What is Gorillas?
Gorillas is a German startup that has developed an app and service which delivers on-demand groceries across the cities of Berlin and Cologne. For consumers, the process is extraordinarily easy and seamless. All one has to do is download the Gorillas’s app, order the specific groceries desired at retail prices, and the food or goods will show up within just 10 minutes. The relative ease and rather impressive speed that the company can provide for customers is based on a series of business practices that set the startup apart from the many different services offering a similar product. For starters, Gorillas does not operate on a gig economy model. Instead, it directly employs the delivery workers, ensuring that there is never a staff shortage due to high demand hours or lack of active delivery drivers during off-peak hours.
Another major difference for the company is where the food is coming from. Again, instead of relying on traditional grocery stores for their delivery workers to collect from, the startup instead has local fulfillment centers that serve as a base of operation. These fulfillment centers are not open to the public to simply shop at but instead serve specifically as food storage for the company’s operation.
Gorillas is not meant to replace weekly large-scale grocery shopping but instead supply all of the items that would fall outside of that category. For instance, specific ingredients when cooking a meal or specific foods that might not be found at a traditional grocery store are the types of products that fall much more in line with Gorillas’s intended market.
The company only charges a €1.80 ($2.19) delivery charge on top of largely retail grocery prices, making its use rather cost-effective. Considering the startup’s popularity and success in its application so far in Berlin, many investors saw a major opportunity to break in before Gorillas expands.
Gorillas’ Funding and Company Plans for the Future
In Gorillas’ Series A funding round, the startup raised an impressive $44 million. The funding round was led by Coatue with participation from a variety of other unnamed European investors and firms. Two members of Coatue, Daniel Senft and Bennett Siegal, will join the board at Gorillas as part of the company's major investment. This funding, along with additional board members, pairs extremely well with the startup’s plans for the future.
Through the use of the newly acquired capital, Gorillas plans to start expanding throughout Germany, and eventually the rest of Europe, with Amsterdam being pegged as the first of the non-German cities. The startup hopes to be operating in 15 cities across the continent with 60 fulfillment centers by the end of Q2 in 2021. While scalability has been a concern for many people, Gorillas seems set to slowly roll out in a manner that can sustain itself quite well — while maintaining the same level of service seen in Berlin.
The on-demand delivery grocery market is growing significantly in 2020, and while it may not see the same levels of growth after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, there is little doubt that it will continue to expand. The company is hoping to fill that demand as best as it can. By taking a different approach than many other delivery services, the startup offers a faster and relatively cheaper product to its consumers that has garnered significant attention. The addition of $44 million should certainly help Gorillas continue to expand its operation within Germany and eventually expand the company throughout the rest of Europe.
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.