Sunday 15 July 2018

Buymie gets big grocery names on board

Former Superquinn marketing director and Dragons’ Den star Eamonn Quinn has been appointed chairman. Photo: Ruthless Imagery
Former Superquinn marketing director and Dragons’ Den star Eamonn Quinn has been appointed chairman. Photo: Ruthless Imagery

Fearghal O'Connor

Same-day grocery delivery platform Buymie has closed a seed funding round that brings total investment to over €1m and puts some major grocery industry names on its share register.

Former Superquinn marketing director and Dragons' Den star Eamonn Quinn has been appointed chairman and other backers include FMCG giant Unilever and former Morrisons.com chief Scott Weavers-Wright.

Buymie uses data-driven platform technology to allow consumers order grocery and household items from a variety of large retailers and have them delivered in as little as an hour, said co-founder and chief executive Devan Hughes.

"We started working on Buymie in 2014, because we recognised that consumer demand for online was only going to continue to surge, but the traditional delivery infrastructure was completely dysfunctional in nature, losing £300m annually. Ultimately we felt there had to be a correction on the way," said Hughes.

"Within a year of launching Buymie, the grocery industry saw a catalyst event occur with the $13bn acquisition of US grocery retailer Wholefoods by Amazon. Since then, the grocery industry has been shaken to its core."

Buymie chairman Quinn said the challenges have only intensified since he helped introduce online retailing at Superquinn 17 years ago.

"When you look at online grocery operations of the big retailers today, nothing has really changed from a technology and cost standpoint since 2001," he said. "They still need to buy expensive vans and maintain out-of-date legacy systems. Companies like Deliveroo, MyTaxi, Uber and JustEat have radically transformed the expectations of consumers, where next-day delivery just isn't good enough. Especially where the likes of Amazon and Buymie can do the same job in one hour."

Scott Weavers-Wright said he had invested in Buymie because "it doesn't belong to any one retailer but allows them to use the power of cutting-edge platform and data technology to deliver goods faster and cheaper using a shared network".

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