By Can Sezer and Ebru Tuncay
ISTANBUL -Turkey’s ultrafast grocery-delivery company, Getir, said on Thursday it has launched operations in the United States, seeking a foothold in the world’s largest retail market only a few months after expanding into Europe.
Getir’s founder and chief executive, Nazim Salur, told a news conference that the company launched operations in Chicago on Thursday and plans expansion into New York and Boston.
Getir is a trailblazer among startups that have prospered during the pandemic. It attracted around $1 billion in three back-to-back funding rounds this year, as its valuation ballooned from $850 million to more than $7.5 billion.
“Just like every basketball player dreams of playing in the NBA, a startup dreams of playing in the U.S.,” Salur said. “We want to succeed in the U.S.”
Istanbul-based Getir, founded in 2015, invented the category of 10-minute delivery for customers who order by smartphone app, with riders fanning out from neighbourhood warehouses that stock essential groceries.
With investor interest in the nascent industry at a peak, the company ventured out of Turkey in January to launch its rapid “last mile” goods delivery service in Britain.
Over the past nine months it has expanded to eight European countries including France, Germany and Spain.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a boon to quick delivery firms including German companies Gorillas and Flink as consumers avoided local shops and grew accustomed to shopping by app.
The fast-delivery model is drawing interest not only from venture capital funds but also traditional retailers as it is well-suited to single-item impulse buying – which is very attractive to consumers – as opposed to long-list grocery shopping.
Getir’s latest funding round was led by existing investors including Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital, joined by Silver Lake, DisruptAD and Mubadala Investment Company.