Glovo, the global on-demand delivery platform headquartered in Barcelona, has announced a strategic partnership with Swiss-based real estate firm, Stoneweg, as the company expands its newly-launched ‘q-commerce’ division. Stoneweg will invest €100 million in building and refurbishing city real estate in some of Glovo’s key markets, creating new dark stores that can hold inventory and fulfill orders.

The initial focus will be on Spain (Valencia), Italy (Rome), Portugal (Porto) and Romania (Bucharest), with some additional European countries still under review. The company currently runs 18 dark stores and aims to have 100 by the end of the year.

The goal of quick commerce is to deliver consumers whatever they want on the same day — or, in the case of some new grocery delivery startups, within 15 minutes. Glovo is ‘multi-category’ though, working not only with supermarkets such as Carrefour, Continente, and Kauflan, but also with retail brands such as IKEA and L’Oréal.

CEO and co-founder Oscar Pierre says the combination of dark stores and last-mile delivery creates a much more efficient infrastructure for multi-national chains and local shops alike. And as for consumers, they’re growing to expect it.

“In the wake of Covid-19, we believe that dark stores represent the future of post-pandemic retail, and I think we’ll see a permanent shift in consumer habits towards same-day and instant delivery,” he added.

According to a press release, the Spanish company grew 300 percent year-on-year in 2020. It hit unicorn status the year before with a €150 million Series E round.

All told, Glovo has sopped up over $600 million in funding. In this episode of the podcast, co-founder Sacha Michaud spoke with Andrii Degeler about why the company has needed so much money to keep going.

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