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Funding

Tiger Global backs Koala founder’s new grocery delivery startup in $75 million series A

- January 20, 2022 2 MIN READ
Milkrun
The Milkrun team at their Surry Hills base
US VC giant Tiger Global Management has backed one of the multiple local startups hoping to carve out a slice of the rapid grocery delivery market, leading a $75 million Series A into Milkrun.

Founded by Koala co-founder Dany Milham, the 10-minute delivery service only launched four months ago, having previously raised A$11 million in June 2021.

Joining Tiger on the fresh capital injection were existing backers Airtree, Skip, and Grok – the latter two the family investment vehicles of Atlassian billionaires Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes.

There’s been no shortage of local contenders in the grocery delivery market in 2021, trying to take on US giant Uber Eats, with the promise of rapid delivery of household staples.

Last month Sequoia Capital India announced its backing for Sydney grocery delivery startup Voly in a $18 million seed round just five months after launching. The business already has the jump on Milkrun, operating in more than 40 suburbs.

Milham, 31, whose personal fortune is estimated to be worth around $150 million, stepped away from the mattress company he co-founded in 2020 and launched Milkrun in September last year. Like Voly, his point of difference to international tech rivals is that the company employs staff and riders on a casual, part-time or full-time basis.

The company currently operates in 35 suburbs across Sydney and has been spreading word of mouth with street posters. The business targets the millennial want-it-now habit developed from home delivery food.

But the Omicron outbreak has played havoc with Milham’s growth plans, forcing the business to slow its pace to consolidate the customer experience amid staffing shortages and supply chain challenges.

“The amount of money we’ve been able to raise from high profile funds over the last few months is a testament to our phenomenal growth and market leadership in the category,” Milham said.

“We tried to keep our heads down as much as possible, but once word got out we started getting interest from top tier investors all around the world”. 

He said the company is committed to supporting community brands and businesses on their platform, giving smaller producers access to a wide customer base and a transparent supply chain that reduces transportation emissions, champions local suppliers, and prioritises environmental sustainability. 

The business operates a network of warehouses, known as dark stores, that stock around 1,500-2,000 products, delivered by e-bikes to customers. 

AirTree partner Jackie Vullinghs said what Milham and the team have achieved since their previous seed investment has been incredible.

“Since we invested in MILKRUN’s Seed round, Dany and the team have had their heads down, focusing on what matters the most – reimagining the grocery shopping experience and delighting their customers in the process,” says Partner, AirTree Ventures.

“They’ve become one of the fastest-growing startups in our portfolio, which speaks to Dany’s ability to magnetise top talent to execute on the vision and build a brand that’s loved by its growing number of loyal customers,” she said.

“Working with this team is like living life on fast-forward, and we couldn’t be more excited to double down in this round.”