On-demand grocery delivery startup Flink raises $52 million in seed financing, launches in the Netherlands and France following successful rollout in Germany
Berlin, Germany — March 2021 — Launched less than six weeks ago, on-demand grocery delivery startup Flink announces a $52 million seed round, bringing total funding to date to $64 million. The round is led by Target Global and existing investors Northzone, Cherry Ventures, and Silicon Valley-based debt provider TriplePoint Capital. Cristina Stenbeck from Kinnevik, one Europe’s leading investors, also joins this round. The boost in capital coincides with Flink’s expansion into the Netherlands and France and follows the successful opening of ten “dark stores” in German cities like Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Dusseldorf, and Cologne with more on the way.
Flink, which means “quick” in German, delivers groceries to consumers in under 10 minutes through its network of dark stores. The startup was founded in December 2020 by Oliver Merkel (former Bain & Company partner who led the firm’s retail practice in Germany), Christoph Cordes (former co-CEO of home24 which IPO’d in 2018), and Julian Dames (former co-founder of Foodora, CMO at foodpanda and VP at Delivery Hero, most recently at Softbank). Together, all three founders bring extensive experience in food commerce, delivery, and building fast-scaling companies. The first Flink hub was launched in Hamburg at the end of January 2021.
The round is further complemented by a set of high-profile business angels including the founders of FlixBus, founder of TIER Mobility Lawrence Leuschner, the founders of South American super app Rappi, and Nils Regge among several others.
“Consumers absolutely love to get their grocery shopping done in 10 minutes,” says founder Oliver Merkel. “We’ve received fantastic NPS feedback and see people using Flink multiple times a week. With the additional funding, we can roll out Flink even faster in Europe.”
The new financing will go primarily towards expanding further within Germany and into additional European markets this year. In Q2 2021, Flink will roll out its first stores in the Netherlands and France, beginning in cities like Amsterdam and Paris. Already, the team has grown to 120 people and continues to recruit across all departments.
Flink’s arrival to the German and broader European markets comes at a time that consumers worldwide are rapidly shifting to the convenience and “in the palm of your hand” ease of mobile commerce in everything from fashion to food. Flink’s 10-minute promise with its use of dark stores further emphasizes this. Even after various pandemic shopping restrictions ease, mobile commerce will not only stay, but is expected to grow at an accelerated ~ 16% YoY until 2025.
Ben Kaminski, partner at Target Global, says, “2020 has been a pivotal moment for grocery and F&B retailers – the global pandemic has accelerated consumer preferences forever. While some products have been easier to access online, grocery requires a unique urban infrastructure to serve customers with fresh products on a daily basis. We are excited to partner with Oliver, Christoph, Julian and the rest of the Flink team to lay the future foundations of how household spend will shift in Europe in the coming years.”
Jessica Schultz, general partner at Northzone and co-founder of HelloFresh, continues, “We are incredibly impressed with what the Flink team has achieved to date and are very proud to continue backing them on their journey to completely disrupting the grocery market. We look forward to supporting the team as they tackle the challenge of fundamentally changing the way people shop for groceries.“
Christian Meermann, founding partner at Cherry Ventures, adds, “Despite its crucial importance in everyday life and its sheer market size of approximately $2,000bn, the grocery shopping experience in Europe has been largely offline. We firmly believe the Flink team is, hands down, the best positioned to disrupt this industry in the age of e-commerce.”
Flink is an instant grocery delivery service on a mission to give people back time. Consumers can order groceries on the Flink app and get it delivered in just 10min. Flink carries a broad range of top brands and fresh products. The delivery comes with a good conscience too: Flink supports local products, uses sustainable packaging and delivers on e-bikes. For more information, please visit goflink.com.
Target Global is an international investment firm headquartered in Berlin, with more than $1.5bn in assets under management. With investing offices in London, Tel Aviv and Barcelona, we connect the key European startup ecosystems and leverage the unique DNA of each of our target geographies, across our global network. Building on our experienced team with substantial operational and investment experience, we help exceptional entrepreneurs to build market leaders. Target Global invests across multiple stages, investing in fast-growing tech companies, targeting trillion € markets. Our Partners have been investing for more than 15 years in the digital technology space, backing some of the key European success stories. The Target Global portfolio includes companies such as Auto1, Delivery Hero, Rapyd, TravelPerk, WeFox and Zego. More about Target Global: www.targetglobal.vc
Cherry Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm led by a team of entrepreneurs with experience building fast-scaling companies such as Zalando and Spotify. The firm backs Europe’s boldest founders, usually as their first institutional investor, and supports them in everything from their go-to-market strategy and the scaling of their businesses. Cherry Ventures has previously invested in the seed stage of over 50 companies across Europe, including FlixBus, AUTO1 Group, Flaschenpost, Infarm, Rows, and Forto. Cherry Ventures is based in Berlin and invests across Europe with operations in London, Paris, and Stockholm. For more information, please visit cherry.vc
Northzone is an early-stage venture capital fund built on experience spanning multiple economic and disruptive technology cycles and has over $1.7 billion under management.
Founded in 1996, Northzone has to date raised nine funds and invested in more than 150 companies, including category-defining businesses like Spotify, iZettle, Avito, Kahoot!, Hopin, Klarna and Trustpilot. For more information, please visit northzone.com.
TriplePoint Capital, is a Sand Hill Road-based global investment platform which provides customized debt financing, leasing, direct equity investments and other complementary solutions to venture capital backed-companies in technology and other high growth industries at every stage of their development with unparalleled levels of creativity, flexibility and service. For more information about the TriplePoint Capital, visit https://www.triplepointcapital.com.
Further Information: goflink.com
Logo (c) Flink