This week, Dutch online grocery store Picnic raised €355 million in investor capital as part of plans to expand its presence in France and Germany.
The company was founded in the Netherlands in 2015 and delivers groceries from local distribution warehouses to customers using small electric vans.
Investors in the latest fundraising include Germany’s largest supermarket group, Edeka, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust is separate from the philanthropic Gates Foundation. It's run by the asset investment company Cascade Investment.
The announcement comes two years after the company raised €600 million in its Series D round. It has raised over €1.3 billion in funding and operates in over 200 cities spanning the Netherlands, Germany, and France. The company anticipates achieving €1 billion in annual sales by the end of 2024.
The funding comes at an interesting time in that rising food prices have hard hit the last-mile food delivery sector, as well as the consequences of rapid expansion, neighbourhood warehouse closures, and challenges to labour breaches.
Profit margins are already narrow, and many providers have reduced their emphasis from very fast delivery (under 10 minutes) to scheduled deliveries with longer delays. This creates a greater incentive for a weekly shop from Picnic.
Picnic stands out, offering free delivery and lower-cost, own-brand items in its retail offerings. Further, its massive distribution warehouses are reminiscent of Ocado — they deploy automation and robotics for physical tasks in-house, while AI-led demand forecasting minimises waste and avoids product unavailability.
The company raised approximately €1.25 billion in sales in 2023.
Lead image: Picnic. Photo: uncredited.