Dija: London startup launches 10-minute grocery delivery with £14.4M seed funding

Dija Image credits: Dija

The online grocery industry is gaining momentum during the ongoing pandemic and as more and more consumers are habitual of shopping this way. According to research from Capgemini, 56% of UK consumers expect to get online deliveries at least once a week by 2021.

Also the country-wide lockdown has actually accelerated this shift and consumers have compelling reasons to switch from the neighborhood grocery stores to online. 

London’s Weezy promises to deliver groceries in just 15 minutes. At the same time, Turkish online grocery delivery startup Getir is another company that has launched its rapid delivery service in London recently. 

Dija in London

Now, Dija is the newest company on the block that aims to revolutionise the already overpopulated UK grocery shopping market and it is now live in London. 

Founded by former Deliveroo executives Alberto Menolascina and Yusuf Saban, the launch follows a $20 million (approx £14.3 million) seed round investment from Blossom Capital, Creandum, and Index Ventures. 

Alberto Menolascina, co-founder & CEO at Dija told UKTN, that they will “use the capital to build out their team with the best talent in the retail and technology space, as well as scale operations, technology infrastructure and plan expansion.”

Image credits: Dija

Delivery within 10 minutes!

According to the company’s policy, users can order groceries and have them delivered to their homes within 10 minutes. If the order doesn’t arrive in 10 minutes, Dija will deliver groceries free for the next three months under the terms of their no-quibble turnaround guarantee.

Menolascina explains, “What’s different about Dija comes down to our experience and dedication. My co-founder and I have been in the food delivery space for a while now. Thanks to our time at Deliveroo, and my experience founding Everli (a same-day grocery delivery company in Italy), we deeply understand what people want when it comes to groceries and food. This experience is coupled with our dedication to providing a quality, reliable and speedy service. Our 10-minute delivery guarantee is central to this commitment to always provide exceptional service to customers. This will ensure Dija stands out against the competition.”

To guarantee speed and reliability, Dija uses data to improve efficiency and spot buying patterns so that its customers do not have to put up with substitutions or missing items. Through Dija, customers will be able to buy branded food and non-perishable items, as well as fresh produce.

Menolascina, says: “Gone are the days of fighting for online slots, damaged goods, and disappointing substitutions. Dija is here to change every hassle we experience with the weekly shop. We are making this time-consuming and unsatisfactory experience simple, speedy, and reliable. Dija combines brilliant execution with bespoke technology to create an exceptional experience for customers across the UK, freeing up their time and energy by delivering what consumers want, when they want it.”

Yusuf Saban, co-founder, and COO at Dija also added: “ Grocery stores aren’t designed to facilitate the fast fulfillment of orders, rather they are designed for browsing. We have put a 10-minute delivery speed and consummate reliability at the front and centre. Our hubs are designed so that pick and pack and fulfillment is the fastest possible.” 

Plans to open 20 more hubs

Currently, Dija operates in South Kensington, Fulham, Hackney and will open 20 more hubs covering areas including Clapham, Wandsworth, Acton, Islington, Mayfair, Stockwell, and Clerkenwell by summer. 

“Right now, the team is around 50 people, but we’ll be scaling our headcount further in the coming months as we prepare to launch what will become the leading on-demand grocery delivery service in the UK,” says Menolascina

Dija is now available on Apple’s App Store and will shortly also be available for Android.  

Successful trials, investing in e-bikes, and more

As per the company, trials of Dija in South Kensington and Fulham have seen customers quickly convert to regular shoppers, who use the service to satisfy their everyday grocery needs. 

Up to 40% of daily orders are placed by returning customers, and the service is top-rated by 95% of customers, resulting in 300% order growth since launch.

The startup is investing in its own fleet of e-bikes to improve the sustainability of the delivery service. The company is so confident in its ability to deliver exactly what is requested in the allotted time, that it is offering customers free deliveries for three months, if it does not.

Ophelia Brown, the co-founder at Blossom Capital, said: “Dija has the potential to be a $100bn+ company. The food delivery sector has boomed over the past decade, taking nearly a quarter of all VC funding. But Blossom only backs people with the experience to be global leaders in any industry. With Dija, we were impressed with Alberto and Yusuf’s experience and their unique perspective on how to create a viable solution to one of the most arduous of tasks, grocery shopping. We truly believe that Dija will be the leader in this space and we’re excited to be working with them to make this a reality.”

Georgia Stevenson, Principal at Index Ventures, the backers of Deliveroo, Just Eat and Good Eggs, said: “Dija is helping to reignite our love of cooking. Removing the friction and time costs around recipe planning, enables consumers to cook what they want, when they want. With Dija, we can be as spontaneous when it comes to home cooking as we are with ordering last-minute restaurant deliveries. We’re excited to work with the former Deliveroo team on this new and exciting venture.”