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Voly to expand beyond Sydney after $18 million seed funding round

NSW grocery-delivery service Voly is set to expand its coverage beyond Sydney after securing $18 million in a seed-funding round led by Sequoia Capital India. 

Launched in July this year by Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, Voly accepts orders online or by app between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week across 42 Sydney suburbs. The pair said they want to disrupt the nation’s $122 billion a year grocery industry by delivering grocery orders within 15 minutes and doing away with the need for consumers to carry out a weekly shop. They aim to make ordering supplies as simple and engaging as browsing Instagram and receiving their order in less time than it would take them to make a round trip to the supermarket. 

“Our model – from a fully employed delivery and dispatch team to the way we use electric bikes to deliver – is designed around the way people live,” said Heath. “We firmly believe that our customers have a better experience when our riders and other staff are part of the company, working with us.”

Voly promises to retail most key household products available at any major supermarket ranging from fresh produce to cleaning products at usual retail prices – delivered for free. Henry said the service marks a huge contrast in a market that offers “some of the slowest delivery times in the world”. 

“By owning our own supply chain, Voly delivers at blazing fast speed without compromising on price, quality or availability. We source directly from suppliers, store in our own micro-fulfilment centres and deliver using fully employed and mostly full-time staff,” said Henry. 

“Voly is the supermarket of the future that is built around our customers, not the other way around.”

Voly founders Mark Heath, left, and Thibault Henry.

This week’s funding round also received funding from Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Australian-based Artesian Capital. The funds raised will enable Voly to continue to scale, expand its personnel, rapidly increase its operations across key urban centres and start a nationwide rollout. 

Abheek Anand, MD at Sequoia India, described Australia’s grocery industry as “a large and profitable space that continues to be dominated by offline retail”.

“The Sequoia Capital India team was impressed by the strong consumer love for Voly, its compelling value proposition, and an impressive team of repeat founders that has blitz-scaled businesses in Australia before. With on-demand models traditionally scaling very successfully in the country, the decision to lead their seed round and help them scale their business across Australia was an easy one to make,” he said.

Prior to co-launching Voly, Heath helped launch Uber in Australia after a career at Goldman Sachs, while Henry built, scaled and sold Balto, a B2B last-mile delivery business with clients including HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and YouFoodz.

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