Dija acquires Cambridge-based Genie to expand its 10 minute grocery service across UK

Dija, the London-based grocery delivery startup backed by Blossom Capital, Creandum and Index Ventures, has acquired Cambridge, U.K.-based Genie, in what looks in part like an acqui-hire.

The deal, for which terms remain undisclosed, will see Genie founders Tim Chan and Callum MacBeth join the Dija team and also includes company assets. Having launched Genie in Cambridge, a U.K. city known for its university, they’ll be tasked with supporting Dija’s growth outside of London.

Founded by Alberto Menolascina and Yusuf Saban, who both spent a number of years at Deliveroo in senior positions, Dija launched in London earlier this month and is just one of a host of European startups that promise to deliver grocery and other convenience store items on-demand. They do this by building out their own hyper-local, delivery-only fulfilment centres — so-called “dark stores” — and recruiting their own delivery personnel. This full-stack or vertical approach and the visibility it provides is then supposed to produce enough supply chain and logistics efficiency to make the unit economics work, although that part is far from proven.

Other dark store operators include Berlin’s Flink, which has raised $52 million in seed financing in a mixture of equity and debt, and Berlin HQ’d Gorillas, which has raised $44 million in Series A funding and recently expanded to London in addition to Germany and Netherlands. Also operating in London are WeezyGetir, and Zapp, with Jiffy expected to launch soon. The U.S. unicorn goPuff is (Read more...)