Spanish delivery app Glovo gets €100 M for ‘dark stores’

Spanish food delivery app Glovo will receive 100 million euros ($121.3 million) from Swiss real estate investment fund Stoneweg to extend its network of grocery warehouses in 2021, the company said in a statement.

Glovo plans to grow its pool of “darkstores”, or delivery-only supermarkets, to 100 units from the 18 it currently has in operation, using Stoneweg’s investment to acquire infrastructure principally in Spain, Portugal, Italy and Romania.

So-called quick commerce has boomed in the past year as the pandemic forced shopping online and put a new premium on ultra-rapid deliveries of food and goods from relatively local stockrooms, with Glovo reporting a hike in courier services as people stayed home.

“Stoneweg’s decision consolidates our strategic bet on Q-commerce,” Glovo CEO Oscar Pierre said in a statement. “We are going to work so that all kinds of business, from large chains to corner shops, can reach more clients thanks to new technology and efficient infrastructure.”

Glovo had already partnered with Spanish oil firm CEPSA during Spain’s lockdown last spring to deliver groceries and other products from CEPSA’s network of shops at its petrol stations, before expanding the agreement in July.

British food delivery app Deliveroo signed a similar deal in Spain with oil company Repsol.

Glovo’s new focus on Q-commerce reflects a push to diversify its services away from its restaurant delivery-based origins, as the startup seeks to rehaul its business model following a court ruling which deemed riders were employees, not freelancers.