Yango Deli, an e-grocery startup founded by Russia’s Yandex, winds down its operations in Paris and hints at exiting the London market
It was a little over a year ago that Russian internet giant Yandex jumped into the grocery delivery market when it launched an online grocery delivery service in Israel under a new brand called Deli by Yango (an abbreviation for Yandex Go). About a year later, Yandex expanded into the European market with the opening of offices in London and Paris.
In October 2021, Yandex launched its service in the over-heated grocery market in London, England to deliver groceries to people’s doors in as little as 15 minutes. Just five months after the launch, Yandex may be pulling out of the European markets as part of the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Today, Yandex announced it is gradually winding down the Paris operations of its e-grocery service Yango Deli, according to a statement from the company’s spokesperson, citing poor performance and hinting that an exit from the London market could follow.
The service, which aims to deliver grocery orders within 15 minutes using darkstores – dedicated warehouses that cater only to online clients – also operates in Israel and under a different brand in its primary market of Russia.
In a statement, Yango Deli’s spokesperson told Reuters: “Yango Deli is gradually suspending its ultra-fast grocery delivery operations in Paris. This was a pilot project with a small number of darkstores, and it has underperformed our internal targets.” The spokesperson also added that there are other parties interested in the company’s London unit.
“The ultrafast delivery market in London is highly competitive and we see a considerable amount of interest in our business there, including from peers,” the spokesperson said, adding that they couldn’t give further details.
A source familiar with the matter said discussions about closing the Paris operation, which launched last summer, have been underway since early February, with the decision focused on performance. Yango Deli currently operates five dark stores in London, with around 2,500 SKUs (stock-keeping units). Yango Deli said customer retention is as high as 40%, which is around 1.5 higher than the market average.
Meanwhile, Yango Deli is just one of many services units of Yandex. The tech giant also operates Yango ride-hailing and delivery services operating in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East via a mobile app. In October 2018, Yandex also launched which now operates in Ivory Coast, Finland, Ghana, and Israel, in addition to 13 countries where other Yandex ride-hailing apps operate.