Australian online supermarket VOLY raises $13 million seed fund led by Sequoia Capital India

(ASEAN Startups) Australia’s first instant online grocery supermarket VOLY , has raised AU$18 million ($12.89 million) in one of the nation’s largest ever seed rounds led by Sequoia Capital India, with increased backing from Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Australian-based Artesian Capital.

Australian online supermarket VOLY raises $13 million seed fund led by Sequoia Capital India

This funding round will enable VOLY to continue to scale, expand the team, rapidly increase operations across key urban centers and start the national rollout, VOLY said in a statement.

While currently available in Sydney across 42 suburbs, VOLY has plans to rapidly expand its offering from January 2022 to reach millions more Australians around the country in the coming months and years ahead.

Launched in July 2021, VOLY is an online supermarket and delivery service committed to disrupting the Australian grocery market by offering instant grocery delivery to millions of Australians through its mobile app. Setting new standards in the delivery industry, VOLY employs its own people and riders across micro fulfillment centers around Australia, offering household items to its customers in less than 15 minutes of placing an order. 

The move to employ riders full-time together with a strategy of vertical integration sets VOLY apart from the “gig economy” and enables it to offer speed and quality without compromising on price.

“VOLY is here to completely change the way people shop for groceries by giving Australians back their most precious resource, time. Our model, from a fully employed delivery and dispatch team to the way we use electric bikes to deliver, is designed around the way people live. We firmly believe that our customers have a better experience when our riders and other staff are part of the company, working with us,” said Mark Heath, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of VOLY.

VOLY was co-founded by Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, who are also Co-Chief Executive Officers of the company and have experience working with on-demand technology brands across the food supply and logistics industries. Mark Heath helped launch Uber in Australia after a career at Goldman Sachs and Thibault Henry built, scaled, and sold Balto which was a business-to-business (B2B) last-mile business with clients such as HelloFresh, Marley Spoon, and YouFoodz. VOLY’s management team includes Chief Technology Officer, Anthony Rey, Head of Procurement Lyana Labrode, and Head of Marketing, Josh Peacock.

“We’re doing away with the need to do a weekly grocery shop by providing convenience alongside reliability in a market that offers some of the slowest delivery times in the world. By owning our own supply chain, VOLY delivers at blazing fast speed without compromising on price, quality, or availability. We source directly from suppliers, store in our own micro-fulfillment centers, and deliver using fully employed and mostly full-time staff. VOLY is the supermarket of the future that is built around our customers, not the other way around,” said Thibault Henry.

The seed funding announcement sets a new record for a food delivery company in Australia with support from Sequoia Capital India, a renowned venture capital firm. The interest in VOLY follows a new wave of investment in Aussie startups seen as world-class tech companies with the potential to scale globally.

“Australia’s grocery market, which sees $90 billion in annual spending, is a large and profitable space that continues to be dominated by offline retail. The Sequoia Capital India team was impressed by the strong consumer love for VOLY, their compelling value proposition, and an impressive team of repeat founders that have blitzscaled businesses in Australia before. With on-demand models traditionally scaling very successfully in the country, the decision to lead their seed round and help them scale their business across Australia was an easy one to make,” said Abheek Anand, Managing Director, Sequoia India.

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