On Monday, Finnish food delivery startup Wolt announced that it has closed a $530 million financing round, led by ICONIQ Growth, the growth equity investment arm of ICONIQ Capital that has also backed startup luminaries like Airbnb, Alibaba, Gofundme, IEX, and Uber.
Finally, existing investors including 83North, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity and EQT Ventures re-upped their commitments in the latest funding round, bringing Wolt’s total financing to $856 million.
Wolt plans to use the new funds to expand into new geographies and–critically–new industry verticals.
Wolt launched in 2015, co-founded by Finnish tech VC Miki Kuusi, as a restaurant delivery platform serving 10 restaurants in Helsinki. In just five years, Wolt has expanded its operations to 23 countries and 129 cities. In just the past year, it has branched out into grocery and retail delivery services, partnering with more than 1500 store locations to offer purchases of non-food items including pet products, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals on its platform.
In a comment on the funding round, Kuusi said that despite turbulent market conditions in 2020 due to covid, Wolt tripled its revenue to a preliminary $345 million, against a net loss of $45 million. With that fresh success in the rear-view mirror, Kuusi said the company will deploy new funds toward more strategic initiatives.“We operate in an extremely competitive and well-funded industry, and this [funding] round allows us to have a long-term mindset when it comes to doubling down on our different markets,” Kuusi said. “Compared to the $662 million in new capital that we’ve raised during the past year, this puts us into a strong position for investing in our people, technology, and markets when thinking about the next few years ahead.”
Key support from EQT
Along with a veritable cattle call of other, mega-capitalized private equity tech investors, Sweden’s EQT Growth made its first-ever investment with its commitment to Wolt, despite the firm’s venture-capital arm, EQT Ventures, having been a Wolt backer (five times over) since 2016, becoming one of Wolt’s largest owners to date.
“EQT Growth is proud to support Wolt with both capital and competence as the company expands to new heights,” said Johan Svanstrom, Partner and Investment Advisor at EQT Partners. “Ever since EQT Ventures partnered with CEO Miki Kuusi and his team in 2016, we have seen Wolt build an incredibly effective and international growth machine with strong emphasis on responsible partnerships and great customer solutions. We believe that there are strong prospects for continued international expansion and deeper penetration in the company’s core markets.”
EQT Growth cited figures from a June 2020 UBS Evidence Labs report which has estimated the size of the food delivery market at $365 billion by 2030