Helsinki in 2008 to one of the world’s biggest tech events – in which more than 30,000 people attended each year before the coronavirus pandemic.