Barcelona-based delivery startup Glovo launches new logistics service for NGOs and social enterprises

We recently discussed the race between Europe’s fastest-growing food delivery players in our article ‘Glovo vs. Deliveroo vs. Delivery Hero: Battle of the food delivery scaleups’. It’s clear that delivery startups were already hot before the coronavirus pandemic started, and there’s no stopping them now. After a short lull in activity, the sector has been propelled forward at a pace never seen before, with players bringing out even more customer-centric services to win us over.

Founded in 2015, Glovo is the baby amongst the European scaleups taking the lead in this race. Despite having the smallest team of +3K employees compared to Deliveroo and Delivery Hero, the startup has still managed to expand to 19 countries and 400+ cities, more than its older counterpart Deliveroo.

Aspects that make Glovo stand out include their diversification from just food delivery to other items like grocery, alcohol and pharmacy delivery. During the strict lockdown, Glovo offered free pharmacy delivery in certain regions, and this recent move to offer logistics services to the third sector is another example of a responsiveness to the current environment that might just give them a cool advantage.

The new service was initially established in March in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, when Glovo delivered over 155,000 orders of essential supplies, including food, pharmaceuticals, electronic devices and sanitary products, to those associated with more than 30 NGOs (such as Make-A-Wish International, Save The Children and Fundación Altius). Since then, Glovo has raised more than €550K in funding for these projects through contributions from the likes of the PepsiCo Foundation, insurance giants Zurich and DKV, as well as German hypermarket chain Kaufland, in addition to a further raised €45K directly from users through its in-app donations campaign.

Glovo’s platform will now be available to NGOs and social enterprises in all of the 19 countries and 650 cities in which it operates globally, with the aim of helping third sector organistions to digitalise their operations. As a result, NGOs and social enterprises will now be able to request Glovo’s logistical services to deliver everyday essential supplies, access the company’s network of partners to identify potential donors of food products and meals, and connect with the user database to fundraise for their projects directly.

Sébastien Pellion, Head of Social Impact at Glovo, said: “We’re really excited about the potential of Glovo Access and the opening up of our platform to NGOs across the world. We noticed during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, especially here in Spain, which was one of the countries hardest-hit, that local organisations such as food banks, social centres and other charities were struggling to maintain their operations due to the lockdown. Given our license to operate as an “essential service”, we saw an opportunity to help these charities maintain their activities, which are crucially important to the most vulnerable members of our society.” 

Oscar Pierre, CEO and co-founder of Glovo, said: “COVID-19 has been a wake-up call for us all and the question we asked ourselves was: how can we help? Our technology and our platform allowed us to step in and make sure the NGOs and charities in Spain could continue to operate, despite being largely made up of volunteers, and that they could keep delivering essential goods to those that need it the most. We’ve done a lot in a relatively short space of time but there’s still so much more we can do. There’s still so much uncertainty in the world today and Glovo, with its global presence, is perfectly placed to continue to support NGOs worldwide, not just during a pandemic.” 

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