A grocery delivery app that was founded in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic has collapsed into voluntary administration.
SEND offered grocery deliveries in under 10 minutes to 46,000 registered users, with an estimated 300 employees working for the company from 13 sties and several dark grocery stores in Sydney and Melbourne.
The company entered voluntary administration on Tuesday, May 3, with administrators Matthew Kucianski and Matthew Jess of Worrells appointed to the company.
The administrators said on Wednesday they are now investigating the company’s financial position and considering options for the business. These options could include a sale, merger or takeover, with discussions of that nature already underway prior to the their appointment.
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Affected staff are also being contacted to discuss their employment and outstanding entitlements, the administrators said.
“Like many tech start-ups, SEND had a sizeable cash burn that was being deployed to grow its market share,” said Kucianski.
“SEND has been successful in building a leading position in the grocery delivery space, however, as a start-up it requires ongoing financial support. SEND has faced some unique financing challenges given the composition of its international investors.”
SEND was founded in early 2021 and by August last year, had secured a $3.1 million capital raise, which included backing from German VC Cherry Ventures and New York investor FJ Lab.
At the time, founder Rob Adams told SmartCompany the startup planned to open up to 30 grocery fulfillment centres by the end of the year. He also expected to undertake further funding rounds, anticipating raising some $15 million at a $50 million pre-money valuation.
According to the SEND website, which is still online, the startup was delivering to 17 inner-city suburbs in Melbourne and 35 locations across Sydney.
Unlike other food delivery startups, SEND directly employed its own riders to make deliveries, with customers charged a delivery fee of $3 for orders under $30.
It’s arrival on the scene came during an explosion in demand for online grocery shopping and the emergence of faster delivery options in Australia, with the major supermarkets also partnering with food delivery startups and players like Voly raising millions for their delivery platforms.
More recently, 10-minute grocery delivery startup Milkrun, headed up by Koala founder Dany Milham, emerged from stealth mode with a $75 million raise in January this year.