Food delivery startups, and specifically those focused on grocery delivery, continue to reap super-sized rounds of funding in Europe, buoyed by a year of pandemic living that has led many consumers to shift to shopping online. Today, the latest of these is coming out of Norway.
Kolonial, a startup based out of Oslo that offers same-day or next-day delivery of food, meal kits and home essentials — its aim is to provide “a weekly shop” for prices that compete against those of traditional supermarkets — has raised €223 million ($265 million) in an equity round of funding.
Along with that, the company — profitable as of this year — is rebranding to Oda and plans to use the money (and new name) to expand to more markets, starting first with Finland and then Germany in 2022.
CEO and co-founder Karl Munthe-Kaas confirmed to TechCrunch in an interview that the funding values Oda at €750 million ($900 million) post-money.
The market for online grocery ordering and delivery is gearing up to be a very crowded one, with hundreds of millions of dollars being poured by investors into the fuel tanks of a range of startups — each originating out of different geographies, each with a slightly different approach. Oda believes it has the right mix to end up at the front of the pack.
“We have found ourselves in a unique position,” Munthe-Kaas said in the interview with TechCrunch. “We have built a service targeting the mass market with instant deliveries and low prices, because if you want to capture the full basket for the family, you can’t be a premium service. We’ve done that, and we’re profitable.”
And now, it will have the backing of two e-commerce heavyweights for its next steps.
SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Prosus (the tech holdings of South Africa’s Naspers), are co-leading the round, with past backers Kinnevik and a strategic investor, Norwegian “soft discount” chain REMA, also participating.
The funding is a big leap for Oda (the name is not officially going to come into effect until the end of this month, although the company is already describing itself with the new brand, so we’ll follow that lead).
PitchBook data notes that before this round, Oda had only raised about $96 million, and its last valuation was estimated to be just $178 million in 2017.
50 supermarkets in one place
The company has certainly come a long way. Founded in 2013 by 10 friends, Kolonial originally seemed to have a more modest vision when it first started out: Kolonial in Norwegian doesn’t mean “colonial” (a connotation Munthe-Kaas nevertheless said the startup wanted to avoid, one big reason for the change), but “cornershop.”
These days, Oda is focused more on competing against large supermarkets — its average order size is $120 — yet with a significantly more efficient cost base behind the scenes.