Due to the ongoing pandemic, hyperlocal online grocery sales have exploded globally, and the UK is no behind this surging trend. After, Weezy, Dija, Bother and many others, another one has joined the bandwagon, ready to deliver groceries to shopper’s doorsteps in 15 minutes, without minimum orders or substitutions.
Dubbed as Jiffy, the UK-based startup has also raised £2.6 million ($3.6m) in an initial seed-funding round this week. Led by venture capital fund LVL1 Group, the first investment round for the startup was also attended by AddVenture, TA Ventures, Vladimir Kholiaznikov, also angel investors including Oskar Hartmann, Alexander Nevinskiy and Dominique Locher.
What’s unique about Jiffy?
Headed by a team with extensive experience in online and offline retail, including former managers from Sainsbury’s, Deliveroo and Revolut, Jiffy’s first dark store will open in London this month offering a total range of 2,000 SKUs.
Lev Leviev, the founder of LVL1 Group, commented: “Online express grocery delivery is a relatively new concept. It is gaining traction around the world and disrupting traditional neighbourhood convenience store shopping. Executing hyperlocal delivery requires a combination of online e-commerce and sophisticated offline retail and logistics expertise.”
The first areas Jiffy will be available in will include Westminster, Waterloo, Lambeth, Battersea, Clapham Town, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Hackney, Whitechapel, Stepney Green.
Talking about the USP, Artur Shamalov, founder of Jiffy informs UKTN, “We aim to combine the best of both the online and offline worlds. We offer the speed and convenience of an online Q-commerce infrastructure with the kinds of fresh, high-quality products you would normally get in a convenience store, all at standard retail prices with no premium markups or expensive delivery fees. We believe this offering is quite unique. In a nutshell, Jiffy is an online supermarket where you can find fresh, high-quality produce, but you no longer have to queue for half an hour to enter the store.”
Launch 20 ‘dark stores’
The company plans to launch a further 20 local fulfilment warehouses – known as ‘cloud stores’ or ‘dark stores’ – across the UK later this year. It is already negotiating the next investment round to make its ultrafast grocery delivery service available across the UK. The company also claims to have first-term sheets signed as it sees major interest from international investors.
Jiffy investor Dominique Locher commented: “As a first-generation digital pioneer back in 1998, I was actively reshaping and transforming traditional food retail. But even 20 years later, today’s e-commerce delivery times are within a few hours at best. Shoppers’ needs are therefore not fully met through existing online services – customers have still to go to a classic corner store for their immediate needs.
“The next generation of e-commerce is all about speed and convenience, as Q-commerce brings small batches of goods to customers almost instantly. This category offers a tremendous opportunity that has gone largely untapped, and I am thrilled by the Jiffy team’s ability to tackle this challenge with energy and profound experience.”
Jiffy’s first cloud stores will launch in London in 2021, with further plans to expand across the UK. Its founder and director, Arthur Shamalov, has built and scaled eight foodtech and e-commerce companies. The team behind Jiffy has extensive online and offline retail experience, including managing 600 stores and providing a super-fast delivery service that can fulfil 2,000,000 customer orders per month.
Commenting on the team’s growth and hiring plans of the company, Shamalov reveals, “We are growing as a team very quickly and we’ll have around 55 employees by the end of this month. We are planning to accelerate the hiring as we expand and open new stores across London and the UK. The great thing about our hyper-local business model is the ability to offer store managers, pickers, and riders to work locally. Jiffy delivery crew is working within 2 miles radius, and can always come back to the store for a break or to have a snack. It’s very different from the working environment delivery services usually offer.”