German e–commerce pioneer Ralf Wenzel‘s quick-delivery retail platform Jokr, which has gone live in seven countries since launching barely four months ago, raised $170 million from investors to power growth. The bumper Series A funding round was led by Silicon Valley investor GGV Capital, London-based Balderton Capital, and the prolific Tiger Global Management.
Wenzel, a Delivery Hero and Softbank veteran, has styled the business as an “Amazon on steroids” and, with revenue doubling every two weeks, is on a high-speed mission to bring 15-minute delivery to the Americas and Europe. “We truly believe that the world needs a new Amazon. There is an opportunity to create a faster Amazon, a more personalized Amazon, a more sustainable Amazon, and a more local Amazon,” said Wenzel.
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Jokr’s business model focuses primarily on providing quick deliveries. The app offers every kind of product found in supermarkets, convenience stores, and pharmacies, as well as exclusive local products. Currently, Jokr is present in São Paulo (Brazil), New York (USA), Mexico City (Mexico), Bogota (Colombia), Lima (Peru), Warsaw (Poland), and Vienna (Austria).
In Brazil, Jokr is represented by Daki, a 100% digital marketplace with deliveries in up to 15 minutes. To perform the quick delivery, Daki adopts the dark stores model – warehouses optimized for picking and packing express of selected products and delivery radius reduced to a few kilometers. Thus, the startup can assemble the orders and operationalize the delivery in minimal time.
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With only six months of operation, Daki plans an expansion in Brazil that involves more than 100 mini distribution centers by the end of 2021, expansion of the product portfolio, and investment in technology. For now, the startup operates only in São Paulo city.
“Jokr is a young startup, which, like us, was born at the beginning of the year with a business model concomitant to Daki’s. There is nothing better than joining forces and knowledge to also reach other markets and continue revolutionizing retail, making it more instantaneous, democratic and sustainable”, explained Rafael Vasto, CEO of Daki.
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By acting as a retailer rather than a marketplace, Jokr can order more merchandise directly – cutting out middlemen and achieving strong margins that mean its earliest locations are already breaking even on a fully-loaded cost basis.
“We grew significantly faster than what we thought, but the fast growth was not on the back of significant burn or discounting,” Wenzel said. “The fast growth was backed by a lot of organic momentum – very strong word of mouth, very strong retention rates, very strong stickiness.”