By Steve O’Hear (TechCrunch)
First there was same-day delivery. Then came one-hour delivery. Now a new London startup wants to make 15 minute delivery a thing.
Putting the hyper hyper-local into online grocery shopping, Weezy combines its own strategically located fulfilment centres with a fleet of electric moped and bicycle couriers, ready to accept orders via the Weezy app. Its founders, Kristof Van Beveren and Alec Dent, think they’ve spotted a gap in the market for an online grocery service that targets “time-poor professionals and parents” who want the speed of an on-demand service but without it being prohibitively expensive.
investors appear to agree, with Weezy launching out of stealth off the back of £1 million in pre-seed funding from Heartcore Capital, in addition to various individual backers made up of former executives of Ocado, Tesco, Sainsbury’s Chop Chop and Deliveroo.
Starting in London’s affluent Fulham and Chelsea districts, customers use Weezy’s app to select and pay for items on their shopping lists -– spanning fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and cupboard fillers, to over-the-counter medicines, cleaning products and alcoholic drinks. The order is then picked and packed at Weezy’s own fulfilment centre, before being delivered on electric scooters or bicycles within 15 minutes. The service runs between 10am and 10pm every day, charging £2.95 for delivery.
Notably, groceries are sourced not only from selected wholesalers, but also from local independent bakers, butchers and markets, seeing Weezy talk up its support for local businesses. The startup plans to open up to 15 more fulfilment centres in the U.K. capital city by the end of next year, before setting its sights on broader U.K. expansion.
“No other service delivers as quickly,” says Weezy CEO and co-founder Van Beveren. “Our hyperlocal fulfilment centre model works since we are able to optimise the space for fast picking and packing while having low property and fit-out costs, thereby keeping prices in check. This, coupled with our in-house team of riders, allows us to offer the fastest and friendliest grocery delivery service. And, compared to convenience stores, Weezy has better pricing and a broader and more premium range of products”.
In comparison, Van Beveren notes that Sainsbury’s Chop Chop takes up to 60 minutes to deliver (and outsources delivery to courier company Stuart). Amazon Prime Now promises 1-2 hours delivery via Morrisons and its own warehouses, while Amazon Fresh in London offers same or next day delivery.
“Next to speed, we have a full range of carefully curated products and pricing in line with recommended retail prices,” adds Weezy co-founder and COO Dent. “We also only use electric vehicles or bicycles for deliveries. We are committed to creating a supportive culture and the best working conditions for our team of riders, who are also trained to work in the fulfilment centre, and offered opportunities for career progression. Happy staff make happy customers”.