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Jokr goes from launch to unicorn in 8 months; new funding delivers $1.2B valuation

New York-based firm also announces expansion in several Boston neighborhoods

Instant-delivery firm Jokr is adding Boston to its delivery network, bringing its service to 11 neighborhoods in the city. (Photo: Jokr)

Eight months is all it took to reach unicorn status for Jokr, which on Thursday announced it had raised $260 million in a Series B funding round in a transaction that values the instant delivery company at $1.2 billion.

Activant Capital, Balderton, Greycroft, GGV Capital, G-Squared, HV Capital, Kaszek, Mirae Asset, Monashees, Moving Capital, Tiger Global and others participated in the round. Additionally, the New York-based company announced it has expanded to Boston. 

Founded by German entrepreneur Ralf Wenzel, Jokr utilizes local warehouse facilities to offer a full selection of products with a 15-minute delivery promise on items ordered through its app. Wenzel is known for working with European delivery giant Delivery Hero. He has also worked for Softbank, which is one of the investors in Jokr along with HV Capital and Tiger Global.

“We are very proud of what we have built with Jokr, and today’s announcement is further proof of how we have managed to reshape an entire industry within just a few months,” Wenzel said. “Jokr has arrived – not only at the doorstep but in peoples’ everyday lives. Our customers in Latin America and the U.S. love our instant delivery grocery offering, with GMV having grown by an average of 15% every week. Today’s investment will enable us to continue delivering on our promise to create the ultimate shopping proposition. We are grateful for the trust that our amazing investors continue to put in us as we focus all our energy on making the shopping experience smarter, faster and more sustainable.”

Launched this summer in New York City, Jokr is among the growing number of firms offering delivery in as few as 10 minutes. In Boston, Jokr’s services are available in the Back Bay East, Beacon Hill, West End, Downtown, Leather District, Chinatown, Bay Village, Fort Point, West Broadway, Seaport District, and South Boston areas.

Read: 3 months after launch, grocery platform JOKR raises $170M

Read: 15-minute grocery delivery is real – and in New York, it’s free

“This expansion marks the next step for Jokr on our path to becoming the leader for fast delivery in the U.S.,” said Tyler Trerotola, U.S. co-founder of Jokr. “Boston is a huge untapped market with tech-forward consumers seeking new ways to shop and live their lives. Jokr will offer these consumers a more personalized, quality and convenient way of shopping, while also partnering with local businesses to support the community.”

The new funding will be used to expand operations to additional cities and neighborhoods, the company said. 

Hans Tung, Managing Partner GGV Capital and JOKR board member: 

“The Jokr team’s experience in scaling high-growth businesses and their efficiency in execution set the company apart in its ability to simultaneously deliver a great consumer experience and rapid expansion,” Hans Tung, managing partner of GGV Capital and Jokr board member, said in a statement. “We look forward to being a part of the company’s continued growth in Latin America and the U.S. as the company pursues its mission to make retail more on-demand, personalized and sustainable.”

The Jokr network is designed to bring goods into a larger warehouse before shuttling those items to local neighborhood locations with sizes in the 2,500- to 3,000-square-foot ranges. This allows the company to hold down rental costs and allows for a quicker flow of product. Each local fulfilment center will be replenished multiple times a day as needed.

Like it has done in other markets, Jokr is also partnering with local Boston restaurants and businesses to ensure locals can receive items from their favorite businesses. In Boston, its partners include Iggy’s Bread, Flour Bakery, JP Licks, OTTO Pizza and Mother Juice. Delivery is available in as little as 10 minutes every day between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET. Over 1,800 items are available at launch, the company said.

Unlike many of the other delivery firms, Jokr’s delivery riders and pickers are full-time employees. Founded in April, Jokr has grown its New York coverage area by 85% since its June launch and now covers all of Manhattan below 96th Street as well as Williamsburg and Greenpoint in Brooklyn and Long Island City in Queens.

Jokr also operates in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Campinas, Brazil; Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico; Bogota and Medellin, Colombia; Lima, Peru; Santiago, Chile; and Warsaw, Poland. In all, the company operates approximately 200 hubs in 15 cities in North America and Latin America.

In July, the company announced a $170 million series A funding round led by GGV Capital, Balderton Capital and Tiger Global Management. The round was joined by Activant Capital, Greycroft, Fabrice Grinda’s FJ Labs, as well as Latin America’s tech-specialized VC firms Kaszek and Monashees. HV Capital, which was one of the company’s seed round investors, also contributed to the series A.

Click for more articles by Brian Straight.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected].