Dutch online supermarket Picnic secures €250 million to finance its new, massive automated distribution centre

Picnic, the Dutch online supermarket that’s not to be confused with the American venture-backed automated pizza assembly startup with the same name, raised quite some eyebrows back in March 2017 when it closed a €100 million funding round.

More eyebrows will be raised, and higher up, now that the company has secured a €250 million financing round to bankroll the building of a massive (42,000 square metre) automated distribution centre in Utrecht.

Picnic has secured a €50 million loan from the Dutch bank ABN AMRO; the rest of the money comes from the same four wealthy families that provided the better part of the €100 million round more than two years ago – namely Fentener van Vlissingen (NPM Capital), Hoyer(Hoyberg), De Rijcke (Kruidvat) and Finci (from supermarket chain Boni).

The startup’s 7 other distribution centres will remain operational for the time being, as the new fancy automated one will take another two years to get built and prepped for prime time.

Once established, the new centre will employ 1,000 people who fill crates with produce brought to them by automated shuttles, and will be able to provide 150,000 households with groceries on a weekly basis.

Fun fact: Picnic was founded only a few years ago, in 2015. The rise of late-stage funding for European tech scale-ups, anyone?

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