The former head of Sainsbury’s has bought a stake in Dundee-based grocery shopping app Snappy Shopper.
The investment was made during the online shopping platform’s recent Series A fundraising, which raised £12 million for the company.
In addition, Justin King, who was CEO of Sainsbury’s from 2004 to 2014, will join the Snappy Group as a non-executive director in the role of senior adviser once the fundraising is completed.
While the exact amount King has invested in the company is unknown, it has been reported as being in the six figures. Depending on the company’s share performance, King will hold a 1-5% stake in the group. Based on the latest investment round, the company is valued at £50-60 million.
The company said that the latest investment will enable it to continue expanding its platforms.
“I have been hugely impressed by the Snappy Group’s affordable solution, leadership team and rapid growth,” King said.
“The company is championing the needs of businesses in their local community. Its proprietary technology provides local businesses with an affordable delivery solution that enables them to compete in this fast-changing market segment. This not only caters to the trend for top-up shopping but also an increasing desire by consumers to access and support local enterprises.
“This is an exciting and pivotal time for the business and I believe that I will be able to add significant value. I look forward to working with the management team as the business continues its expansion and grows its market share further within the thriving UK convenience market and beyond.”
The Snappy Shopper app provides a platform for consumers to order goods from shops located 30 minutes away. The app has proven popular at a time when the pandemic and lockdowns have kept people in their houses and forced many brick-and-mortar shops to operate online.
Founded in 2017, the app had 220 shops signed up for its platform in 2019. This has grown to around 1,150 currently. In particular, it has partnered with major convenience store operators like Spar and Costcutter. According to Snappy, over 700,000 consumers use its platform.
“Prior to the pandemic, the Snappy Group was already established in both hospitality and grocery home delivery,” said Snappy Shopper Co-founder Mike Callachan.
“The lockdown has served to accelerate the online trend, but we strongly believe that the shift in consumer behaviour will persist in the long term. While we expect the rapid rate of growth in deliveries to slow slightly as lockdown eases through the summer months, the online market is a long way from maturation.
“Our mission is to give communities on-demand access to the products of local businesses. In this context, our platform is based on genuine partnerships and the principle of mutual benefit. The platform, therefore, evolves to suit their needs and I believe our flexibility, commitment and commission structure differentiate us from our competitors.”
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The Snappy Group also offers a similar app, Hungrrr, which is marketed towards restaurants and pubs. The service counts Brewdog and Subway amongst its clients.
King noted that there are around 40,000 independent corner shops across the UK, and Snappy’s platform can help them compete with rival on-demand delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo and Just Eat.
Other companies have also spotted the opportunity for home deliveries. Sainsbury’s, for example, recently partnered with Deliveroo to deliver its products.