Startups

This homegrown Postmates competitor just raised $3.25 million

Now in five markets and eyeing six more, goPuff is all grown up.

GoPuff is now in five markets, including Washington, D.C., shown here.

(Courtesy photo)

Watch out, Postmates and Instacart.
Philly’s own delivery startup, goPuff, just raised $3.25 million from Menlo Park, Calif.-based investment firm Anthos Capital.
It’s the first funding the company has taken and the founders plan to use it to expand to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Denver in 2016, said CEO and cofounder Rafael Ilishayev. They chose Anthos Capital, which has funded Chicago shopping startup Trunk Club and SF meal delivery startup Munchery, for their ties to the West Coast market — those relationships will help them expand in SF and LA, Ilishayev said.
goPuff is already in five markets — Philly is their biggest, where they have 150 drivers or about 25-30 per shift, up from about 13 per shift last year. Ilishayev declined to disclose how many drivers they had across all markets.

goPuff's beer distributor on the outskirts of Center City, at 12th and Hamilton.

goPuff’s beer distributor on the outskirts of Center City, at 12th and Hamilton. (Courtesy photo)


Founded by Ilishayev and Yakir Gola when they were still undergrads at Drexel, goPuff has evolved from a purveyor of “munchies” and party paraphernalia (think: hookah coals, e-cigarettes and rolling papers) for college students to a wide-ranging delivery business offering organic food (called “healthies” on the site), toiletries and now, beer. They had to open a brick and mortar beer distributor to get the delivery license, Ilishayev said. (goPuff joins Instacart with booze delivery: Instacart started delivering wine and liquor in the spring of 2014.)

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goPuff has taken the slow and steady expansion model rather than the traditional, venture-backed route of opening a handful of markets at once. They opened in Boston and Washington, D.C. last year and grew to New York City and Austin this year. Now, they’re turning up: They plan to expand to six markets in 2016.
“Our foot’s on the accelerator,” Ilishayev said.
According to the SEC filing for the raise, goPuff’s revenues are between $1 million and $5 million.

goPuff's new mascot: a puffer fish.

goPuff’s new mascot: a puffer fish. (Courtesy photo)


goPuff’s 30 full-time employees work out of an office in their 30,000-square-foot warehouse in Center City, where they keep all the goods they sell. Most of their drivers, who are contractors, are former Postmates and Instacart staffers, Ilishayev said.
Their competitive advantage? Ilishayev said goPuff is faster than Postmates and Instacart because they bundle deliveries that are going to the same location and all their goods come from one central location (the warehouse). They also source their products from suppliers like UNFI and McLane, which distribute to stores like Whole Foods and Wawa, so they’re able to get cheaper prices.

Companies: Gopuff
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