CNBC Disruptor 50

Delivery company Gopuff acquires Liquor Barn, continuing its retail expansion

Gopuff
Source: Gopuff
Key Points
  • Gopuff is acquiring Liquor Barn for an undisclosed amount.
  • It's the latest in a string of deals including last year's $350 million acquisition of BevMo.
  • In March, Gopuff raised capital at an $8.9 billion valuation.
Gopuff founders, Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev
Source: Gopuff

Delivery start-up Gopuff is acquiring Liquor Barn for an undisclosed amount as competition heats up within the delivery space and as investors pour money into the start-up.

Gopuff, which specializes in delivering convenience items that customers want on short notice, is betting that expanding its physical footprint will differentiate it from competitors. It owns, operates and stocks its own fulfilment centers with full-time employees, whereas others connect users, drivers and retailers on a platform.

Senior Vice President Daniel Folkman said Gopuff's business model is more economically sustainable, adding that "all of our markets that are over 18 months are profitable."

Gopuff recently raised $1.15 billion at a $8.9 billion valuation and expanded to California and internationally to the United Kingdom. It has put a good part of its capital to use in a string of deals, including last year's purchase of BevMo for $350 million. Last week it acquired rideOS, a fleet management software platform, in a $115 million deal, according to a source familiar with the terms.

The company now operates 450 micro fulfilment centers, including storefronts gained in the recent retail acquisitions. "We operate a hyperlocal logistics network," Folkman told CNBC. "Our focus is to accelerate our delivery model of these immediate and everyday needs."

The Liquor Barn deal accelerates Gopuff's expansion in Kentucky and gives it 23 additional storefronts.

Uber and DoorDash have also been expanding their presence in convenience delivery. Over the last year, Uber sold off money-losing units and acquired Drizly and Postmates to expand its delivery footprint.

But the typically asset-light gig economy model is evolving as apps continue to lose money and regulatory scrutiny heats up.

DoorDash, meanwhile, has been building its own line of owned and operated convenience stores under the DashMart brand.