- Words Notion Staff
US instant grocery app, Gopuff, launches in the UK ahead of plans for Europe-wide expansion. We spoke with co-founder Yakir Gola about the company's history and plans for the future.
Delivering everything and anything from food, medication, cleaning products to pet products in mere minutes, Go Puff joins the UK market as a one-stop shop for all your needs. Co-founded by Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev who met on the first day of Drexel University at their Business 101 class, a year later Gopuff was born.
Operating in over 1,000 cities with 10,000 employees and more than 550 micro-fulfillment centres and stores, Gopuff has now launched in the UK (as well as France and Spain). Kicking off in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, with plans to expand to 33 locations by next year.
While the UK is Gopuff’s first international venture under the brand’s name, the company also has plans to open up a base in Berlin, Germany.
“When looking at expanding into Europe, we were extremely attracted to the similar models, infrastructure, loyal customer bases and talent we saw in both Dija and Fancy,” said Rafael IIishayev, co-founder and co-CEO of Gopuff.
Customers pay a flat fee of just £1.79 per order (definitely worth saving yourself a trip to the shops), and the company offer 50% off the first order and a £10 referral reward. Well, how about that?
Notion caught up with the Yakir to hear about Gopuff’s UK launch, keeping close ties with their old stomping ground, Drexel University, and what’s next.
Hello Yakir! You and Rafael attended Drexel University together. What qualities did you see in one another that led you to believe you would be great business partners?
I met Rafael on the first day of Business class at Drexel and we hit it off right away. We are both first-generation Americans and grew up in entrepreneurial families, so we quickly recognized a lot of shared values and experiences.
Can you tell us a bit about your journey and how you got where you are today? What inspired you to start Gopuff in 2013?
We founded Gopuff in 2013 when we were in our sophomore year at Drexel University. We bootstrapped the business for the first few years, selling and delivering a family friend’s old office furniture online to bring in $50,000. We had customer interest right away and knew we were on to something.
What attracted you to the UK as a place to expand Gopuff?
The UK is a great spot for Gopuff to launch its first international post, due in part to the densely populated cities and extremely high customer demand for immediate delivery of everyday needs.
You still work closely with Drexel University. Can you tell us more about the scholarship you established?
We are closely involved with Drexel University and established a scholarship through the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship and supporting Chabad Serving Drexel University. We are also involved in other philanthropic work, including a $1 million matching campaign we ran last year for the Boys and Girls Clubs COVID-19 Relief Fund, and also committing $1 million in orders to health care professionals and medical centres working on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis.
What’s next for Gopuff? Do you have plans to expand elsewhere?
We’ve not shied away from the fact that we’d love to expand into Europe, so the UK is just the tip of the international iceberg for us.