BUSINESS

Online commerce startups are thriving

online-commerce-startups-are-thriving

Greek startups in the e-commerce sector have attracted the interest of major investors amid the pandemic, drawing significant funding or being acquired by Greek or foreign peers.

Last-mile delivery companies, grocery delivery apps and technological logistics firms have created services that help small and large retail entrepreneurs to enhance their online presence, showing significant growth despite the pandemic.

The year has started off on a good note for many of them, benefiting from the changes the coronavirus has brought to consumer behavior, along with the strengthening of online commerce. About a week ago, Instabox, founded by Alexis Priftis, secured financing of 75 million euros in its Series B round of funding led by EQT Ventures. The Stockholm-based company has created an innovative network of smart lockers where the recipients can pick up goods they have ordered. The company has also introduced a network for delivering parcels to consumers’ homes, as well as the Instabike service.

Instashop, founded in Dubai by John Tsioris and Ioanna Angelidaki, has experienced rapid growth during the pandemic. This is an online order app for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, pet products etc from local stores. The app, which is now available in Thessaloniki too, has attracted the interest of Germany’s Delivery Hero, leading to a takeover deal in August 2020 worth $360 million.

Instashop has doubled its staff from the 200 it employed a year ago. “It’s not so much the deal with Delivery Hero that helped the Instashop team grow, but the increased demand for the service. For example, in just one year our customer service department has doubled,” co-founder and marketing director Angelidaki tells Kathimerini: “The company currently has some 400 employees across the six countries it is active in, while in Greece we have about 80 people – and we’re expanding fast,” she added. Instashop operates a technology hub in Thessaloniki.

Meanwhile, online retail platform Skroutz has announced its entry into the courier market with the acquisition of last-mile startup SendX a few days ago, creating its own delivery network.