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Food-delivery startup Jokr raised over $170 million in its first 100 days. The founder tells us how he did it.

  • JOKR, which promises to deliver groceries to your doorstep at rapid speed, is moving at warp speed.
  • The company was founded in March and raised a massive seed round from Tiger Global and Softbank. 
  • Mere months later, JOKR raised one of the largest Series A rounds in history.

A mere four months after launching, grocery delivery startup Jokr, just raised a massive $170 million Series A round, one of the largest in history.

German entrepreneur Ralf Wenzel started the company in March after leaving his post as managing partner at Softbank Group.

“We just celebrated our 100-day anniversary,” he told Insider on Tuesday.

And this Series A, led by GGV Capital, Europe’s Balderton Capital and Tiger Global Management, was its second recent infusion of cash.

Jokr raised an undisclosed seed round from Softbank and Tiger Global Management. Pitchbook puts it at $100 million, although Wenzel disputed that figure and declined to correct it. He also declined to disclose his startup’s valuation.

Why take on what could be nearly $270 million in venture investment for a fledging startup? Because investors were begging Wenzel to take their money. “We got strong inbound interest from investors,” Wenzel said. “We have not been actively going out raising.”

Tuesday’s $170 million investment ranks in the top 20 largest Series A rounds in history, according to Pitchbook. It’s a staggering amount even in a year that has been shattering fundraising records; The average Series A has been $42 million in 2021, up from $33 million in 2020, according to CB Insights.

But there’s also something else going on: The new round is emblematic of Tiger’s rapid-fire approach as the firm averaged 1.3 investments a day during the second quarter, making it by far the most active investor in the world.

HV Capital, Activant Capital, Greycroft, Kaszek, Monashees and FJ Labs also participated in the round. 

Jokr, which promises delivery in 15 minutes, has been opening roughly one delivery hub per day in cities including New York, São Paolo, Mexico City, Bogota. Lima, Warsaw, and Vienna. It says it already operates 100 hubs and has doubled order volume roughly every two weeks.

Wenzel says investors were impressed by Jokr’s rapid growth, even though they had a limited sample size of only a few weeks.

“In all honesty we did not expect to grow as fast as we did,” Wenzel said.

There are a slew of competing delivery platforms, notably Instacart, expected to go public as soon as this year. Jokr is different because, rather than ferry items from retail stores, it buys goods from wholesalers and operates hubs that range from 2,500 to 5,000 square feet. This model generates better margins, Wenzel says, which allows it to hire couriers as full-timers, not contractors.

He also pointed out that his team has been working together for more than two decades. He previously founded another delivery platform, Food Panda, that was acquired by Delivery Hero in 2016.

“Given that we have an experienced team, we had a playbook from previous companies on how to roll out,” Wenzel said. “We knew what to do. We were able to do it very fast, but diligently.”

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