Early-stage brands should also unlock the power of influencers

They’ve made waves on every screen and have been sponsored by nearly every major brand, from Charli D’Amelio x Hollister to MrBeast x Honey. And they’re only multiplying.

If influencers aren’t part of your early-stage growth marketing plan, it’s time to get on board. When companies think of how to rapidly increase their reach and revenue, paid acquisition is always at the top of the list. But there are other important pillars in a growth marketing engine, such as leveraging lifecycle marketing, cultivating organic reach via SEO and doing later-stage brand marketing.

Influencer marketing isn’t solely for big brands; it’s for every brand. If influencers aren’t part of your growth marketing plan, it’s time to get on board.

However, an often overlooked tactic for new brands is influencer marketing. If the value and power of influencer marketing were widespread knowledge, we would see more of an uptick. And it doesn’t help that we have a supply-constrained pool of marketers who understand how to unlock this lever.

Influencer marketing spending from 2016 to 2021 (predicted). Image Credits: Jonathan Martinez

This marketing tactic is only growing. So let’s demystify influencer marketing, learn how to couple it with a little-known paid marketing hack and uncover the numerous mediums to leverage influencer assets. After three years at Postmates (which nailed influencer marketing), being a YouTuber myself in 2008 and advising startups, I’ve unlocked the power of influencer marketing and want everyone to do the same.

Starting out

If there’s one key piece of advice to take from this column, it’s that influencer marketing isn’t solely for big brands. It’s for every brand. As you start to formulate your growth strategy, make sure to include an influencer pillar as part of the plan.

When reaching out to influencers, it’s a sheer numbers game in capturing their attention and pitching your brand, but there are myriad ways to increase response conversion. Below are the cold message components you must nail down before reaching out to influencers:

  • Your brand pitch.
  • An enticing offer.
  • Clear next steps.

The one constant with influencers is the high number of messages they receive from fans and brands alike. If you’re at the marketing stage, nailing your pitch should hopefully be natural at this point, so utilize what you’ve crafted and condense it down to a sentence or two.

What are your brand’s key value propositions, and why should influencers care? To show them, relate your brand to their category, to their style and to the content that they post.

After the pitch, an irresistible offer needs to follow — something that’s the opposite of this: “I’ll send you a few samples of our protein bars.” The conversion rate will be a freakishly low tenth of a percent with that offer. Instead, make your offer enticing and utilize one of these structures: fixed fee, fixed fee + performance or performance.

Depending on budget and risk tolerance, there are a few ways to structure an influencer offer: paying a one-time fixed fee, paying for each conversion (CPA performance basis) or a hybrid of the two.

#apps, #brand-management, #column, #ec-column, #ec-ecommerce-and-d2c, #ecommerce, #growth-marketing, #hellofresh, #influencer-marketing, #marketing, #social, #social-media, #tc

Lollipop AI launches online grocery marketplace where you can build your own recipes

As I’ve taken to online grocery shopping over the pandemic, I’ve always wondered why supermarkets didn’t offer simple ‘recipe’ features that would have automatically collected items for a homemade meal. It seemed an opportunity missed. But it is missed no more.

Lollipop AI, the new British online grocery marketplace, is launching its public beta today to do that, and it’s been created by a serial UK entrepreneur who was there at the start of successful UK startups Osper, Monzo and Curve.

Founder and CEO Tom Foster-Carter has envisaged a platform allowing people to build meal plans from recipes, assembling the ingredients automatically into their shopping basket, and suggesting remaining household essentials. He says could well help with health goals, improve culinary skills and minimize food waste. Built as a marketplace, it will be partnering with Sainsbury’s and BBC Good Food with more partners and fulfillment will be completed by retail partners. The business model will be taking a small commission from retail partners, allowing selected advertising, e.g. from CPG brand owners, and a Paid Premium tier later this year.

The site will be free to use, while a premium tier is planned. The first ten thousand Beta testers to sign up to the waitlist will be offered access to premium features “for life”, says the startup, which will offer prices at the same rate as normal supermarkets.

Foster-Carter, who had the idea after having a baby and realizing he was spending hours trying to use a normal supermarket, says the approach will save several hours a week for the average household. (We will briefly overlook the fact that a man had to create a site like this after doing the weekly shop…). Lollipop claims 80% of households spend over an hour a week meal-planning and online grocery shopping.

Lollipop MealPlanner

Lollipop MealPlanner

The founding team includes former employees of Monzo, Farmdrop, Amazon, Sainsbury’s and HelloFresh, such as cofounders Chris Parsons and Ib Warnerbring.

Although Foster-Carter is coy about how much he has raised for this approach, he says he has raised a pre-seed round backed by JamJar Investments, Speedinvest, and a “raft of grocery/technology big hitters” including Ian Marsh (former UK GM of HelloFresh) and former leadership and founders of online grocers in the UK and abroad plus ‘super-angels’ Charles Songhurst and Ed Lando.

In particular, the site is likely to appeal to people looking to lose weight, as meal planning would be simpler, and may even have an impact on recipe-box startups.

Lollipop is not alone in its ambitions. Jupiter.co in the US bills itself as “groceries on autopilot”; Jow is recipe-led shopping, as is Side Chef; while Cooklist is a meal-planner + cooking support, also in the US.

Foster-Carter told me: “It’s a marketplace so we could partner with traditional supermarkets (Sainbury’s, Tescos, Waitrose etc) + online retailers (Ocado, Amazon), direct to farm / organic (Riverford, Farmdrop), mission-led single component (Oddbox, Milk & More, etc); recipe boxes (Gousto, Hello Fresh, Mindful Chef etc); and rapid delivery (Gorillas, Getir, Weezy, etc).”

He said: “This is just the start… The plan is to be the single place you go to for all your food needs – we’ll enable you to order your Deliveroo or restaurant kit (e.g. Dishpatch) from us. Groceries are delivered by our partners and then when it’s time to cook you’ll be able to use a cooking companion app (due out next month). In the future you’ll be able to improve your cooking skills through Lollipop.”

Few players have nailed the ability to buy a lot of items (50-100+) really fast, not even Amazon – this might be Lollipop’s USP, if it can crack it.

 

#amazon, #ceo, #curve, #deliveroo, #europe, #food, #food-waste, #grocery-store, #hello-fresh, #hellofresh, #lollipop, #monzo, #ocado, #online-food-ordering, #retailers, #rocket-internet, #tc, #tom-foster-carter, #united-kingdom, #united-states, #waitrose

Tyltgo’s same-day delivery platform lets small businesses compete with Amazon

Tyltgo wants to make it easier for restaurants and small businesses to compete with same-day delivery services offered by the likes of Amazon and HelloFresh. The Canadian company, which recently raised CAD $2.3 million (USD $1.8 million) in a seed round, is akin to a white label Uber Eats, providing businesses an on-demand delivery platform under their own branding that connects them to gig economy couriers.

“I think about us as a post-purchase experience company,” co-founder and CEO Jaden Pereira told TechCrunch. “The recipient goes directly onto the merchant’s platform and places orders through them, so it feels like they’re interacting with the brand they purchased from throughout the entire experience. Our messages, notifications, tracking pages and delivery are all customized under the merchant’s brand name, but it’s powered by Tyltgo.”

The necessity of having products delivered during the pandemic’s shelter-in-place orders combined with the massive reach of e-commerce giants like Amazon has created a society that expects same-day deliveries. Tyltgo recognized the exclusionary nature of that reality on smaller businesses with less time and fewer resources, and contrived to remedy the situation with some innovative tech and gig economy couriers.

In July 2018, Pereira, 22, co-founded the company with fellow student and developer Aaron Paul while studying at the University of Waterloo. Pereira originally did deliveries himself as a side hustle, while building up a consumer-facing service on Shopify. In October 2019, Pereira and Paul shifted focus to B2B, identifying the real problem as merchants struggling to offer quality same-day delivery at an affordable price.

From December 2019 to December 2020, Tyltgo’s revenue grew 2000%, says Pereira. The company started 2020 with two staff members and ended with nine, including former head of Uber Eats Canada’s marketplace operations, Joe Rhew, and former director of engineering at Goldman Sachs-acquired fintech company Financeit, Adnan Ali.

Aided by funding from VC firm TI Platform Management, Y Combinator and angel investor Charles Songhurst, Tyltgo projects another 1500% revenue growth for 2021. The company’s goal is to expand its team, develop an API and app-based platform, and add 100 more merchants across Ontario.

Pereira said Tyltgo originally focused on florists, and occasionally pharmacies, but demand from the restaurant industry led to the company’s new target — meal kit deliveries.

Meal kit services that provide the culinarily challenged with perfectly portioned ingredients and cooking instructions were already gaining popularity in the before times. When the pandemic hit, services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron saw even more growth. As restaurants struggled to keep their businesses open, many started to get in on the action, delivering restaurant-quality meals with instructions for heating and serving.

The global meal kit delivery services market is expected to reach almost $20 billion by 2027, with heat-and-eat options taking a large share of that market. Tyltgo is counting on the success of this industry. It has already secured partnerships with restaurants like General Assembly Pizza and Crafty Ramen, as well as with more traditional meal kit delivery services from grocery stores and organic farms.

Pereira said working in the “quasi-perishable space” of flowers and meal kits is both a challenge and a differentiator for the company. Depending on the contents of the delivery, Tyltgo will determine its perishability window and make sure to match that window with a driver. It’s also got an advanced fleet management platform that assigns a number of deliveries to suit the size of a courier’s vehicle.

“In the earlier days, the hardest part was being able to match those perishability windows without causing damage to the products,” said Pereira. “We all know that in logistics, you have to account for traffic, weather conditions, all these other things, but you have an eight hour delivery window to get out 35 deliveries.”

Another challenge is ensuring the top quality service Tyltgo advertises while working in the gig economy. Selecting for reliable couriers has slowed the company down at points, but Tyltgo aims to grow capacity only if it can simultaneously maintain a low error threshold.

“We won’t bring on a merchant if we don’t think we have the capacity to handle their deliveries and meet those expectations,” said Pereira.

Whether or not Tyltgo’s meal kit focus will end up driving scalability in the long run, the platform itself has legs. Pereira’s goal is to see Tyltgo become a part of every post-purchase customer experience for all retail trade categories, and that includes expanding into customer service, branding and transactions on top of delivery.

“The main reason why we’re doing this is because a lot of these smaller, brick-and-mortar retailers don’t have the time and resources to be able to compete with the Amazons of the world,” said Pereira. “We want to be able to put that power in their hands.”

#amazon, #blue-apron, #canada, #companies, #courier, #gig-economy, #hellofresh, #meal-kit, #mobility, #online-food-ordering, #shopify, #tc, #uber, #uber-eats, #university-of-waterloo, #y-combinator

European tech event mainstays Shift and TOA find new homes, new models, post-COVID

Given the pandemic, huge changes are being wrought in tech events, something which used to be the lifeblood of the industry. Many a startup has pitched to win funding, and many a hackathon has formed teams that went on to greater things. It’s a sad fact that this era is over, at least until the pandemic has fully passed, but this could take some time. Two significant European events have now had to change in order to carry their brands into new realms.

European breakout success story Infobip (which has raised over $200 million) was born out of Croatia. And so was the seminal developer conference Shift. With Infobipo needing that engineering community, and Shift needing a more stable home in uncertain times, it seems only natural that Infobip would put developers front and center of their company strategy with the acquisition of Shift, and appointing its founder and CEO Ivan Burazinto the board as Chief Developer Experience Officer. Shift will now form the basis of Infobip’s all-new Developer Experience department.
 
As Burazin said: “The vision was always to become one of the largest developer conferences in the world, and also to strengthen Croatia’s connection to the world of software developers. So now with the backing of a Unicorn and the freedom to keep working on independently – the vision seems to have finally become possible.”

He says Shift won’t disappear, but will now expand globally, first to the US and then to Latin America and southeast Asia, initially in remote events.
 
Infobip CEO Silvio Kutić said: “Infobip is on a growth trajectory to expand rapidly into the B2C vertical, or more specifically Business-to-Developer (B2D) space. Having Ivan on board with his experience as the founder of Codeanywhere, a B2D SaaS company, and creator of Shift, the largest developer conference in the region, will be an asset to us going forward.”
  
Meanwhile, a key startup and founder/investor-oriented conference “Tech Open Air Berlin” is also changing.

Tech Open Air (TOA), was known for its technology and startup festival, which attracted upwards of 20,000 people in Berlin every summer, but it has now pivoted into a new brand: TOA Klub. This will now be a “cohort-based learning and doing platform.” The 4-6 weeks of online programs will be aimed at help professionals progress in the tech industry.

TOA Klub will offer Founders Klub (for founders learning to startup); Investors Klub (for newbie investors); Crypto Klub (a “crash course in the crypto field”); and Co-Creators Klub (for founders looking to pivot and grow).

The first confirmed mentors and speakers include Rolf Schrömgens (Founder, Trivago), Dominik Richter (Founder, HelloFresh) or Jeanette zu Fürstenberg (Founding Partner, La Famiglia VC).

Nikolas Woischnik, founder of TOA said: “The world will come out of this pandemic having digitally aged by decades, not years.  The complexity of our business environment has greatly accelerated. At TOA this gives our long-time mission of “making people, organizations and the planet futureproof” ever more purpose. With the launch of Klub, it is time for us to leverage technology to deliver on our mission in a more impactful and accessible way.”

I for one am glad these greats brands have found new homes, because I know the brands and the founders both carry huge respect in the European startup scene.

#articles, #berlin, #business, #ceo, #codeanywhere, #croatia, #europe, #founder, #hellofresh, #latin-america, #south-east-asia, #startup-company, #tc, #trivago, #united-states

#Lesenswert – 8 spannende Startup-Good Reads, die ihr lesen solltet


Mit der Rubrik Lesenswert bietet deutsche-startups.de einen schnellen Überblick über aktuelle Meldungen, Artikel, Reportagen, Interviews und Hintergrundstorys zu Web- und Gründergeschichten, die andere deutsche und englischsprachige Medien oder Blogs verfasst und veröffentlicht haben. Den kompletten Artikel gibt es dann nur auf den jeweils verlinkten Medien.

Finleap
Finleap-Geschäftszahlen: Die Hoffnungsträger und Verlierer im Portfolio
Der ehemalige Company Builder Finleap hat seine Zahlen für das Jahr 2019 veröffentlicht: Erstmals lässt sich eine aktuelle Unternehmensbewertung ableiten. Zudem zeigt sich, auf welchen Beteiligungen große Hoffnungen liegen – und wer an Wert verloren hat.
FinanceFWD

FemTech
Diese Berliner Gründerinnen starten mit Produkten für Frauen durch

Die Bumble-Gründerin wurde mit der Dating-App zu einer der wenigen Tech-Milliardärinnen. Diese Gründerinnen bauen auch in Deutschland Unternehmen von Frauen für Frauen.
t3n

Abschalten
VR-Boxen und Mutti anrufen – so schalten Gründer abends im Homeoffice ab

Wichtiger als die Morgenroutine seien Rituale am Abend, sagt eine New-Work-Expertin. Gründerszene wollte von bekannten CEOs wissen, wie sie zuhause in den Feierabend starten.
Gründerszene

Klaus Hommels
Erster Mantel-Börsengang in Frankfurt: Das will Investor Hommels erreichen

Der Investor warnt vor dem Ausverkauf der europäischen Start-ups. Der IPO seines deutschen Spacs am Montag soll einen Wendepunkt für die Innovationsfinanzierung markieren.
Handelsblatt

NRW
Berlin, Berlin, wir ziehen nach Berlin

Die Gründerszene in NRW ist inzwischen deutlich ausgeprägter als noch vor einigen Jahren. Dennoch zieht es viele Gründer immer noch nach Berlin. Andere bauen dort zumindest eine Zweigstelle auf. Was hat die Stadt, was NRW nicht hat?
RP Online

B2B Food Group
Nach Entlassungen und Plattform-Aus: Rockets Catering-Gruppe sortiert sich neu

Vor zwei Jahren fasste Rocket Internet seine Catering-Startups zusammen, baute die Gruppe mit Übernahmen aus. Dann wurden fast alle Portale eingestellt.
Gründerszene

Heal Capital 
“Das schnelle Geld ist in der Gesundheitsbranche nicht zu holen”
Heal Capital beteiligt sich an Start-ups, die das Gesundheitswesen digitalisieren. Das Geld kommt überwiegend von privaten Krankenversicherungen. Worauf der Investor achtet, erklärt Geschäftsführer Christian Weiß.
WiWo Gründer

HelloFresh
Wenn Liefery nicht mehr liefert, will HelloFresh selber liefern
HelloFresh will das Aus von Liefery offenbar nutzen, um den eigenen Lieferservice auch nach Deutschland zu bringen.
Exciting Commerce

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #b2b-food-group, #femtech, #finleap, #heal-capital, #hellofresh, #klaus-hommels, #lakestar, #lesenswert

4 keys to international expansion

During my five years with Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet’s $1 billion VC arm, I saw more than a hundred of Rocket’s incubated companies attempt to internationalize. For background, Rocket Internet has helped launch some very successful businesses internationally, including HelloFresh ($12.9 billion market cap), Lazada ($1 billion exit to Alibaba), Jumia ($3.2 billion market cap), Zalando ($21.2 billion market cap) and many others. Rocket often followed the Blitzscaling model popularized by Reid Hoffman — earning them an appearance in his book of the same name.

After an initial success helping Groupon scale internationally via a merger with Rocket’s incubation firm CityDeal, Rocket’s team have aggressively scaled businesses from Algeria to Zimbabwe — sometimes in a matter of weeks. No surprise, Rocket also has a graveyard of failed companies that were victims of bad internationalization efforts.

Many companies make the costly mistake of launching abroad too soon.

My personal observations on Rocket’s successes and failures start with this crucial point: These learnings might not apply to your unique combination business model, market and timing. No matter how well you prepare and plan your internationalization, in the end you need to be agile, alert and smart as you dip your toes into your first foreign market.

Fail fast and cheaply

Internationalization can be a big driver of growth and consequently enterprise value, which is why investors always push for it. But going abroad can also destroy value just as quickly. As a founder, it’s your job to manage financial and operational risks. Finding the right balance between keeping costs in check and not underinvesting can mean doing things more slowly than your board would like. For example, you might launch new markets sequentially instead of rolling 10 out at the same time.

Adopt a “hire slow, fire fast” mentality for your expansion strategy. Don’t be afraid to pull the plug if things don’t work out.

Our team at Heartcore Capital use the following framework and learnings to guide internationalization strategies for our portfolio companies. A successful internationalization strategy needs to answer and address the “Four Ws”: When, Where, Which and With whom to internationalize. (Regarding the fifth W from journalism, you should not need to ask the “Why” question if you want to build a large business!)

1. When is the right time to start?

Many companies make the costly mistake of launching abroad too soon. They look at internationalization as a detached function, isolated from the rest of the business and then launch their second market prematurely. Follow this simple rule: Wait to internationalize until you hit product/market fit.

How do you know exactly when you’ve reached product/market fit? According to Marc Andreessen, “Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” He adds that experienced entrepreneurs can usually feel if they’ve reached this point.

Let’s take the man for his word and move on to the actual argument: Until you have product/market fit, you will not be able to distinguish between what you’ve learned from your business model and what you’ve learned from your in-country experience. Mistakes will compound. Complexities and costs will multiply. I contend that insufficient understanding of their business and operating model is the main reason why companies fail with their expansion strategies.

Founders should also consider the underlying costs of internationalizing before they decide to expand (more about this in the “What” section below). Some companies are global by default — think mobile gaming companies — or simply require language localization. Others need to build new warehouses, hire local teams or build entirely new products. The costs and respective risks of expanding prematurely depend heavily on the business model.

There are edge cases where companies need to move quickly to internationalize for strategic reasons — despite uncertainty about their market fit. For instance, companies like Groupon or those engaged in food delivery face winner-takes-most markets, where opportunities for product differentiation are limited. “Blitzscaling” makes sense in cases like these.

However, you should tread carefully if your only reason to start scaling abroad is a large fundraise or to match a competitor’s internationalization efforts. Scaling prematurely for the wrong reasons might just cost you your entire company.

When Rocket Internet announced it would launch the Homejoy model into European markets with Helpling, the American “original” company launched quickly in Germany in an effort to squash their new competitor. In the early days of “on-demand everything,” a managed marketplace for cleaning services sounded like the next unicorn in the making.

In 2013, Homejoy had a fresh $24 million Series A from Google Ventures and First Round — considered a huge round at a time when Instacart had just raised an $8 million Series A and Snapchat had done a $13 million Series A round. It must have seemed like a good idea to squash the German competition early.

As it turned out, Homejoy’s product was not yet ready to scale internationally. Just 13 months after launching in Germany, Homejoy had to cease operations globally, while Rocket’s Helpling is still alive and kicking. Helpling focused carefully on product, automation and making their unit economics work. A rush to crush an international competitor caused the demise of a would-be unicorn.

Homejoy expanded internationally in 2014 in a rush to squash a new German competitor Helpling. Their websites in 2020 show starkly different outcomes.

Homejoy expanded internationally in 2014 in a rush to squash a new German competitor Helpling. Their websites in 2020 show starkly different outcomes. Image Credits: Homejoy/Helpling

2. Where should you internationalize?

When deciding which new international market to tackle, it is vital to do your homework. Analyze the competitive environment, partner availability, infrastructure, culture, regulation and synergies with your home market.

In the early days of e-commerce, it was rather easy to analyze if a market was an expansion target. In the absence of professional competition, Rocket chose new countries based solely on GDP and internet penetration.

#column, #ec-entrepreneurship, #entrepreneurship, #global-founders-capital, #hellofresh, #helpling, #internationalization, #rocket-internet, #startups, #venture-capital

#DealMonitor – HelloFresh kauft Factor75 (für 277 Millionen) – ShowHeroes übernimmt Viralize


Im aktuellen #DealMonitor für den 23. November werfen wir wieder einen Blick auf die wichtigsten, spannendsten und interessantesten Investments und Exits des Tages. Alle Deals der Vortage gibt es im großen und übersichtlichen #DealMonitor-Archiv.

EXITS

Factor75
+++ Der börsennotierte Kochboxen-Anbieter HelloFresh übernimmt den Fertiggerichte-Anbieter Factor75. “Der Gesamtkaufpreis beläuft sich auf bis zu USD 277 Millionen, von denen bis zu USD 100 Millionen auf ein earn-out sowie auf ein Management-Incentivierungsprogramm entfallen”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. Factor75 peilt 2020 einen Umsatz in Höhe von rund 100 Millionen US-Dollar an. Factor wurde 2013 gegründet und gilt als “führender Anbieter für ready-to-eat Gerichte mit dem Fokus auf Gesundheit und Wellness”.

Viralize
+++ Das Berliner Startup ShowHeroes, ein Produzenten für Videos, die für mobile Einsätze und Social Media-Kanäle optimiert sind, übernimmt das italienische Unternehmen Viralize. “Das in Mailand, Florenz und Madrid ansässige Unternehmen ist ein führender Spezialist für Videotechnologie und -werbung in Südeuropa”, teilt das Unternehmen mit. ShowHeroes wurde 2016 von Ilhan Zengin, Mario Tiedemann und Dennis Kirschner gegründet

Achtung! Wir freuen uns über Tipps, Infos und Hinweise, was wir in unserem #DealMonitor alles so aufgreifen sollten. Schreibt uns eure Vorschläge entweder ganz klassisch per E-Mail oder nutzt unsere “Stille Post“, unseren Briefkasten für Insider-Infos.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

#aktuell, #factor75, #food, #hellofresh, #showheroes, #venture-capital, #viralize

As it delists, Rocket Internet’s ill-fated experiment with public markets is over

It was all supposed to be so different. When Rocket Internet IPO’d in 2014 it was the largest tech company floatation in Europe for 7 years. A year later it had lost $46m and it’s valuation had dropped by 30%. Since then the German start-up factory behind internet companies such as Delivery Hero, Zalando and Jumia has languished, in part because the reason for it’s existence – to provide growth capital for ‘rocket-fuelled’ startups – has ebbed away, as the tech market was flooded with capital in recent years. Today the company said it was delisting its shares from the Frankfurt and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges for just that reason.

Rocket’s market value has fallen from its high of 6.7 billion euros ($8 billion) on the day of its IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange to just 2.6 billion euros and is now offering investors 18.57 euros ($22.23) for each of their shares, lower than Monday’s closing price of 18.95 euros.

The company said it was “better positioned as a company not listed on a stock exchange” as this would allow it to focus on long-term bets.

In a statement, the company said: “The use of public capital markets as a financing source as essential [sic.] parameter for maintaining a stock exchange listing is no longer required and adequate access to capital is secured outside the stock exchange. Outside a capital markets environment, the Company will be able to focus on a long-term development irrespective of temporary circumstances capital markets tend to put emphasis on.”

Delisting, it said, will also reduce operational complexity when setting up new companies, “freeing up administrative and management capacity and reducing costs”.

Its investment division, Global Founders Capital, and CEO Oliver Samwer, will retain their stakes of 45.11% and 4.53% respectively, meaning the virtual shareholder meeting on Sept. 24 ask for shareholder approval to delist will be largely a formality. It has also launched a separate buyback program to secure 8.84% of its shares from the stock market. Although the decision to de-list makes sense, smaller shareholders will be burned, especially as Rocket is using its own cash for the buy-back.

The bets Rocket took, however, have of course paid off. For some. According to Forbes, Samwer and his brothers and co-founders Alexander and Marc are worth at least $1.2 billion each.

The Berlin -based firm became quickly known as a “clone factory” after Samwer famously conceded during his PHD that Silicon Valley had got innovation wrong by comping up with new ideas, and the ‘innovation’ would simply be to make existing models more efficient. The fact those existing models were usually dreamt up by other people never seemed to phase him.

Almost like clockwork Rocket produce clones of various guess for Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats and Airbnb. Its defence for this rapacious strategy was that it was simply adapting proven models for other markets.

Rocket would say it was merely adapting proven models for untapped local markets. Of course, the kicker was usually that the company would either scale faster globally than the original US-based startup, thus forcing some kind of acquisition, or that it would have its clones IPO faster. It did however produce some big, global, companies, even if they were not particularly original, including e-commerce firm Zalando, food delivery service Delivery Hero and meal-kit provider HelloFresh .

There have been successes. Jumia, the African e-commerce company, listed in April last year and when Rocket sold its stake earlier this year, it contributed tp Rocket’s net cash position of €1.9bn at the end of April.

But it has not benefitted from the recent stock market rally for tech companies, as it is overly exposed to e-commerce rather than pandemic-proof companies like Zoom .

For nostalgia sakes, here’s that interview I did with Oliver Samwer in 2015, just one more time.

#airbnb, #alexander, #amazon, #berlin, #ceo, #companies, #delivery-hero, #e-commerce, #europe, #food, #forbes, #frankfurt, #global-founders-capital, #hellofresh, #internet, #jumia, #kicker, #listing, #marc, #oliver-samwer, #retailers, #rocket-internet, #tc, #uber, #zalando, #zoom

Die Zeit ist reif für (neue) Online-Supermärkte!


Online-Supermärkte wie Amazon FreshBringmeister, Food.degetnowmyTimePicnic und Rewe verzeichneten während der Corona-Krise teilweise einen sprunghaften Anstieg an Bestellungen. Und auch Kochboxenanbieter wie HelloFresh, Lieferdienstevermittler wie Delivery Hero und die leicht angestaubten Altunternehmen Bofrost und Eismann profitierten zuletzt davon, dass viele Menschen in Deutschland den stationären Einzelhandel teilweise komplett gemieden haben.

Nicht immer konnten die unterschiedlichen Food-Lieferdienste dabei zwar die vielen Kunden-Anfragen bewältigen. So war es bei Amazon Fresh in den Hochzeiten mitunter schwer, überhaupt ein Lieferfenster zu ergattern. Zudem waren viele Produkte – auch abseits von Toilettenpapier – längere Zeit einfach nicht lieferbar. Die Hoffnung in der Branche aber ist groß, dass nun noch mehr Menschen dauerhaft Kunden der Online-Supermärkte und Lieferdienste bleiben.

Gute Zeiten somit für Startups sich im potenziellen Boommarkt breit zu machen! Und es drängen auch schon neue Startups ins Segment: Mit Gorillas rollt gerade eine Art fahrender Supermarkt auf die Straße. Das Startup verspricht eine Lebensmittel-Lieferungen innerhalb von 10 Minuten. schnellesachen versucht dagegen das gescheiterte ShopWings-Modell zu etablieren. Mal sehen, ob es jetzt Platz für ein Startup gibt, dass bei Lidl und Co. einkaufen geht.

Und auch Foodly, Juit Now, smark und Co. wollen ein Stück vom hoffentlich weiter wachsenden Lebensmittelsegment abhaben. Nicht alle Konzepte werden aufgehen. Gerade im Lebensmittelsegment gibt es viele gescheiterte Konzepte – zuletzt etwa Lebensmittel.de, Gourmondo und Allyouneed Fresh (gehört inzwischen zu myTime. Und auch Amazon stellte sein Paket-System Amazon Pantry gerade erst ein. Dies spricht aber nicht gegen Online-Supermärkte und andere Lebensmittellieferdienste.

Frische Liefer-Startups, die man kennen sollte

Bring
Das Schweizer Startup Bring positioniert sich seit etlichen Jahren als digitaler Einkaufshelfer für Alltagsartikel wie Lebensmittel und Drogeriewaren. G+J Digital Ventures, die Schweizerische Post (via Swiss Post Ventures), Wingman Ventures und Dominique Locher investierten zuletzt 4 Millionen Euro in die Jungfirma. Insgesamt sammelte Bring mit der aktuellen Runde mehr als 7 Millionen Euro ein.

Foodly
Das junge Startup Foodly positioniert sich als “deutlich günstigere und flexiblere Alternative zu klassischen Kochboxen wie HelloFresh oder Marley Spoon”. Wobei Marley Spoon anfangs bekanntlich auch eine Art “flexiblere Alternative” zu HelloFresh sein sollte. Aber vielleicht ist die Zeit nun reif für so ein Konzept. Die Berliner Foodfirma wurde 2019 von Hannes Kübel, Johannes Linowski und Peter Schrott gegründet. 

Gorillas
Mit Gorillas drängt eine Art rollender Supermarkt auf die Straße. Das junge Berliner Startup, das von Kagan Sümer und Jörg Kattner geführt wird, verspricht tatsächlich eine Lebensmittel-Lieferungen innerhalb von sage und schreibe 10 Minuten. Und das alles angeblich zu “Supermarktpreisen”. Damit setzt das Startup auf das Konzept von goPuff, das in den USA schon länger erfolgreich unterwegs ist.

liefertuete
Das Kölner Startup liefertuete, das längst an den Start gehen wollte, positioniert sich als eine Art schneller Kiosk-Lieferdienst. Zum Start verspricht die Jungfirma ihren Kunden den Zugriff auf über 1.000 Artikel. Diese will das Startup in 50 Minuten an seine Kunden ausliefern. Was ein wenig an Flaschenpost und Co. erinnert. Zum Team von liefertuete gehört auch der bekannte Kölner Rapper Eko Fresh.

Juit Now
Juit Now aus Bielefeld bietet eine Lösung für eine gesunde Mittagspause mit frisch gekochten Gerichten, die via App ausgewählt und bezahlt werden können. Die saisonalen Gerichte werden aus natürlichen Zutaten von Hand gekocht und im Anschluss schockgefrostet. Juit Now ist Teil der Oetker Gruppe, agiert jedoch als eigenständiges Unternehmen. Geführt wird das Startup von Serdar Mansour Azar und Ingmar Knudsen.

schnellesachen
Das Leipziger Startup schnellesachen, das von Gennadi Schechtmann und Oleksandr Kit geführt wird, versucht das gescheiterte ShopWings-Modell zu etablieren. “Wir bringen Lebensmittel aus deinem Lieblings-Supermarkt innerhalb von 120 Minuten direkt zu dir nach Hause”, heißt es zum Konzept. Was wiederum nach dem Flaschenpost-Slogan klingt. Mal sehen, ob es jetzt Platz für ein Startup gibt, dass bei Lidl und Co. einkaufen geht.

smark
Das Stuttgarter Startup smark, das von Philipp Hoening und Max Ittermann gegründet wurde, bietet vollautomatisierte Einkaufsstationen, sogenannte smarkBoxen, an. Kunden können entweder vorher per App einkaufen oder vor Ort über einen Touchscreen bestellen. “Möglich macht das ein automatisiertes Lager- und Greifsystem, das alle Artikel innerhalb nur einer Minute zur Ausgabe befördert”, teilt das Startup mit.

smart meals
Das Mannheimer Startup smart meals, das von Jeffrey Jampoh geführt wird, liefert “leckere und gesunde Mahlzeiten bis vor die Haustür”. Die Jungunternehmer haben ihr Modell dabei zuletzt komplett auf die Corona-Krise abgestimmt. Sie schreiben: “Ideal für Menschen in Quarantäne. Die Mahlzeiten werden frisch zubereitet und am selben Tag verschickt”. smart meals funktioniert aber hoffentlich auch abseits von Krisenzeiten.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): Shutterstock

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#Podcast – Insider #77 – Coyo – Riskmethods – HelloFresh – Home24 – Remerge – Flaschenpost


Im ds-Insider-Podcast liefern OMR-Podcast-Legende Sven Schmidt und ds-Chefredakteur Alexander Hüsing regelmäßig spannende Insider-Infos aus der deutschen Startup-Szene. In jeder Ausgabe gibt es exklusive Neuigkeiten, die bisher zuvor nirgendwo zu lesen oder hören waren. Zu guter Letzt kommentiert das dynamische Duo der deutschen Startup-Szene in jeder Ausgabe offen, schonungslos und ungefiltert die wichtigsten Startup- und Digital-News aus Deutschland. Pro Ausgabe erreicht der unser Insider-Podcast derzeit über alle Plattformen hinweg mehr als 8.000 Hörer. Hier die die neueste Ausgabe.

Insider #77 – Unsere Themen

Coyo plant 15 Millionen-Runde #EXKLUSIV

  • Riskmethods sammelt 7,5 Millionen ein #EXKLUSIV
  • Zahlen: HelloFresh, Delivery Hero, Home24, Westwing #ANALYSE
  • Mambu-Bewertung liegt bei 180 Millionen Euro #EXKLUSIV
  • Remerge mit 50 Millionen Euro Umsatz #EXKLUSIV
  • Flaschenpost zieht neue Runde durch und greift Durstexpress an #EXKLUSIV

Sponsoren gesucht

Hier ist Platz für eure Werbebotschaft! Wenn ihr einmal im ds-Podcast werben möchtet, schreibt bitte an podcast@deutsche-startups.de. Ihr möchtet das Team von deutsche-startups.de einfach so unterstützen? Gerne! Via Paypal könnt ihr uns ganz einfach den Betrag eurer Wahl zukommen lassen: www.paypal.me/deutschestartups.

Insider #77 – Unser Podcast

Abonnieren: Die Podcasts von deutsche-startups.de könnt ihr bei Apple PodcastsCastboxDeezerGoogle PodcastsiHeartRadioOvercastPlayerFMPodimoSpotify und  SoundCloud oder per RSS-Feed abonnieren.

Startup-Jobs: Auf der Suche nach einer neuen Herausforderung? In der unserer Jobbörse findet Ihr Stellenanzeigen von Startups und Unternehmen.

Foto (oben): ds

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Gousto, a UK meal-kit service, raises another $41M as business booms under lockdown

Food delivery — be it ready-made restaurant meals, groceries, or anything in between — has seen a huge surge of activity in the last few weeks as people have sheltered in place to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. Today, one of the startups that’s built a business specifically in meal-kits in the UK is announcing funding to double down on its growth.

Gousto, a London-based meal-kit service, has closed £33 million ($41 million) in funding, money that it’s going to be using to continue investing in its technology — both in the AI engine that it says customers use to get more personalised recommendations of what to cook and eat, and in the backend tech used to optimise its own logistics and other operations — and in building more capacity to meet rising demand and expanding next-day delivery in the near future (it mainly operates on a three-day turnaround between ordering and delivery currently).

The company said that it’s currently delivering some 4 million meals to 380,000 UK households each month and is on course to cross 400 million meals delivered by 2025. It offers currently a choice of more than 50 recipes each week and gives people the option to tailor what they get, with the whole system running in an automated packing process, working out to average price per meal per person to £2.98 at its cheapest.

The funding — which was being raised before the novel coronavirus hit — is being led by Perwyn, with participation also from BGF Ventures, MMC Ventures and Joe Wicks — a hugely popular YouTube fitness coach who has built a lifestyle brand around healthy eating. This brings the total raised by Gousto to around £130 million ($162 million). It’s not disclosing its valuation with this round. It has 100 employees today and plans to expand that to 700 by 2022.

CTO Shaun Pearce said that Gousto was in high-growth mode before COVID-19, operating on forecasts of growing 70% year-on-year. That number — as with so many other delivery and specifically food-based delivery businesses right now — has spiked upward in recent weeks, not just from paying customers but also for Gousto’s own efforts to do something for the relief efforts, with food businesses like Gousto’s some of the remaining “key” businesses that have been allowed to stay open when others like restaurants have closed.

“We continue to be laser-focused on our vision to become the UK’s most-loved way to eat dinner. This additional investment is not only a validation of our track record, but it is also an endorsement of our strategic vision of the future which is rooted in investing in innovative technology to transform the way we search for, shop for, and cook our food,” said Timo Boldt, CEO and founder, in a statement. “In these challenging times, we want to continue offering people more choice and especially more convenience. We will maintain our close relationships with the government and other charitable partners to ensure those already struggling don’t see their situation worsen.”

In the last several weeks, Pearce said Gousto has also seen big changes in customer behavior from pre-existing customers, with a 28% increase in family boxes. “Those who buy from us want to buy more,” he said. Like some other smaller food delivery companies (and small can be as big as the online grocery Ocado) it’s also no longer accepting new customer sign-ups and is focused just on meeting the demand of pre-existing customers.

Gousto’s has also been trying to do its part in relief operations. It’s been working with the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to produce meal kits for vulnerable people, and it has donated some 6,000 meals to The Trussell Trust foodbank network and to the homeless charity, Shelter. It’s also ensuring that when its system is overcrowded that NHS employees get priority access to its ordering platform. (This is in addition to the contactless and other safety procedures that Pearce said that Gousto has put in place to minimise the risk of spreading the virus both to its workers and customers.)

Meal kit services in recent years have taken a beating in recent years, typified perhaps most publicly by Blue Apron, which saw its stock drop drastically after going public in part because of the huge amount of competition (not just from other pure-play meal kit companies but a plethora of others like Amazon that have added on meal kits to other existing business lines such as other grocery delivery).

Pearce said that Gousto’s growth and popularity and flexibility that it offers users by way of the AI engine to craft recipes they might actually want to use sets it apart from current competition, which in the UK includes HelloFresh, Mindful Chef, offerings from most major grocers, and many more.

“We continue to be impressed by Gousto and its dedication to its customers,” said Andrew Wynn, founder and managing partner at Perwyn, in a statement. “The business has adapted quickly to continue providing an essential service to so many. This reaffirms the decision we took far before COVID-19, that we’re investing in the right people and a business set for even greater success.”

 

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