German startup arive raises €6 million to deliver high-end products on-demand

arive, a Germany-based company that delivers high-end consumer brands to the customer’s door within 30 minutes, has raised €6 million in seed funding from 468 Capital, La Famiglia VC and Balderton Capital to transform consumer shopping habits. 

By bringing together a curated selection of well-known brands and last-mile delivery logistics with an innovative tech stack, arive wants to change how people shop. From fitness products, cosmetics, personal care, homeware, tech and fashion, consumers can use arive to order everything they want and love. Consumers submit an order on the app, which is then picked by arive staff in city warehouses, before being delivered by a bike-only fleet in 30-minutes or less. This seamless service will ensure you can order what you want, when you want, allowing customers to reclaim their time and get on with experiencing life, instead of waiting for an order. 

The last-mile delivery sector has exploded in the past few months with startups across Europe and the US raising around 2.6 billion in the last quarter alone in order to deliver groceries with 10- or 20-minute delivery promises. This has led to a change in consumer expectations – when once a three-day or next-day delivery would suffice, the rise of companies such as Gorillas and Weezy means customers are used to receiving something almost instantaneously.

Yet by focusing solely on groceries, the startup states that this is leaving huge parts of the e-commerce market underserved – a market that is surging across Europe, growing nearly 15% between 2019 and 2020 in Germany, and 46% in the UK. With shopping traffic in inner cities still below pre-COVID levels, there is an opportunity to fix the issues with consumer online shopping, from tackling the pain points around long delivery times to the friction felt when returning items. arive is the answer to these woes. 

Brands are chosen for the arive app depending on a criteria which includes sustainability, impact on culture, and values, which acts as a new digital storefront for customers to browse and feel inspired. There is a wishlist and brand request function in the app that allows customers to advocate for the companies and products they love. arive then works directly with brands to offer a selection of their products for on-demand delivery, offering them a new distribution channel that connects to a set of customers who prioritise speed and convenience when it comes to shopping. arive earns revenue through margins or commissions on the products it sells.

arive is currently available in Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg. The 30-minute delivery guarantee means it doesn’t need as many micro fulfilment centres as grocery players, helping it to keep infrastructure costs low. The company plans to expand internationally before the end of the year. Eventually, arive wants to offer all the brands and products its customers love in every European city within 30 minutes. 

arive plans to use the fresh funding to invest in product development, supply chain infrastructure, and growing the team. 

ardo Droege, investor at 468 Capital, said: “Our cities are dynamic, fast-moving places and people living there want the tools and services that reflect their lifestyles so it’s no wonder the 15-minute groceries category has taken off so quickly. But facilitating on-demand delivery of high-end consumer items poses a different set of challenges. We’re confident the arive team will take this on – already we’ve been deeply impressed with the tenacity and grit they’ve shown. As well, their understanding of consumer buying behaviour means they are well placed to tap into the trends that will come to dominate the e-commerce industry in the post-Covid world.”

Jeannette zu Furstenberg, founding partner at La Famiglia VC, said: “The rapid increase in on-demand grocery delivery, accelerated by Covid, is further evidence of consumers’ growing preference for instant shopping. Yet few brands have been able to offer a seamless customer experience when it comes to the last mile. arive is the destination for curated, brand-driven on-demand shopping, creating not just a new service model for e-commerce but a new vertical that can serve use cases beyond convenience or utility and instead power a bespoke service for brands to connect with customers in a new way.”

Colin Hanna, partner, at Balderton Capital, said: “Linus, Max, and the entire team at arive are combining an expansive vision with focused execution. They possess a sophisticated understanding of both the future of consumer logistical preferences but also the aesthetic landscape that protects brands and helps them thrive. As early investors into companies like THG, Depop, Beauty Pie and VanMoof we are looking forward to helping arive drive the next wave of European brands and becoming a global giant in its own right.”