CartFresh, a white-label grocery delivery platform for retailers, is ready to conquer Europe and the rest of the world. The Ukrainian startup changed its name from Zakaz.ua to CartFresh so it’s more interesting to English-speaking countries and retailers. We interviewed Yegor Anchishkin, CEO of CartFresh.com.
Zakaz.ua (which means ‘order’ in Russian) is a startup from Ukraine and is now part of the Boston business accelerator program Techstars under the brand CartFresh. It’s a white-label delivery solution for grocery retailers. The company takes care of everything, from online point of sale to order fulfillment and delivery operations. It currently serves four of the top 10 national retailers in Ukraine (Novus, Metro, Fozzy and Stolichnyi) and is now looking to expand abroad. It looks at Europe and the US, but it has also an offer from China.
Unclear where to start in Europe
GVMachines, the legal entity that owns all the intellectual property as well as Zakaz and CartFresh brands, is currently negotiating with a few retailers that are widely present across Europe, Yegor tells us. “But it’s the retailer himself who decides from which country to start. So far, we aren’t allowed to announce from which country and with which grocery retailer we will launch in Europe.” He continues by saying he doesn’t have any favorite European country to start selling groceries online. “We are ready to start in any country our partner would like to work at.”
For grocery retailers who want to work with the white-label platform, there are no setup fees or maintenance costs. Yegor explains that their business model is based on two revenue streams: commission on sales from the retailers and a delivery fee from the customers. And if a customer isn’t completely satisfied with their choice, the company offers a “no-quibble money-back guarantee”. That’s a brave thing to say, but luckily these kinds of situations are quite rare, the Zakaz.ua founder knows. “Moreover, if a customer is not satisfied with the product he received he commonly asks for a substitution rather than for his money back.”
Low delivery fee?
In Ukraine, Zakaz.ua manages to deliver goods to consumers for 39 Ukrainian hryvnia (€1.59 euro). This seems very low, especially because it concerns the delivery of perishable items, but the CEO of CartFresh promises this isn’t the case. “The delivery price should of course be compared with the cost of living and average salaries in Ukraine. It may seem low from a Western European citizen’s point of view, but so is the average salary in Ukraine as well.”
‘CartFresh should be the first one that pops up in your mind’
CartFresh is a white-label initiative. We asked Yegor if the company eventually would start its own online grocery store, in view of the fact that it has many experience in the online grocery industry. But he says they are not planning to open their own grocery store. “We want to be a by-default option for a retailer when he makes a decision to go online. Like FedEx or UPS are default options for sending a parcel, CartFresh should be the first one that appears in your mind when you want to start with grocery delivery from your store.”
No matter with what retailer CartFresh will work in Europe, Yegor thinks the grocery retail industry on this continent is a huge market, although online penetration remains relatively low. “But we are ready to improve the situation bringing an awesome experience of online shopping to European customers.”