Norwegian online grocery business Oda has raised 223 million euros in funding. Prosus and SoftBank led the round.
Oda, Norway’s largest online grocery business which provides thousands of people with same and next-day home deliveries of high-quality groceries, meal-kits, and household items, today announces that it has raised €223M in a funding round led by Prosus and SoftBank Vision Fund 21. Existing investors Kinnevik and REMA both participated in the investment round managed by Carnegie. As part of the transaction, Neil Cunha-Gomes, Investor at SoftBank Investment Advisers, and Roger Rabalais, CFO Food Delivery at Prosus Group, will join Oda’s board.
Oda’s mission is to be the most effective online grocer in the world. Its unique business model is built on Nordic principles of employee wellbeing and a commitment to sustainability, as well as proprietary warehouse automation and data-driven processes.
Highly automated fulfilment coupled with a strong focus on personalising the online grocery shopping experience for its customers, has led Oda to become the fastest-growing company in its category within the Nordics. During the pandemic-associated e-grocery boom, the company experienced well over 100% growth in its B2C business.
Oda currently has a share of online grocery orders in Norway of over 70% and plans to use the funding to commence its international expansion. It has started construction of a state-of-the-art fulfilment centre in Finland and is due to launch in Helsinki later this year. Oda also plans to launch its offering in Germany in 2022 and is in discussions with suppliers.
Oda can lay claim to being the most efficient online grocer in the world, registering 212 UPH (units processed per labor hour at the warehouse), compared to 169 UPH of the leading UK online grocer in 2020.
Karl Munthe-Kaas, CEO and co-founder of Oda, comments: “In Oda, we believe we have cracked the e-grocery logistics code to become the most affordable, the freshest and the greenest e-grocer in the world. We are thrilled to finally share the news of our funding, and international expansion. This comes at a time when demand for our services, not just within our native Norway, but also internationally, is incredibly strong. Our proprietary technology and automation, creates an extremely effective value chain from farm to fork, allowing us to compete profitably with discounters on price. This puts us in a unique position to win the global e-grocery race. We look forward to bringing our service to customers in Finland later this year, and Germany in 2022.”
“Oda’s leading position in Norway is testament to the merits of its bespoke and data-driven approach in offering a personalised, holistic and reliable online grocery experience,” added Munish Varma, Managing Partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers. “We believe that Oda’s customer-centric focus, market-leading automation technology and fulfilment efficiency are a winning combination, and position Oda for success in scaling internationally for the benefit of customers and suppliers alike.”
“Online grocery represents a large growth opportunity and compared to traditional e-commerce, is still in its very early days. Our expertise from operating and investing in e-commerce and food delivery companies for over a decade, many of which now have promising grocery delivery businesses, positions us well to capitalize on the opportunity in online grocery” said Larry Illg, CEO of Prosus Food. “We have seen a significant inflection point with grocery over the last year with the market transitioning online, accelerated by COVID. Oda’s leadership and impressive growth in Norway paired with its groundbreaking technology and ambition to scale across Europe and beyond makes them an ideal partner to tackle the grocery opportunity over the coming years.”
Oda’s model for success is centred around the efficiency of its service and affordability for its customers. Karl and the founding members realised from the outset that a strong tech team was the key. Oda has therefore been built upon its own end-to-end customer experience and technology infrastructure, including its own fulfilment centre management system, routing system, and app for drivers (to ensure the delivery routes are environmentally efficient), and an app for consumers. In addition, Oda’s waste levels are significantly below those of a standard supermarket; averaging below 0.5% in wastage (compared to the supermarket standard of 2%). In December 2019, Oda replaced plastic bags with cardboard boxes, and now scores 0% food waste on baked goods thanks to its in-house, demand-driven bakery. Oda is introducing electric delivery vehicles, with the intention of operating a fully electric fleet by 2025. Oda also rolled out another environmental innovation in November 2020 when it created Norway’s first climate dashboard for groceries, allowing its customers to see a ‘receipt’ revealing the CO2 emissions of each item purchased and order produced.
Established in 2013 by a founding team of 10 friends, Oda (formerly known as Kolonial.no, meaning ‘cornershop’ in Norwegian) is headquartered in Oslo and currently employs over 800 staff. Oda is the largest e-grocery business in Norway and is among the highest-valued startups in the country. The company has a share of online grocery orders in Norway of over 70% with close to €200M in revenue in 2020, and has, prior to this investment, raised close to €100 million from investors including Kinnevik, one of Europe’s leading listed growth investors.