Kurly, a grocery delivery platform operator, on April 4 announced that it had closed its series D round having raised 100 billion won ($88.01 million).
According to Kurly, existing investors including Sequoia Capital provided additional funding in this round.
“Market Kurly is clearly showing its strong presence as a leading player in fast growing online grocery market,” Tiantian He, Vice President of Sequoia China, said in a statement. “We are impressed with CEO Sophie Kim’s vision, passion and her ability to execute them. So we decided to participate in Series D again.”
Established in 2015, Market Kurly offers a wide range of groceries and merchandise for delivery by 7 a.m., as long as the orders are placed before 11 p.m. the previous night.
The startup’s sales reached more than 157.1 billion won last year, increasing drastically from 46.5 billion in 2017.
The dawn delivery service provider will mainly use the fund to recruit more employees in its logistics system development and supply chain management sectors to stabilize those areas of the business.
However, some industry sources have expressed concern about Kurly’s business prospects since its net loss reached 35 billion won last year, partially because it increased spending on marketing and advertising in an effort to increase brand awareness. The startup’s spending is expected to increase further this year, since it recently picked famous South Korean actress Jeon Ji-hyun as its main spokesmodel.
Additionally, competitors with significant capital are launching similar services here after witnessing Market Kurly’s success. E-commerce company Coupang recently started a service known as Rocket Fresh, and the Korean retail giant E-mart rolled out SSG Good Morning.
Currently, Kurly founder and CEO Kim is the biggest shareholder of the startup, with a 27.9 percent stake. Next are the Korean hedge fund Alphen Route Asset Management, which owns 21.5 percent, and SK Networks with 9.41 percent.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)