CNBC Disruptor 50

27. Gopuff

Founders: Yakir Gola, Rafael Ilishayev (co-CEOs)
Launched: 2013
Headquarters: Philadelphia
$4 billion
Valuation: $15 billion
Key technologies:
Cloud computing, Internet of Things, software-defined security
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 2 (No. 36 in 2021)

Persephone Kavallines

The pandemic created ripe conditions for ultrafast delivery companies like Gopuff, known for pioneering the "instant needs" category that's seen explosive growth over the past year. But it's a crowded field, and many companies are competing on speed, selection and prices.

Unlike other delivery companies, such as DoorDash and Instacart, Gopuff doesn't retrieve merchandise from retailers' stores. Instead, it has its own network of micro-fulfillment centers — mini, high-tech warehouses — stocked with inventory. It sells more than 4,000 items from pet food to baby products to alcohol and more. Contract workers pick up the orders and quickly drop them at customers' doors in about 30 minutes. According to Gopuff, 30% of Americans are within one mile and a half of a Gopuff fulfillment center. 

The Philadelphia-based company, which now delivers to over 1,000 cities throughout the U.S. and abroad, began in 2013 as a craving of two college students at Drexel University, Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, who wanted M&Ms and soda late into the night without a car and trip to the convenience store being necessary.

Today, their idea is headed toward a highly anticipated IPO, having raised $4 billion at a $15 billion valuation, according to the company. In January, Gopuff announced that it was launching its own line of private label products — a move more in line with Amazon's e-commerce business model than DoorDash's or Uber's delivery platform. The company also recently partnered with British grocery chain Morrisons, marking its first tie-up with a rival retailer in Europe.

Notable Gopuff investors include Accel, Baillie Gifford, SoftBank's Vision Fund and Fidelity Management, among others.

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