South Korea has one of the fastest internet connections and the most robust internet penetration rate in the world. No doubt, it is the country where e-commerce startups are thriving. For South Koreans, online-shopping and home-deliveries are becoming the most popular choices for shopping.
The country is the fourth largest market for food deliveries raking profits for businesses. According to an estimate by the Korea Rural Economic Institute, in 2018, nearly 90 percent of Koreans phone-ordered for deliveries. As per a 2018 survey report on ‘Statista,’ South Korea topped the list of the countries for online grocery shopping.
Innovative Korean startups are making grocery shopping quite easy and efficient with features like dawn delivery and overnight ordering. Also, the fact that the country’s high population density and the majority living in urban areas makes it easier to manage logistics for the online-sellers to make quick deliveries.
Koreatechdesk.com has listed some Korean online –grocery selling startups that are popular in the country.
The e-commerce unicorn startup is like the ‘Amazon’ of Korea.
It is most famous for its path-breaking delivery services like ‘Rocket Delivery’ that promises delivery in 24 hours and ‘Dawn Delivery’ service that offers mid-night orders delivered by morning 7 am.
SoftBank backs the startup, and its Vision Fund has seen deliveries climb to 3 million daily since mid-February from around 2.2 million per day late last year. The startup is likely to come out with an IPO in 2021.
2) Market Kurly
It is the online grocery startup that first introduced the ‘dawn delivery’ in 2015. Founded by an ex Goldman Sachs Banker Sophie Kim, the platform provides fresh and healthy food supplies to the growing working-class members of Korean households. Market Kurly offers a range of premium grocery and food products. The users can place their orders before 11 pm each day, and it’s delivered the next day before 7 am. The company delivers fresh high-end desserts, bread, milk, bottled water, condiments such as flour and salt, processed foods, meat, juices, fish, eggs, foreign goodies, and much more.
Fresh Investment in 2020
Despite the gloom of coronavirus led recession – Market Kurly has got some cheerful news. The fast-growing grocery delivery startup, announced on May 8 that it has received 200 billion won ($164.3 million) in Series E funding. The investors includes DST Global, Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital China, Fuse Venture Partners, SK Networks and Translink Capital and Aspex Management. The Series E brings the South Korean startup’s total funding to 420 billion won.
Oasis Market is quite popular amongst the Korean housewives as it is similar to Market Kurly but is cheaper than the premium platform.
Oasis also offers early morning delivery service. The company started with an offline store in 2016 in collaboration with a union of producers of agricultural and marine products. In May 2018, online ordering and delivery services were introduced, and early morning delivery was also introduced. The startup has offline stores operating in 39 locations in Gangnam-gu, Seocho-gu, Songpa-gu, Guangdong-gu, Seoul, and Yongin, Bundang, and Wirye and online shopping platform.
4) B Mart
B Mart is operated by the highly successful unicorn startup Woowa Brothers in South Korea. It is an instant grocery delivery service that promises to deliver grocery items under 30 minutes. Woowa Brothers is known for its leading online food delivery platform, “Baedal Minjok,” which was recently acquired by German giant Delivery Hero. B Mart currently supplies 3,600 products, including fruit, salads, pet items, and fresh food.
The minimum order for B Mart services has to be 5,000 won ($4.22). The speedy delivery is possible because Baemin has most of the items available at their 16 distribution centers in Seoul.