A SoftBank-backed delivery company was started for stoners. Now valued at ~$2.8B, it sells everything.

With $750m from Softbank, goPuff now serves 500 cities delivering 3k items. Can it turn a profit, though?


September 11, 2020

If getting to the drive-thru is still too much work, check out goPuff.

In 2013, 2 Drexel dudes (Rafael Ilishayev, Yakir Gola) decided it’d be dope to do on-campus delivery of weed needs like rolling papers, cheese puffs, and Visine… hence the name.

For extra laughs, delivery ran till 4:20am (LOL).

Last year, the company raised an eye-watering $750m (mostly from SoftBank), and it now delivers 3k items — from junk food to diapers to booze.

goPuff has already spent $150m of that sweet SoftBank money

And has 3.5k employees working at 200 mini-fulfillment centers serving 500 cities.

The biz model? It buys wholesale inventory from the likes of PepsiCo and Unilever and delivers goods to customers within 30 minutes for a $2 flat fee.

Lately it’s courting older, better-heeled consumers than it did in its college days. The average customer is between 25 and 34, and goPuff makes most of its money from high markups and the sale of product placements in the app.

Orders are up 4x since the pandemic started

Which smokes the ~$250m in revenue that goPuff pulled in during 2019.

But the company still hasn’t turned a profit and — if losses sustained by more seasoned food delivery plays like Uber Eats, DoorDash, and GrubHub are any signal — it’ll be hard to get the numbers in the green.

Founders Rafael and Yakir are undeterred. “It’s forever work,” they told Forbes. “Amazon is going on 25 years and is still improving.”

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