Back in November, the entry of fast-delivery grocery player Rohlik in Romania was signaling the potential of a growing market for convenient shopping. The newest player is Germany-based Grovy, the first 10-minute instant delivery company to enter the Romanian market, and a startup with increasing presence in Central and Eastern Europe. A recent $3M fundraising round in convertible notes led by Lighthouse Ventures, based in Czech Republic, is fuelling Grovy’s expansion to CEE.
Headquartered in Frankfurt, Grovy launched earlier this year, with offices also in Mainz. By now, it is also present in Poland, Czech Republic, and Romania.
Essentially, Grovy offers 10-minutes delivery for over 2,000 products including fresh food, packaged food, and non-food items, as a faster and more comfortable alternative to supermarket shopping.
The German market, however, has already been home to strong market players, which is why the company is looking to expand to CEE and Eastern Europe, where they can be ahead of the trend. In Germany, Gorillas and Flink already reached a unicorn status in less than one year of operations. Flink announced the achievement earlier this month, after raising a $750 million Series B.
Elsewhere in Poland, another instant delivery player, Lisek, serves large areas in Warsaw and Krakow, having built a network of dark stores to handle orders. And in Czech Republic, fast-delivery grocery player Rohlik has experienced continuous strong growth, recently raising a $100M Series C, and becoming a unicorn.
In Eastern Europe, the opportunity for instant delivery, or quick commerce – in 15 minutes or less – in Romania is largely still untapped. Currently, the company delivers in 3 areas of Bucharest, in a 2.5 km range. They plan to open 15 dark stores in the capital, and halve the range of distribution.
Grovy aims to steer clear of the market noise with the first instant-delivery-only proposition. Another area where they focus efforts is reducing environmental impact. The company delivers only on e-bikes and uses only paper bags for packaging. The delivery fee is also lower than other delivery providers with €1.95 in Germany and €1 in Romania.
Tapping the potential for instant delivery in the Romanian market
Grovy’s main competitors in Romania are fast-delivery commerce players – and a good number of them. The market is abundant with companies racing for fast delivery – in 1 hour or less. The quick spread of grocery delivery companies was encouraged by the increasing demand for convenient shopping, and the switch to e-commerce. Many local grocery retailers have been partnering with delivery companies to serve this growing segment.
Spanish quick commerce startup Glovo is one of the strongest local players, recently consolidating its position by acquiring delivery service foodpanda from Delivery Hero. They also acquired Spanish delivery app Lola Market.
Aside from partnering with restaurants and big supermarket chains in Romania, Glovo recently opened their own micro fulfillment centers, or dark stores, under Glovo Express. They are aiming for 15 units across key cities and a product range of 2,500 groceries by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, French retailer Carrefour partners with delivery company Bringo. Recently, they launched a 30-minutes delivery across selected stores in two Romanian cities.
At the beginning of 2022, a new player will be joining the market for same-day grocery delivery, as Italian company Everli announced its plans to open offices in Bucharest.