Today, the startup raised nearly AU$18 million (nearly $13 million) in a round led by Sequoia Capital India along with backing from Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Australian-based Artesian Capital. Notably, it is the largest seed funding round ever led by the investor.
VOLY will use the funds to continue to scale, expand its team and increase its operations across key urban centres rapidly. Also, the investment will be used for the national rollout of its instant grocery delivery service.
“Australia’s grocery market, which sees $90B in annual spends, is a large and profitable space that continues to be dominated by offline retail. The Sequoia Capital India team was impressed by the strong consumer love for VOLY, their compelling value proposition, and an impressive team of repeat founders that has blitzscaled businesses in Australia before. 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,” said Abheek Anand, Managing Director, Sequoia India.
Wide range of products
VOLY retails most household products that you can find at any major supermarket. It offers products ranging from fresh produce to baby formula and cleaning products. Basically, you can get everything that you might need without leaving the comfort of your home all seven days a week from 8 AM to 10 PM. What makes it interesting is that it delivers these all items instantly and for free. Also, you can get the best quality fresh produce at retail prices.
Apparently, VOLY has been an instant hit with customers installing the app available on Android and iOS platforms. There has been a spike in the number of new users and a strong week-on-week growth in sales. As of now, the service is available in Sydney across 42 suburbs and VOLY plans to rapidly expand its offering from January 2022 with the aim to reach millions of Australians in the coming months and beyond.
15-minute delivery time
VOLY employs its own riders and staff across micro fulfillment centres around Australia. Eventually, it is able to offer household items to customers in less than 15 minutes of placing an order. With this move, it employs riders full-time that sets it apart from the ‘gig economy’. Also, it is able to provide blazing delivery speeds and quality without any compromise on price. With a delivery promise of 15 minutes or less, VOLY is set to disrupt the local grocery industry worth more than $122 billion.
Notably, the industry is obsessed with a slew of grocery delivery startups. Some notable brands include Instamart in North America and Canada, Shipt, another US-based grocery delivery service, Big Basket based in India, Amazon Fresh operated by the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, Chicago-based Peapod and much more.
VOLY’s team: A sneak peek
The newly launched grocery delivery startup VOLY was founded by Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, the co-CEOs of the company. They have experience working with on-demand technology brands in the food supply and logistics industries. Mark Heath helped Uber launch its services in Australia after serving at Goldman Sachs. On the other hand, Thibault Henry built, scaled and sold Balto, a B2B last-mile business that worked with clients including HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and YouFoodz.
VOLY’s management team includes Anthony Rey – the Chief Technology Officer, Lyana Labrode – Head of Procurement and Josh Peacock – Head of Marketing.
Mark Heath, Co-CEO and Co-founder of VOLY, said: “VOLY is here to completely change the way people shop for groceries by giving Australians back their most precious resource, time. 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.”
“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,” said Thibault Henry, Co-CEO and Co-Founder.