MADRID (Reuters) – Spanish start-up Glovo expects revenue to double this year from last as lockdowns boost its quick delivery service of everything from curries to contact lenses, its co-founder Sacha Michaud told Reuters.
Glovo, which clinched “unicorn” status a year ago when a cash injection led by Abu Dhabi fund Mubadala pushed its valuation past $1 billion, delivered groceries and medicines long before the coronavirus pandemic prompted rivals to expand beyond restaurant meals.
“Consumer habits were … changing slowly over time but this has accelerated the way consumers start using on-demand,” Michaud said. “This is long-term, what has happened is the pandemic has accelerated (it).”
Each order now generates more revenue than it costs, Michaud said, and while the company has not set a firm target date for turning a net profit, “we are looking at 2022, early 2022.”
Glovo, based in Barcelona, sold its Latin American operations to Germany’s Delivery Hero in September and is now focusing on investing independently in growing markets, including in eastern Europe.
It struck a deal with Carrefour last year under which its cycle couriers deliver the French retailer’s goods in their bright-yellow backpacks within 30 minutes of orders being placed.
Aside from core food services, Glovo’s order “Anything” option has couriers delivering forgotten belongings.
“The amount of keys we move around the city is incredible,” Michaud said.
Families separated by lockdowns also hired them to share home-made food. “People baking cakes and saying please take the cake properly and don’t let it break on the way,” he said.
Michaud said he was pleased with the return on the sale of the Latin American unit, and would consider acquisitions in newer markets, but had no immediate plans to do so.
Asked whether a public listing could follow U.S. peer DoorDash’s bid to raise up to $2.8 billion (2.1 billion pounds) in an IPO, Michaud said: “We are not in that phase right now.”
Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Ingrid Melander, Kirsten Donovan