Is Getir the first global Turkish startup?
This piece was originally published in my newsletter Emergent.
My name is Mikal – I’m an early-stage tech investor and I was born in Asia, grew up in Africa and now live in the US. Every week I break down a fast-growing business in an emerging market to understand its product, market and growth strategy.
This week I’m breaking down Turkish delivery startup Getir.
The rise of ecommerce and delivery has been one of the biggest lifestyle shifts in urban centers over the past decade. This shift is a global phenomenon embodied by companies like DoorDash and Uber in the United States, Grab and GoJek in Southeast Asia and Deliveroo in Europe. But one lesser-known, but equally impressive startup powering this shift is Turkish delivery startup Getir.
Getir is a “quick commerce” company delivering groceries, food and essentials to consumers in as little as 10 minutes. Getir was founded in 2015 and since then has grown to impressive scale:
- 3.5 million active users
- 5x revenue growth in 2020
- Delivers over 75,000 packages a day
- GetirFood delivers from over 15,000 restaurants across Turkey
- Raised $470m to date
- Valued at over $2.6 billion
Today, Getir is the leader in the grocery delivery sector in Turkey. But Getir offers more than just grocery delivery and recently broadened its portfolio of services to include food delivery and rapid delivery of household essentials.
Getir was founded in Turkey and is now available in 21 cities across Turkey. Impressively, Getir fulfills over 5 million orders a month in Turkey, a country of 83 million people. However, Getir’s ambitions stretch far beyond Turkey and in January of 2021 Getir launched in London, making the UK Getir’s second market after Turkey.
The UK does not mark the end of Getir’s geographic expansion plans. In fact, one of the major motivators for Getir’s most recent fundraise of $300m was to bankroll its launch in France, Germany and the Netherlands. Beyond that, Getir’s CEO has hinted at launches in Brazil and Japan as being part of its future roadmap.
Getir’s geographic expansion across Europe has a clear rationale, the grocery market in Europe is estimated to be worth $2 trillion annually. Getir’s aggressive expansion is designed to capture as much market share in the grocery delivery space across Europe as fast as possible. The size of the grocery delivery market in Europe and the United States ($1 trillion) has driven huge amounts of investment by venture capitalists over the past few years.
The grocery delivery market has rapidly become a hotly contested market across Europe with numerous, well-capitalized startups battling for market share. Some notable startups include:
- Gorillas: Recently raised $280 million and currently available in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK
- Weezy: Recently raised $20 million and currently available in the United Kingdom
- Djia: Recently raised $20 million and currently available in London, Paris and Madrid
- Rohlik: Recently raised $230 million and currently available in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria with plans to expand into Germany, Poland and Romania
- Glovo: Recently raised $520 million and currently available in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Romania
- Wolt: Recently raised $530 million and currently available in 120 cities across Europe, Japan and Israel
In Turkey, Getir’s major competitors are:
- Deliveryhero.com launched Banabi in 2019 which has delivered over 30 million products since its founding
- Migros Now: Launched by local supermarket giant Migros offering grocery deliveries in 30 minutes
The intense competition for the grocery market will only continue to heat up in the next two years as more investment pours into the space and the startups above as well as legacy supermarket chains trying their hand at delivery like Migros battle it out for market share.
The grocery delivery market is one of the most competitive markets in the world for startups to enter at the moment. Despite this, Getir can pursue several possible strategies to continue to grow its business. These strategies include:
- Expanding into the United States
- Expanding into food delivery
- Expanding into B2B delivery
The United States is the holy grail for grocery delivery with a trillion dollar market, large population and high levels of disposable income. However, the US is a competitive market with Uber, Amazon and Instacart major players in the grocery delivery space. Getir is unlikely to expand into the United States because one of Getir’s major investors, Sequoia Partner Mike Moritz is also an investor in Instacart and it is unlikely he would have invested in Getir if he expected it to compete with Instacart directly one day.
Getir is already employing strategy two in Turkey where it recently launched its food delivery service GetirFood. Once Getir establishes a foothold in a new market (such as London) and builds out its network of drivers, it is likely it will expand to offer GetirFood in these new markets over time. This will increase its revenue opportunities in new markets but will also put it in competition with a range of different startups focused on food delivery such as Deliveroo, Doordash and Uber. It is not clear however what structural advantage Getir will have in European markets versus a competitor like Deliveroo in the food delivery space. As a whole the business model of food delivery startups remains a challenging model to make profitable and a work in progress. Launching GetirFood in all the new markets Getir enters will be a capital-intensive strategy to pursue and require it to raise significantly more funding.
Strategy three is an interesting potential extension of Getir’s logistics infrastructure by expanding into B2B delivery services. While delivery has taken off in the consumer world, for the most part B2B ecommerce and delivery has lagged behind and remains a relatively untapped market. For example, companies like Curri in the United States deliver construction supplies and material to businesses or Onfleet which offers last-mile logistics services for ecommerce companies. Getir would not be alone in pursuing this strategy. Glovo recently rolled out its B2B logistics play to give other businesses access to its 30-minute delivery service. There are numerous verticals Getir could expand into with a B2B delivery service such as construction materials, medicine or agricultural products.
Overall, Getir has rapidly emerged as the leader in grocery delivery in Turkey and is now broadening its service into food delivery and other quick commerce services. Getir is one of the few case studies today of a non-Western startup commercializing into the Western world. Its launch in London is the first of a series of planned launches across countries in Europe. Getir’s success or failure in expanding into Western markets will be a case study for numerous other global startups who have their eyes on entering the US or Europe in future. Will Getir succeed and pave the way for a wave of startups in Africa, Asia and Latin America to expand into the Western world? Or will it fail and become a cautionary tale for these same companies with global ambitions?
This piece was originally published in my newsletter Emergent.