As gig economy companies flee Europe, Getir takes over

Five years ago, Investors would not return Nazim Salur’s calls. Today, his company Getir is the largest express food delivery service in Europe. After the Turkish startup acquired its German competitor Gorillas last month, the company was valued at $8.8 billion.

Getir first expanded into Europe via London in 2021 when a post-pandemic gold rush for instant foods was in full swing. Investors were confident lockdown habits would remain in place and consumers would continue to demand grocery deliveries direct to their homes. Since 2020, investors have flooded the global sector with more than $5 billion in funding. Those billions funded the dramatic expansion of an industry that promised a new era of ultimate convenience: groceries at your doorstep in 10 minutes. In Europe alone, companies were founded between 2020 and 2021, including Gorillas, Weezy, Blok, Dija, Fancy and Cajoo.

According to calculations by a delivery app, all of these companies have now disappeared or have been taken over by the three big European players: Getir, Flink and GoPuff. Since Getir swallowed gorillas in December, the company’s yellow and purple mopeds can be found on the streets of seven European countries. The second largest competitor, Germany’s Flink, is active in three. Its American competitor, GoPuff, has recently downsized and now only operates in France and the UK. Getir has received funding from Abu Dhabi-based state investor Mubadala and investment firms Sequoia and Tiger Global to fuel its growth.

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The company’s rise from London to become Europe’s largest instant food provider is thanks to Getir’s experience in its home market, says General Manager in Europe, Turancan Salur. “We are the pioneers in the industry,” he says. Getir may be new to Europe, but it has been operating in Turkey for eight years and claims to already be profitable in Istanbul. As a private company, Getir does not publish financial reports. “We gained a lot of experience there and mastered many difficult situations and economic difficulties,” says Salur.

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While Europe’s newcomers struggled with IT issues related to logistics management, Getir already had bespoke solutions ready, he says. “We basically had a glimpse into the future, while our competitors didn’t.”

Getir’s dominance is reflected in the number of downloads. According to AppRadar data, which doesn’t count iPhone installs, the company’s app has been downloaded 28 million times on Android phones worldwide. That number far dwarfs the downloads of GoPuff’s app, which has 5.4 million installs. And Getir not only convinces consumers – couriers are also switching to the company. “From my personal experience, Getir is so much better than being completely dependent on Deliveroo or UberEats,” says Ian Morrison, a London-based courier who has been working for Getir in London since June 2021. He is paid £11.05 ($13) per hour and receives holiday and sick pay. The company provides him with an electric moped to ride during his shift and covers his insurance.

Nevertheless, Getir is not perfect, he emphasizes. Compared to when he joined, due to changes in the bonus system, he has to work more hours to get the same salary. He also describes the pressure his warehouse is under to deliver quickly, which means the people who pack orders are more likely to make mistakes, resulting in incorrect or missing items.

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