UK Grocery Delivery Startup Dija Raises $20 Million in Funding

By Bruce Harpham Saturday, March 20, 2021

Dija, a new UK startup business, has announced a seed funding round to build its grocery delivery business. Founded in November 2020, the young company has set a new standard for speed. The business offers grocery delivery in ten minutes in London. The delivery startup will compete against Deliveroo, 24 Hour Alcohol, and GrabFood (a same-day delivery company).

Paper bag with groceries.

Dija Acquires Genie Delivery

Instead of focusing its resources exclusively on internal development, Dija acquired Genie Delivery. Announced on March 17, the acquisition immediately gives Dija an advantage in the competitive delivery market. Genie Delivery, also based in the United Kingdom, offers delivery of snacks, drinks, and essentials in fifteen minutes. Genie Delivery earns revenue by charging a fixed fee of £2 ($2.79) per order. Unlike Dija, which focuses on London, Genie Delivery focuses on serving Cambridge, which has a population of just 123,000.

The Funders Growing the Business

With a total of $20 million US in funding, Dija is positioned to grow its grocery delivery service. Dija’s initial funding has come from Blossom Capital, Creandum, and Index Ventures. Index Ventures, an international venture capital firm with offices in London and San Francisco, has a portfolio that includes several companies that have gone public like Adyen (stock ticker AMS: ADYEN), Mimecast (NASDAQ: MIME), and Pure Storage (NYSE: PSTG)

Where the Founders Learned the Delivery Business Model

While Dija is a new company, the founders know the rapid grocery delivery business model well. The business was founded by Alberto Menolascina (previously the head of growth at Deliveroo and senior manager at Just Eat) and Yusuf Saban (previously chief of staff to the CEO of Deliveroo).

Deliveroo is a food delivery service in the United Kingdom founded in 2013. The delivery company has since expanded internationally to Australia, Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Singapore, and Spain. Amazon has invested over $500 million in Deliveroo, and the delivery startup has been valued at more than $7 billion. The company has stated that it plans to go public later in 2021.

How Dija Stands Out From the Competition

Many companies offer same-day delivery services for groceries and other products. Dija has distinguished itself from other options by developing a guarantee. First, the delivery company offers grocery delivery in ten minutes to locations within its service area. In the event the business fails to meet that standard, there is compensation from the company. According to UK Tech News, “If the order doesn’t arrive in 10 minutes, the company will deliver groceries free for the next three months under the terms of their no-quibble turnaround guarantee.”

The time-based delivery guarantee has been used in the past with great success. Domino’s, a global pizza brand with more than 6,000 locations in the United States (US), promised to deliver pizza in thirty minutes or the order was free. However, sustaining that promise proved difficult. In 1993, the company ended the thirty-minute delivery guarantee after a company delivery driver hit a person. Sustaining a ten-minute grocery delivery standard in a large city like London as the business grows will be a critical strategic challenge for the startup company.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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