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Business

Voly founder confirms it’s the end for his grocery delivery startup

- November 18, 2022 2 MIN READ
Voly co-founders Mark Heath and Thibault Henry Photo: Maria Cruz
The cofounder of Sydney-based grocery delivery startup Voly, Thibault Henry, has confirmed the business has shut down, a week after the company ceased operations.

Henry used LinkedIn to announce his startup’s demise on Friday morning, saying the company’s existing backers were not willing to support the business further.

Last week VOLY deleted all its social media accounts and on Friday evening suspended deliveries.

A week on, Henry announced Voly had “stopped operating in Australia”.

The Sydney-based online supermarket launched in July 2021 with the promise of grocery delivery 15 minutes or less. It raised $18 million in a Seed round led by Sequoia Capital India alongside Global Founders Capital and Australian-based Artesian Capital in December last year.

While Voly’s cofounders told staff earlier this year that the business had enough runway to survive until February 2023, the first signs of trouble emerged in June, just weeks after rival Send collapsed into voluntary administration in May, when Voly retrenched half its office staff and closed warehouses.

Henry said on LinkedIn that it “has been a beautiful journey on an “ambitious project”, but they’d run out of funds to make it work.

“The sudden changes in macro environment, unstable geopolitics and high inflation have made it extremely difficult to attract new capital despite the support of our current investors. Without enough runway to reach profitability we had to make the difficult decision to stop operating,” he said.

“Thank you to the entire VOLY Family!! It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside you all. You should be bloody proud of what you have achieved! You are all extremely talented and amazing human beings! We had something special. Something different. Something incredible.”

Henry said  80,000 Sydneysiders had used the service and thanks his cofounder and co-CEO, Mark Heath.

“We promised ourselves to lead with respect, positivity and to always see the best in people. In this regard, I believe we have succeeded,” he said.

“To every founder out there, it is a tough environment, hang in there and good luck with everything.”

Henry’s announcement came just 48 hours after UK-listed meal delivery business Deliveroo shut down in Australia, going into voluntary administration after seven years in the market.

Deliveroo said  the Australian market “is highly competitive” and it did not have a path to profitability “without considerable financial investment, and the expected return on such investment is not commensurate with Deliveroo’s risk/reward thresholds”.

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