Amid the pandemic, goPuff is the company with seemingly unstoppable growth.
The on-demand delivery company, founded by Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola in 2013 while the pair were Drexel University students, has just announced a $1.15 billion raise, giving the company a valuation of $8.9 billion.
It comes only months after the company raised $380 million to expand its product offering and about 14 months after we learned of its $750 million investment from SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund. In November, the company also acquired BevMo!, a California-based alcohol retailer that offers in-store purchase, delivery and shipment, shoring up its footprint on the West Coast.
This $1.15 billion investment comes from a mix of the company’s previous investors and new ones — SoftBank, D1 Capital Partners, Luxor Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Baillie Gifford, Eldridge and Reinvent Capital.
“We are grateful for the confidence of our longtime returning partners as well as the new, top-tier institutions joining this round who understand our differentiation in the market. We look forward to their support as we accelerate our growth plans and continue to define and transform the instant needs space,” said Ilishayev, cofounder and co-CEO, in a statement.
Daniel Sundheim, founder and CIO at D1 Capital Partners, said that since his firm invested in goPuff last fall, they’ve been “consistently impressed” by the company’s ability to execute its growth plans.
“This milestone further validates the success of goPuff’s vertically integrated model as well as the massive global opportunity for the category,” added, Gola, cofounder and co-CEO. “Our technology platform and infrastructure enable us to expand goPuff’s offerings while bringing more products, new categories, and experiences to customers.”
Though goPuff is an ecommerce business, it has much more infrastructure than a pure software company. Food delivery snd logistics put it in a category with everyone ranging from Amazon and Uber to DoorDash.
goPuff’s reported valuation of nearly $9 billion marks it a unicorn (many times over) in a city with few privately held, billion-dollar growth companies. The “unicorn” term often refers to software-first companies, but 2019’s $4.8 billion Spark Therapeutics exit marked a city-based biotech example. This new goPuff deal also marks the biggest investment in a company the region has seen in a long time, and nearly meets the $1.47 billion to $1.8 billion that the entire region saw in investments in 2020.
In January 2020, we ruminated on what last year’s behemoth deal meant for Philadelphia at large. (“It may be the first billion-dollar company from Philly you’ve actually heard of.”) Now, we’re asking again: What does this deal mean for Philly? Do you think it helps or affects growth for your own locally based company? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org.