European on-demand delivery startup Glovo raises $166 million led by Mubadala, becomes a unicorn

European on-demand delivery startup Glovo that is present in the region through its operations in Egypt and Morocco, has raised $166.3 million (€150 million) in a Series E round led by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, it announced yesterday. The company did not disclose the exact valuation but said that it has become a unicorn.

The Barcelona-headquartered startup that had quit its operations in Egypt for a short while has been investing heavily in the country since its relaunch there. Glovo’s focus in Egypt (at least) has been on food delivery where it’s competing with the international players like Delivery Hero (which operates Otlob there) and UberEats.

The latest investment came from Mubadala’s $400 million European fund (that was first announced last year and has been actively investing in European startups this year) and the previous investors including Lakestar, Idinvest Partners and Drake QSR. This comes almost eight months after Glovo announced closing of its $169 million (€150 million) Series D.

Glovo’s co-founder and Oscar Pierre, answering a question in a TechCrunch interview, said that they’re not thinking about expanding (further) into the Middle East, “It hasn’t been part of the thesis of investment — so we’re not linking it. [The] Middle East for us it seems already a bit too competitive to go now. All our expansion playbook has been focused on going first to markets [or where our competitors] were a second player. And the online food delivery market in the Middle East is very developed already. So, never say never, but [the] short answer is we’re not planning in the short term to launch there.”

The delivery platform currently operates in Europe, Latin America, and Africa.

Commenting on the investment in a statement, Oscar said, “We’re very pleased to welcome Mubadala as an investor, as well as to further strengthen our position within the industry. To have achieved unicorn status is something truly exciting and a testament to the talent within the company, and their determination to keep innovating and disrupting the on-demand delivery space. Despite our rapid growth and new status, we still have the same vision we’ve always had: to make everything within the city instantly available to our customers.”

Frederic Lardieg, a partner at Mubadala Ventures Europe, said, “In June 2018, Mubadala launched a €400m fund to invest in leading European technology companies like Glovo. Our investment is a testament to our commitment to the European tech market and we are excited to lead this Series E funding round to enable Glovo to grow their team and support the expansion of their offering.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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