In the latest development, Flink  a Berlin-based on-demand “instant” grocery delivery service built around self-operated dark stores and a smaller assortment (2,400 items) that it says it will deliver in 10 minutes or less has raised $240 million to expand its business into more cities, and more countries, on the heels of strong demand.

Flink  which means “quick” in German  is currently active in 24 cities across Germany, France and the Netherlands. It hasn’t disclosed how many active customers it has, but it targets younger consumers, those with small fridges, those who have forgotten items in their bigger shops, and people who simply don’t want to or can’t shop in the old-style of once every one or two weeks. Flink says it’s currently on a pace of activating operations in a new area every two days, it said.

“We are on a mission to give people back some of their valuable time during their hectic days and impress them with our service every time they order,” said Flink CEO Oliver Merkel  who co-founded the company with Julian Dames and Christoph Cordes  in a statement. “We want to establish Flink as the top destination for their day-to-day goods at great prices and with instant delivery by our amazing riders. The order growth we have seen over the past weeks has been explosive and we attribute that to the excellent service we are providing to our consumers.”

The size of this all-equity Series A is extraordinary considering that company only launched in December last year. The company is not disclosing its valuation but one person close to the company said it’s “not a unicorn yet.” (Not worth $1 billion on paper, that is.)

The round is being co-led by Prosus, BOND, and Mubadala Capital; and it comes with a very interesting deal attached.

The opportunity for a new startup to get into the market for food  and in this case specifically grocery  delivery, is an interesting one at the moment.

On one hand, we’ve been through a year where many cities across Europe have been under shelter-in-place orders, pushing many more people to turn on online food ordering to get essential things delivered to their doors.

That is to say, demand  at least under current circumstances  has been more than proven out, with many of the biggest providers completely buckling under pressure with crashing sites, very few or no delivery slots available and many items out of stock on a too-regular basis.



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