Grocery Delivery App Voly Ceases Operations

The Australian startup received a record amount of seed funding less than a year ago.

November 23, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Voly, an Australian grocery delivery company, announced its closure after stopping deliveries and deleting its social media accounts a week ago, reports C&I. The company promised delivery in 15 minutes or less and employed its own workers instead of using the gig economy.

“I am deeply saddened to announce that Voly has stopped operating in Australia. 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,” wrote co-founder Thibault Henry on LinkedIn.

The company had raised $18 million in seed funding less than a year ago, which was one of Australia’s largest ever seed rounds. Voly had launched in July 2021.

In June 2022, its warehouses in Manly, Maroubra, Crows Nest and Alexandria were closed, and the company had to let go of half its employees.

The folding of Voly comes on the heels of U.K.-based Deliveroo ceasing business in Australia due to poor economic conditions.

Deliveroo said the company does not hold a “broad base of strong local positions” within the Australian food-delivery market, which is “highly competitive with four global players.”

“Working with the local Australian leadership, the company has determined that it cannot reach a sustainable and profitable scale in Australia without considerable financial investment, and the expected return on such investment is not commensurate with Deliveroo’s risk/reward thresholds,” Deliveroo said in the statement.

Deliveroo has been placed into voluntary administration in Australia by its director and will permanently cease trading.

This summer, the Wall Street Journal reported that food-delivery apps are facing slow growth, decades-high inflation and a potential economic slowdown.

Apps, such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub, were used heavily by consumers during the pandemic, when eateries were closed to inside patrons. But now that the pandemic has waned and rising prices weigh on the American consumer, the question is whether consumers will consider food delivery a luxury or a necessity during an economic downtown.

According to NACS’ “Last Mile Fulfillment in Convenience Retail” report, 61% of retailers are satisfied with their third-party delivery partners, but concerns include high fees, little access to consumer data, difficulties delivering age-restricted products and service and operational issues. Here’s what c-stores are doing to make delivery work for their businesses.

Join NACS and convenience retailers in Bangkok for a discussion of the future of last-mile services in Asia at NACS Convenience Summit Asia, February 28 to March 2, 2023. Registration is open.