Rapid Shutdowns for Rapid Delivery

When U.S. delivery startup Zero Grocery abruptly closed recently, it stunned northern California businesses that sold its products.

Many were owed money and questioned what went wrong with the fast-growing startup, reported San Francisco Chronicle (March 25).

To add to the confusion, the news came just a month after Zero Grocery announced it had raised $12 million and expanded to Los Angeles.

Kneaded Bakery owner Iliana Berkowitz told San Francisco Chronicle that the experience has made her wary about working with food delivery companies in the future, and that she and other affected business owners are exploring legal action.

Zero Grocery is not the only delivery service finding itself in trouble. New York City rapid delivery firms may be slowing down following safety concerns and potential legislation. Several are also racking up huge losses as they battle for customers.

Meanwhile, Russian-backed rapid grocery-delivery app Buyk Corp. filed for bankruptcy and will permanently shut down after fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine restricted the startup’s access to funding, reported Bloomberg (March 17).

The company, which launched in NYC just last year, listed assets and liabilities of as much as $10 million each in its bankruptcy petition. It has ceased operations and plans to sell off its remaining inventory, according to a statement.

In other news:

  • Instacart will build micro-fulfilment warehouses as it attempts to deflect the threat of rapid-delivery apps and Amazon’s growing presence in groceries, reported The Financial Times (March 23).
  • India’s Zomato will begin delivering food in 10 minutes in its home city of Gurugram. However, the company insists it will not pressure its delivery partners to ensure a 10-minute delivery, reported TechCrunch (March 21).
  • In the wake of a flood of ultra-fast grocery delivery startups, fledgling online grocer Fresh Street is taking a different approach: pickup-only, reported Supermarket News (March 18).
  • Instant delivery startup Getir announced that it has closed a new $768 million Series E funding round. Following this deal, the company reached a valuation of $11.8 billion, reported TechCrunch (March 17).
  • Gopuff partnered with British grocery chain Morrisons to deliver items to people’s doors in a matter of minutes, reported CNBC (March 24).