Building the European platform for e-grocery shopping. Our investment in Everli
March 31st, 2022
We are thrilled to announce we are backing Everli, Europe’s leading online grocery marketplace, by leading a €22m investment which comes part-way through the company’s Series C round. The funding will enable Everli to accelerate its existing international expansion plans and continue to drive forward its mission to build Europe’s most-loved grocery marketplace. Everli is the third company to enter the portfolio of UV T-Growth, our fund focusing on highly innovative growth-stage companies.
What Everli does
Founded in 2014 as Supermercato24 (and rebranded in 2020), Everli is a leading European marketplace for e-grocery, acting as a strategic enabler of online presence, partnering with traditional retailers to offer online services and serve their customers across Europe. To date, the company operates in Italy, France, Poland, and the Czech Republic, with the plan to expand to more European countries in the near future. Over the past six years, Everli has built a team of ~300 people and fulfilled grocery orders for more than 4 million deliveries in 135 cities, partnering with retailers such as Lidl, Carrefour, Conad, Coop, and Kaufland.
With its flexible and asset-light business model, Everli demonstrated great capability in rapidly scaling its personal shopper’s network (currently 3,000+), serving big cities but also reaching an unparalleled coverage in small-medium urban centers.
Everli targets families and high-value customers, meaning customers who shop large baskets of products including multiple fresh items and plan grocery shopping in advance. Young professionals, families with kids, elderly people… Everli is on a mission to help this diverse customer base to achieve peace of mind, by simplifying their life when shopping for groceries. A simple idea with many advantages: no more queuing, no more parking, no more carrying heavyweights.
“The new normal” for shopping habits
For many European grocery retailers, 2020 was the year that saw emerging consumer trends suddenly go into overdrive. With restaurants, offices, and schools largely closed in most countries during the first wave of the pandemic, consumers rushed to stock up on groceries, both in stores and online. In France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, grocery sales during the onset of the first lockdown in March 2020 increased by about 20%, on average, over the same period in 2019. Retailers faced difficulties to fulfill the sudden peaks in demand as fear of stock-outs led to hoarding, which, in turn, created further stock-outs – all leading to further stress for consumers.
It wasn’t until after this major disruption that both consumers and grocers realized the pandemic was going to last for months and adapted their business models and shopping behavior accordingly. Two fundamental drivers, however, continue to shape the way consumers shop for groceries: a rise in remote working led consumers to shift their food spending from food service to grocery retail; and with growing insight into infection risks and prevention measures, consumers increasingly preferred to avoid crowded places – such as busy stores or public transportation – to protect themselves and others.
According to a research by McKinsey, the pandemic has delivered a massive shock to customer loyalty across every dimension – providing a unique opportunity for grocers. Indeed, more than 60% of consumers have changed their shopping behaviors. Most importantly, 31% of consumers say they changed the store or banner they shop in, the key reasons being better value, quality, and convenience – particularly easy access or delivery options. Consequently, grocery retailers have a historic opportunity to attract new customers by better adapting to their changing needs and providing them with a superior value proposition.
Shaking up the online grocery space
While grocery is the world’s largest retail category, it’s still in the early stages of its digital transformation. As online grocery penetration increases over the coming years, the funding market for groceries delivery and food infrastructure globally is burning hot and on the trajectory for $20bn invested in the last 5 years. Within this context, Everli targets a specific market segment that is extremely hard to cover with traditional channels and has a unique value proposition in an underserved market position.
If we compare Everli’s business model with that of quick commerce players – the most highlighted and notable section of the market, having raised some of the largest amounts of money ever from VCs globally – we see some substantial differences:
- While quick commerce players can only operate in Tier 1 cities given the economies of scale needed from the operating model, players like Everli can nimbly serve small and medium density areas;
- The company aims to minimize food waste by not having to manage a fresh food supply chain (differently from quick commerce players), always providing fresh off-the-shelves groceries like customers would shop for themselves, using recyclable shopping bags, and providing items individually rather than with plastic/paper secondary packaging.
Add a stable and peak-proof IT infrastructure that can assist scaling internationally without further substantial changes; partnerships with renowned retailers across Europe; and last but not least, an international and proven C-level team led by Federico Sargenti, a solid manager with 15 years of international experience. For us, all these are the ingredients for a successful venture.
We are thrilled to welcome Everli into United Ventures portfolio, and we look forward to supporting Federico and his team as they continue building the single largest while label service for European retailers to serve their customers.