Ralf Wenzel, the CEO of leading online food ordering marketplace Foodpanda, is bringing out a new global instant retail venture, aimed at delivering a range of products from local warehouses within 15 minutes of the order being placed through its app.
The startup named Jokr, is backed by venture capitalists HV Capital, Tiger Global and Softbank, and has already started operations in Mexico City, Lima and Sao Paolo while New York and Bogota will follow ahead of launch across Europe and Latin America.
Mr. Wenzel founded Foodpanda before he partnered with Delivery Hero, a global food delivery business headquartered in Berlin. Recently he has been the managing partner of Softbank and left the post to found Jokr with his team from earlier projects.
“Jokr has a best-in-class, the experienced team made up of serial entrepreneurs which is well equipped to transform the future of on-demand retail at a global level,” said Alexander Joell-Carbonell, a partner at Jokr backer HV Capital, a German venture fund.
In contrast to food delivery ventures, Jokr will offer a wide range of retail products which will be delivered to people’s doorsteps. The startup will act as a retailer in its own right and reduces the costs by removing the middleman and buying directly from suppliers.
For distribution, Jokr will work with networks of small neighborhood warehouses, often in retail space that has suffered in the coronavirus pandemic. Jokr is analyzing local data on demographics and consumer habits to update its product range of groceries, cosmetics and consumer electronics.
The launch comes at a time of rapid expansion in the quick-delivery platforms, Turkish fast food delivery startup Getir has launched aggressively in London and raised $300 million in March from investors, including Tiger, in a round valuing it at $2.6 billion.
Berlin-based grocery delivery startup, Gorillas has expanded to several European cities since it was founded last year and has raised $290 million at a valuation of over $1 billion to invest in further growth.