COVID-19 has reshaped our lives in many ways and spawned many services tailored to the needs of these newborns. Asian grocery delivery platform Waysia is one of his startups to reinvent itself in response to the pandemic.
Formerly known as Alorsfaim, Waysia started four years ago in Paris as a platform to deliver products from Asian restaurants and supermarkets to customers. When the pandemic hit, its users began to panic and quickly emptied retailers’ inventory.
The mismatch between supply and demand has prompted Waysia to open its own warehouses and start sourcing directly from suppliers such as farms specializing in Asian produce in the Netherlands, France and Spain.
Waysia founder and CEO Yejun Fan said: A handful of startups are already offering Asian takeout across Europe, but demographically targeted online grocers are still relatively rare, the founders believe.
A grocery pivot has boosted Waysia’s revenue and most recently helped it secure a series Pre-A round of nearly €10 million. The round was led by Banyan Pacific Capital, with participation from iFly.vc, Cathay Innovation and Goodwater Capital.
Goodwater and iFly.vc have also invested in Weee! Waysia counterpart in North America Backed by prominent investors such as Tiger Global, Blackstone, DST Global and SoftBank.
The most notable investor in Waysia’s new funding round is digital retail fund Dastore. Started by Daphne and Carrefourand Convivialité Ventures, the venture capital arm of French wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard, show that major French companies are interested in minority consumers.
Operating an online grocery store can have higher initial costs than food delivery services, but the benefits include easier supply management and healthier margins.
Waysia’s average basket size is over €70. This is because consumers tend to buy ethnic foods weekly. This means that the platform can spend less on shipping compared to more mainstream services that send smaller orders more frequently.
Like many players in the e-grocery industry, Waysia prioritizes user growth before looking at profitability, Fan said. As of July, orders have tripled from the previous year.
Waysia has new funding and plans to enter the UK market soon. The 50-employee company already delivers Asian groceries to her 16 cities in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.