Dublin online grocery delivery company Buymie has raised €2.2 million from investors to scale up and add a second city to its service in response to demand during the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has also extended its trial partnership with German discount supermarket retailer Lidl into a multi-year arrangement. Buymie also delivers groceries from Tesco to customers.
Demand for the company’s services has increased as public health restrictions on movement has led shoppers to turn to online delivery services to protect themselves from catching Covid-19, the deadly disease caused by virus.
Buymie collects orders for customers shopping from Lidl and Tesco in the greater Dublin area, including in an hour for a higher service delivery fee.
The company's service is available to more than 490,000 households across Dublin and in parts of Kildare and Wicklow such as Maynooth, Celbridge, Leixlip, Bray and Greystones.
Devan Hughes, Buymie's chief executive and co-founder, said the company will, with the new funding, be able to increase revenues by 500 per cent by the end of the year on last year's figure.
The company is turning over a seven-figure sum every month, he said, and the additional investment will allow it to add over 200 more “personal shoppers” this year to the 220 shoppers already collecting and delivering groceries to customers.
The latest investment in the company is coming from Irish venture capital companies ACT Venture Capital and Sure Valley Ventures as well as from Buymie's chairman, businessman Eamonn Quinn, whose late father Feargal founded the Superquinn supermarket chain.
Funding is also being provided by long-term investor in the firm, Haatch Ventures, which is owned by Scott Weavers-Wright, the former chief executive of the online operation of UK supermarket chain Morrisons.
BVP Investments and Enterprise Ireland are also investing.
"The ability to offer our increasing customer base more flexibility in how they shop has been warmly received by thousands of customers in Dublin and the surrounding areas," said Alan Stewart, head of ecommerce at Lidl Ireland.
“We have seen the number of monthly active customers using the service growing by as much as 39 per cent month-on-month. We are looking forward to exploring options for further expansion over the coming years.”
Mr Hughes said Buymie has experienced a 300 per cent increase in downloads of its app and many of its slots have been booked six to seven days in advance during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Given the current challenges faced by consumers with Covid-19, I feel that it is down to emerging indigenous businesses like ourselves to play a key role in shaping the Irish economy, but also the way the world will work post-Covid,” said Mr Hughes.
The company has said that its model does not require vans or warehouses to increase capacity and so can scale up its service “in weeks rather than months”.
Act Venture Capital partner Debbie Rennick said that there was "increasing demand for convenience and faster delivery in the way people buy groceries online and we expect that trend to continue".