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May 07, 2021

Gopuff acquires U.K.-based Fancy to kickstart international expansion

The Philly-based startup has seen accelerating growth during the coronavirus pandemic

Business GoPuff
Gopuff Europe Courtesy/Gopuff

Gopuff's rapid expansion will continue with the acquisition of U.K.-based Fancy, giving the Philadelphia-based digital delivery company an entry point into European markets.

Gopuff has set its sights on a global expansion beginning with the acquisition of Fancy, a London company that will open up markets in the United Kingdom and Europe.

The Philadelphia-based digital delivery service, founded in 2013 by Drexel University graduates Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, announced the deal this week and signaled it will expand its global operations team.

"At Gopuff, we have been consistently focused on responsible growth, strategically establishing the physical infrastructure and footprint needed to bring instant needs to new geographies and customers," Senior Vice President of Business Daniel Folkman said. "Acquiring Fancy is an important first step as we accelerate expansion in the U.K. and Europe and quickly accelerate our investment in the international market."

Fancy, an on-demand delivery service for groceries and other essentials, currently operates in six cities in the U.K. It has micro-fulfillment centers in Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham, with upcoming launches planned in London, Sheffield and Nottingham. The company was founded in January 2020 by Arnie Englander and Jack Wilson.

"We have been inspired by Gopuff's innovation and expertise in our industry and appreciated their insights in and support of our company as we've sought to expand to new markets in the U.K.," Englander said. "We are delighted to formally join forces with them through this transaction."

Both companies operate using a similar end-to-end supply chain that enables them to serve as last-mile delivery platforms, bringing groceries and other goods to homes in less than 30 minutes with a flat $1.95 delivery.

Gopuff's model has challenged traditional convenience stores by offering quick delivery of household items — from over-the-counter medicines, cleaning supplies and pet food to snacks, alcohol, condoms and other home essentials. Open 24/7 in many markets, the company provides late night convenience without the trip to the store. 

As part of the Fancy deal, Gopuff will expand the U.K.-based team and work with Fancy to integrate Gopuff technology.

In the United States, Gopuff currently operates more than 400 sites in dozens of cities, including 250 micro-fulfillment centers. The company was valued at $8.9 billion in March after a new funding round brought in $1.5 billion, propelled by the rising demand for delivery services during the coronavirus pandemic. The company began delivering at-home COVID-19 tests last December.

Late last year, Gopuff completed the acquisition of California-based BevMo!, a specialty alcoholic beverage retailer with 161 locations on the West Coast.

To expand its footprint across the U.S., Gopuff also announced a partnership with Uber this week to create an inventory of items customers can order through the Uber app in 95 cities.