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Lewis Hamilton invests in rapid grocery delivery start-up Zapp


Lewis Hamilton is a British Formula One driver.

Bryn Lennon – Formula 1 | Formula 1 via Getty Images

LONDON — British Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton has backed rapid grocery delivery start-up Zapp as part of a larger $200 million investment in the company.

On Friday, the London-based business announced that it had raised fresh capital in Series B financing round. This was managed by Venture Capital Firms Lightspeed Venture Partners (468 Capital) and BroadLight Capital (528 Capital). Vorwerk Ventures and Atomico were among the investors.

Zapp didn’t disclose Hamilton’s valuation and refused to comment about Hamilton’s share.

Hamilton’s involvement marks an unusual start-up investment by the F1 racing legend. He holds a record of seven wins in the World Drivers Championship, which he shares with Michael Schumacher (retired German driver).

Zapp, a service that was launched in 2020, lets users buy food, drink, and other essentials from what are known as “dark store” small warehouses, which were created with the sole purpose to prepare online orders. Delivery times are promised to be as short as twenty minutes.

Zapp, one of the many new European retailers that are competing with established ones in Europe for customers’ attention and promising superfast delivery, is just one example of how Zapp can be a successful business model. The company is up against well-funded competition, such as the Turkish company Getir or German firms Gorillas & Flink.

Zapp asserts it’s unique because the app is a digital version of a convenience store and not an online one like a supermarket. TescoOr Sainsbury’s. The company is currently active in seven cities, including London and Amsterdam.

Joe Falter (Zapp founder) stated in a statement that “With this capital, we will concentrate on achieving profitability both in our existing market as well as bringing Zapp worldwide to new customers.”

It also stated that it plans to invest the capital in improving its customer experience as well as its supply chain. Zapp’s London distribution center, measuring 25,000 square feet, was opened last year in order to maintain goods flows to its dark store.

JPMorganZapp’s financial advisor, said the company.

The growth of rapid delivery businesses has been equally impressive since the inception of the coronavirus epidemic. Investors valued Getir at $7.7 Billion, and Gorillas received a $1 Billion financing round from Gorillas. This was led by a German food delivery company. Delivery HeroIt was valued at more than $3 billion. DoorDash made a $750million investment in Berlin startup Flink.

The space is becoming more congested, and there has been an increase in consolidation. Weezy, the London-based start-up, was acquired by Getir, while Frichti, which is owned by Gorillas, was snapped up.

Many executives and tech investors are questioning the viability of start-ups. Ocado CEO Tim Steiner stated Wednesday that there was “very little differentiation among all players” and expected to see market consolidation.

Steve O’Hear (Zapp’s vice-president of strategy) said that “We don’t view it as a winners take all market.” There is plenty of room for other players, just like in the larger grocery market. Customers have shown that they are open to choice.