Technology/Services

New Delivery Service Going After C-Stores

App startup expanding to as many as 18 cities, and it’s aggressively targeting convenience

PHILADELPHIA -- “Goodbye convenience store. Hello goPuff.” That’s the tagline of goPuff, a new 24-hour, on-demand delivery service, which also calls itself “convenience on wheels.”

goPuff delivery guy

With that, Philadelphia-based startup GoBrands Inc. throws down the competitive gauntlet, taking aim squarely at the convenience-store channel.

“In today’s world, convenience is king,” the company says on its website, gopuff.com. “You jump through enough hoops, so why not simplify and streamline where you can? At goPuff, we take convenience seriously, and for us it’s about bringing you what you need, as soon you need it, with nothing but a few taps and 30 minutes in between. With goPuff you carry a sleek and effortless convenience store, smoke shop, and mini-mart right in your pocket.”

It continues, “goPuff On-Demand Delivery literally puts thousands of items at your fingertips. Ranging from college essentials, party supplies and smoking accessories to snacks, frozen foods and household essentials, we’ve got what you need.”

It also delivers beer, wine, energy drinks and electronic cigarettes, among other popular convenience-store merchandise.

Co-founders Rafael Ilishayev and Yakir Gola, two former Drexel University students, have announced an additional $5 million in venture funding, led by existing investor Anthos Capital. This latest investment closes goPuff's Series A round total at $8.25 million, "which will propel goPuff's expansion into new markets," they said.

This new capital will be used to support new market entry, marketing initiatives and operational expansion, including goPuff's new 40,000-square-foot warehouse headquarters in Philadelphia.

"A lot of convenience playerswhich I won't namehave reached out to us for partnerships. It's a conversation we are not interesting in having,” Ilishayev told The Inquirer. “Our whole thing is to be the most affordable and quickest delivery serviceconvenience at no added cost."

The service is available in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Austin, New York, Denver, Phoenix, Seattle and Chicago.

It will add Portland, Ore., Houston, Minneapolis and Nashville, Tenn., with plans to roll out in at least seven additional cities by the end of 2016., for a total of 18 markets.

The company also says it is going after c-stores on pricing.

“All of our items are sold at normal convenience-store prices. Delivery is almost (and sometimes absolutely) nothing. Orders $35+ are coming to you for free, and it’s a low flat rate of $1.95 per delivery otherwise. We say no to surge pricing,” it says.

For customers outside of goPuff’s delivery area, the company will ship orders to any address in the United States, with all orders more than $49 shipping for free.

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