Five years ago, investors wouldn’t return Nazim Salur’s calls. Now his company, Getir, is the biggest rapid grocery delivery company in Europe. After the Turkish startup acquired its German rival Gorillas last month, the company was valued at $8.8 billion.
Getir first expanded into Europe via London in 2021, when a post-pandemic gold rush for instant groceries was in full swing. Investors were convinced that lockdown habits would stick and consumers would continue to demand grocery deliveries direct to their homes. Since 2020, investors have flooded the global sector with more than $5 billion in funding. Those billions funded the dramatic expansion of an industry promising a new era of ultimate convenience: groceries on your doorstep in 10 minutes. In Europe alone, companies launched between 2020 and 2021 included Gorillas, Weezy, Blok, Dija, Fancy, and Cajoo.
In a delivery app reckoning, all of those companies have since disappeared or been absorbed by Europe’s three major players: Getir, Flink, and GoPuff. Since Getir swallowed Gorillas in December, the company’s yellow and purple mopeds can be found on roads across seven European countries. Its next largest competitor, Germany’s Flink, is active in three. The American competition, GoPuff, has recently downsized and now only operates in France and Britain. Getir has received funding from Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala and investment firms Sequoia and Tiger Global to fuel its growth.
The company’s rise from London to Europe’s biggest instant grocery provider is down to Getir’s experience in its home market, says general manager in Europe, Turancan Salur. “We are the pioneers of the sector,” he says. Getir might be new in Europe, but it’s been operating in Turkey for eight years and claims to already be profitable in Istanbul. As a private company, Getir does not publish financial reports. “We have a lot of experience under our belt there and we’ve navigated our fair share of difficult situations and economic difficulties,” says Salur.
While Europe’s newcomers were wrestling with IT problems linked to logistics management, he says, Getir already had custom-made fixes ready to go. “We basically had a preview into the future, whereas our competitors didn’t.”
Getir’s dominance is reflected in number of downloads. The company’s app has been downloaded on Android phones 28 million times worldwide, according to AppRadar data that does not count iPhone installs. That figure far eclipses downloads of GoPuff’s app, which has been installed 5.4 million times. And Getir is not only winning over consumers—couriers are also switching to the company. “From my personal experience, Getir is so much better than being fully dependent on Deliveroo or UberEats,” says Ian Morrison, a courier in London who has been working for Getir in London since June 2021. He gets paid £11.05 ($13) per hour, and receives holiday and sick pay. The company provides him with an electric moped to ride during his shifts and covers his insurance.
Despite that, Getir is not perfect, he stresses. Compared to when he joined, he has to work more hours to receive the same pay, due to changes to the bonus system. He also describes the pressure his warehouse is under to make deliveries quickly, which means the people packing orders are more likely to make mistakes, resulting in wrong or missing items.