To make a city smarter, several new applications have been developed with the aim of improving our daily life, from energy management, to health, to transportation, to home and building, to retail.
In addition, another factor which can make our cities easier to live can be “smart delivery“, this being triggered by the exponential growth of e-commerce.
New needs require new solutions and several startups have been recently created in order to make the delivery of any item less painful for people and organizations (in terms of reduction of time and costs) and cities (in terms of traffic and environment management).
While big players like Google (with Shopping Express), Amazon (AmazonFresh) and SnapDeal in India are developing their own same day delivery services, venture capital firms have shown a consistent interest in this field with a growing focus on speed and the particular needs of businesses (B2B).
It looks like we are just at the beginning of a new wave of intelligent services. Anyways, meaningful funding deals and acquisitions have already taken place.
Given the above, let’s have a look at who is investing right now globally.
In the USA
In February, Boston, MA- and San Francisco, CA-based Spark Capital invested in Postmates, a San Francisco, CA-based urban logistics & on-demand delivery platform, in a $35m Series C round.
Some days ago, vc giants Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Charles River Ventures invested $40m in the Series B round of DoorDash, a platform that enables small businesses to provide customers with local delivery services. In January, the same Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, along with Comcast Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group, Thrive Capital, Valiant Capital and previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital invested a huge $220m in Instacart, a grocery delivery service whose personal shoppers hand pick and deliver items trusted local stores based on its potential to expand to other categories.
The same Sequoia Capital, along with Tiger Global, has just invested in Grofers, a Gurgaon, India-based express delivery marketplace which promises to deliver everything in 90 minutes.
Hummingbird Ventures, following the exit from Shutl, a UK-based web service enabling delivery of fast online shopping, acquired by eBay in 2013, showed to be particularly active in the field by investing in Deliveroo, a London, UK-based food delivery service.
In Germany, Rocket Internet has bet on ShopWings, which promises to delivers groceries in 2 hours.
In Italy, 360 Capital Partners backed Supermercato24.it an Instacrt clone, Club Digitale supported Pony Zero, a last mile delivery startup armed with cargo bicycles, while LVentureGroup invested in Moovenda, a delivery service for professionals and local businesses.