13 Aug 2019 | 12.54 pm
Buymie Taps Investors for €700,000
Year to date funding totals €1,745,000
13 Aug 2019 | 12.54 pm
Grocery delivery entrepreneur Devan Hughes has tapped investors for €700,000, bringing total funding for his Buymie venture this year to €1,745,000.
The investors in the latest round, effected in June, were Thor O’Brien in D4 (€200,000) and Link CTI Ltd (€500,000).
In March 2019 Buymie Technologies sourced €425,000 from HBAN, while Enterprise Ireland followed on with another €100,000 in taxpayer funding.
In January 2019, Buymie raised €520,000 in a funding round where the lead investors were HBAN and Haatch Venture LLP, with 13 other investors participating.
Buymie is a grocery-ordering app that Dublin shoppers can use to have Lidl groceries delivered to their home.
Lidl launched the Buymie delivery service earlier this year after a trial in south Dublin. Prior to that, Buymie operated independently, listing supermarket goods on an app and paying students and other gig economy types to buy the items in-store for app users.
In November 2015, Hughes tapped five individuals for €25,000 – two of them chipped in €670 each. Owen O’Byrne, a developer in Realex, invested €8,500 and followed on with another €25,000 in February 2016. That helped leverage €50,000 from Enterprise Ireland, but the venture was so stretched a year later that Hughes had to persuade another €17,500 from O’Byrne.
In June 2017, Unilever Ireland came on board with a €100,000 equity investment. Unilever Foundry is the FMCG giant’s attempt not to get left behind in the app era, and in Ireland the company partners with Dogpatch Labs to foster and fund startups in the grocery shopping space.
Buymie signalled it was for real in May 2018. The company raised €525,000 equity funding from six investors, with taxpayers chipping in another €150,000 through Enterprise Ireland. The investors included Eamonn Quinn, son of the late Superquinn owner Feargal Quinn, who invested €100,000 and joined the board as chairman.
Scott Weavers-Wright, founder of the UK retailer Kiddycare which was bought by Morrisons for £70m, parted with €180,000, and Thor O’Brien invested €100,000. Buymie also secured €100,000 from Crowdcube, the UK crowdfunding platform.
The view from Lidl is that Buymie enables the supermarket chain to offer something new in the Dublin market, in terms of providing the fastest and most personalised online grocery delivery service. Alan Stewart, head of e-commerce at Lidl Ireland, said that ensuring the full range of Lidl products are available on the app required a lot of time investment by Lidl staff.
“The integration of data feed between Buymie and Lidl was a key focus in the early stages of the partnership,” said Stewart. “Up-to-date and accurate product information is essential, and now Buymie offers Lidl customers the option to include notes or specific preferences on their orders. For example, if customers want green bananas or less ripe avocados, notes can be left on the specific item for the Buymie shopper.”
Devan Hughes (pictured) dove into entrepreneurialism after graduating from college in 2011. Early ventures included a business selling LED lighting, which he co-founded with ParkPnP founder Garret Flower. The business failed to take off, so Hughes (30) shifted into energy supply, working for a while with Vayu Energy.
Pix: Jason Clarke