How Voly is revolutionising the grocery game in Australia
Voly is changing the grocery business forever in Australia - their electric bike delivery employees are bringing customers groceries and alcohol faster while reducing food waste, road traffic, and delivery fees. The company wants to give people hours back to their week so they can spend that time doing things that they want to do.
Building Trust with Customers, Employees, and the Community Through Innovation
Co-founders Mark Heath and Thibault Henry disrupted a $122B grocery industry when they founded Voly in mid 2021 and have managed to raise revenue projections month over month in a business that they started themselves on electric bikes. Both founders are hugely passionate about moving away from the gig economy where contractors perform work and are instead focused on building trust with customers by providing employees that are happy to be serving the communities they work in.
They have raised AU$18 million in seed capital from 3 rounds of funding. Apart from Artesian’s investment, Voly has raised from investors including Sequoia Capital and Global Founders Capital.
The founders’ unique experiences working in logistics for companies like Uber and Hello Fresh gave the perfect launching point for a grocery delivery service that is affordable to use at only a couple of dollars per delivery as opposed to the $15-20 delivery fee from grocery giants Coles and Woolworths.
Plan Less and Enjoy Life More
Mark and Thibault have designed their brand intentionally even down to the custom orange bikes used for deliveries. “Dark supermarkets” (markets without customers, only employees) are staffed with minimal employees that pick, pack, and deliver orders quickly. Locations are placed strategically within biking distance of customers in key areas, so delivery is often less than the 15-minute target time. Voly encourages customers to have deliveries made to their homes 3-4 times per week, so food is always fresh, and they don’t have to plan meals out a week or more in advance.
Grocery delivery takes 15 minutes or less and recipe cards on their website take 15 minutes to prepare!
Mark Heath, CEO and Co-Founder of Voly, is originally from a farming family in Western Australia. Going to university, but not knowing what he wanted to do, he ended up in banking, joining Goldman Sachs. With a desire to get into startups he moved to Uber in 2015, and launched Cloud Kitchens in Australia with the founder, Travis Kalanick. He then met his partner, Thibault Henry, who had a massive logistics business and was helping to make deliveries for HelloFresh. They clicked immediately and both wanted to build something that was faster and more convenient and so Voly was born.
Voly was started from a desire to bring to life a more efficient logistics infrastructure that supports busy families, reduces food waste, and decreases the number of large delivery trucks on the roads. The average large grocery chain store has upward of 18,000 SKUs in their stores and more options than consumers care to look at. Voly has 2,000 SKUs with the intention of building to 3,000 soon.
This “lack” of options reduces decision fatigue for consumers and allows Voly to source from local suppliers only what they know they will sell based on advanced order tracking and future projections of need for each distribution centre.
Most customers are ordering about $50 worth of groceries at a time. However, some customers are ordering larger quantities of groceries in the $100 - $200 range per order. The ideal order size for Voly is around $50. Voly also uses electric bikes which are better for the environment. Additionally, Voly fully employs all of its workers in order to provide a better customer service experience.
The seed capital raised from the initial rounds of funding are being used to “create a brand that is pretty much the most-loved brand in Australia,” according to Henry. The way forward for this company includes scaling to more locations, expanding the team, quickly increasing operations in key urban centres of the country, and then working to expand the brand nationally.
The main focus is on creating consistency with delivery time and product offerings by listening to customer needs and evaluating the competitors to “dive deeper and go harder” to create long lasting customer relationships based on region. If customers in Surrey Hills want to buy organic eggs, that is what they can expect from Voly.
Australia is poised to receive this innovative new service as there really isn’t a comparable offering like there is in Europe and the USA markets. By increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing overall margins, Voly is intent on establishing a foothold in a market that has limited affordable options. Building trust is the focal point of the co-founder’s vision and will launch them into a future of growth.
To learn more about Voly and their grocery delivery business, listen to Tim and Ali’s full chat with Founder and Mark Heath on our Artehouse Innovation series at https://www.artesianinvest.com/podcast
If you want to find out more about Voly, check out their website https://www.getvoly.com/ where you can sign up for early access and updates from the team.