Sydney-based VOLY is stirring up the online grocery delivery market with plans with plans to broaden its offering and reach thanks to an $18 million seed round led by Sequoia Capital India, alongside increased backing from Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Artesian Capital.
Founded by its co-CEOs Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, VOLY launched in July 2021 and currently delivers groceries to 42 Sydney suburbs from its own operations with in-house riders, delivery centre and store staff, sourcing groceries from local suppliers.
Today's seed funding announcement sets a new record for a food delivery company in Australia, and will enable VOLY to continue to scale, expand the team, rapidly increase operations across key urban centres and start a national rollout.
"VOLY is here to completely change the way people shop for groceries by giving Australians back their most precious resource, time," Heath explains.
"Our model, from a fully employed delivery and dispatch team to the way we use electric bikes to deliver, is designed around the way people live.
"We firmly believe that our customers have a better experience when our riders and other staff are part of the company, working with us."
The company claims to retail most key household products available at any major supermarket, from fresh produce to baby formula and cleaning products, online from 8am-10pm, seven days a week.
"We’re doing away with the need to do a weekly grocery shop by providing convenience alongside reliability in a market that offers some of the slowest delivery times in the world," adds Henry, who also happens to be the brother of Ofload founder Geoffroy Henry.
"By owning our own supply chain, VOLY delivers at blazing fast speed without compromising on price, quality or availability.
"We source directly from suppliers, store in our own micro-fulfilment centres and deliver using fully employed and mostly full-time staff. VOLY is the supermarket of the future that is built around our customers, not the other way around."
Mark Heath helped launch Uber in Australia after a career at Goldman Sachs, and Thibault Henry built, scaled and sold Balto which was a B2B last-mile business with clients such as HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and YouFoodz.
Sequoia Capital India managing director Abheek Anand says his team was impressed by the strong consumer love for VOLY, its compelling value proposition, and an impressive team of repeat founders that has blitzscaled businesses in Australia before.
"Australia's grocery market, which sees $90B in annual spends, is a large and profitable space that continues to be dominated by offline retail," Anand says.
"With on-demand models traditionally scaling very successfully in the country, the decision to lead their seed round and help them scale their business across Australia was an easy one to make."
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