Surprise: goPuff raised $380M to expand product offerings and move into new markets - Technical.ly Philly

Growth

Oct. 8, 2020 1:10 pm

Surprise: goPuff raised $380M to expand product offerings and move into new markets

The already quickly growing unicorn has even more plans for growth, following last year's $750 million raise.
goPuff founders Yakir Gola (left) and Rafael Ilishayev cut the ribbon on their renovated offices in 2017 with the help of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

goPuff founders Yakir Gola (left) and Rafael Ilishayev cut the ribbon on their renovated offices in 2017 with the help of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.

(Photo via @PhillyMayor)

Rapidly growing on-demand delivery company goPuff, which recently moved into its new HQ in Callowhill, has again raised hundreds of millions in funding to continue its growth of products and personnel.

The company, started by two Drexel University students back in 2013, is announcing the raise little more than a year after it received a $750 million investment from Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund in August 2019.

Now, goPuff announced Thursday, it snagged an additional $380 million from existing investor Accel and D1 Capital Partners with participation from Luxor Capital and SoftBank. (Check out what goPuff cofounder Yakir Gola said at this Accel event back in February.)

The funding will go toward its geographic expansion — it set up shop in Baltimore earlier this year and currently operates in about 500 cities in the U.S. — and will allow the company to expand its product offering. Plans include product categories like baby and pet products, over-the-counter medicine and local favorites. In Philadelphia, the company currently partners with brands like Federal Donuts, La Colombe and Yards.

“From day one, we have always been customer-first and continue to be excited about the impact we’re making on people’s lives by changing the way they get the products that they want and need,” said cofounder Rafael Ilishayev in a statement.

The company recently set up shop in Dallas, Miami, Detroit, Minneapolis and Houston and currently employs more than 4,000 people, it said Thursday. This figure does not include drivers, who are independent contractors, comms head Liz Romaine told Technical.ly.

Along with the raise, goPuff added some new faces to its leadership team. Jocelyn Wong, former CMO at Lowe’s, has joined as goPuff’s first chief customer officer; Jonathan DiOrio, Uber’s former global head of fintech and U.S. business development, joined in the newly created role of chief business officer; and former TripAdvisor engineering executive Rekha Singh joined as the company’s VP of engineering. All three will be working from goPuff HQ in Philadelphia.

Although the company was already quickly growing (and indeed, was named Growth Company of the Year in our 2019 Technical.ly Awards), the pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home-order in many cities across the U.S. increased demand for the tech-enabled delivery service. Back in April, the company was looking for “thousands” of new drivers.

“We also recognize that delivery is playing an integral role in this public health crisis, and we take this responsibility seriously,” Romaine said then. “We’re doing everything we can to be there for our customers — whether they need cleaning supplies in the morning, OTC medicine in the afternoon or something to eat and drink at night.”

The funding round values the company at $3.9 billion, marking it a unicorn in a city with few privately held, billion-dollar growth companies. Spark Therapeutics’ 2019 exit of $4.8 billion made it one of the first in a long while.

“We’ve come a long way, but we’re also just getting started,” Gola said. “This investment accelerates our ability to achieve our vision of becoming the world’s go-to solution for immediate everyday needs.”

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