SoftBank-backed delivery startup goPuff raises a whopping $1.5 billion at $8.9 billion valuation
Billion is now the new million. At a time when millions of startups are still struggling to raise thousands of dollars in funding, SoftBank-backed digital convenience store GoPuff announced Tuesday that it raised $1.15 billion at an $8.9 billion valuation, making it one of the top 100 unicorn startups in the world. GoPuff has seen its valuation more than double from five months ago.
Launched in 2013 by two college students Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola while at Drexel University, the Pennsylvania, PA-based GoPuff delivers daily essentials and groceries in minutes across over 500 U.S. cities. The startup currently operates more than 250 micro-fulfillment centers servicing over 650 U.S. cities, in addition to the recently acquired BevMo! locations.
GoPuff aims to take on traditional convenience stores by offering a range of household essentials like over-the-counter medicines and cleaning supplies to snack foods and alcohol. The company is pulling in more cash amid a pandemic-fueled surge in online food and grocery delivery.
The company found early success among college students, but it has since expanded its consumer base to other demographics by serving up products that goPuff calls “instant needs.” GoPuff’s average users are in their 30s, the company said.
“We are grateful for the confidence of our longtime returning partners as well as the new, top-tier institutions joining this round who understand our differentiation in the market. We look forward to their support as we accelerate our growth plans and continue to define and transform the instant needs space,” said Rafael Ilishayev, co-founder and co-CEO of goPuff. “This milestone further validates the success of GoPuff’s vertically integrated model as well as the massive global opportunity for the category. Our technology platform and infrastructure enable us to expand goPuff’s offerings while bringing more products, new categories, and experiences to customers,” Yakir Gola, co-founder and co-CEO of GoPuff added.
GoPuff is uniquely positioned to grow its business as it advances its mission to become the world’s go-to solution for immediate, everyday needs. With these new funds, goPuff will continue to accelerate its strategic priorities, which include geographic expansion across the U.S. and internationally, introducing new product categories, and investing in new technology and top-tier talent that will further enhance the customer experience.
“GoPuff is truly in a league of its own. We believe that the company’s vision and differentiated model drive industry-leading economics and sustainable growth,” said Daniel Sundheim, Founder & Chief Investment Officer at D1 Capital Partners. “Since we initially invested in goPuff last fall, we have been consistently impressed by the team’s ability to successfully execute against its growth plans. The company’s potential is tremendous, and we look forward to the unique opportunities that lie ahead.”
GoPuff said it will continue to leverage its platform to enter new verticals and expand its thriving local partnership program. This includes investing in innovative programs like its recently launched media offering, GoPuff Marketing Solutions (GMS), which enables brands to run media campaigns on and off GoPuff’s platform to instantly reach consumers and translate those interactions into purchases.
Additionally, GoPuff also announced that it’s launching new categories, like goPuff’s new Better for You, Beauty, and enhanced Baby categories. It also recently debuted Curated Mystery Boxes and it has introduced over 500 new local products to the platform to expand and enhance the customer experience.