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European eGrocer Picnic Raises $380M+ Amid Industry’s Digital Transformation

eGrocer Picnic Raises $380M+ Amid Industry’s Digital Shift

Around the world, grocery is increasingly shifting into the digital sphere, and investors are taking note.

Dutch online grocer Picnic Technologies raised 350 million euros (about $384 million) in funding from investors, according to a LinkedIn post reshared to the company’s page Tuesday (Jan. 9), originally posted by Jelmer Borst, who works in machine learning and analytics for the eGrocer.

“A great kick-off of the new year with the news that we raised €350M in funding to keep accelerating our growth,” Borst wrote. “Last year was a huge milestone, with 40% growth and 1.25B in sales. When I joined this little start-up 7 years ago, I could not have imagined this.”

The eGrocer intends to use the capital to expand its presence in Germany and France, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The move comes as online grocery adoption is on the rise across the globe. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “How the World Does Digital: Daily Digital Engagement Hits New Heights,” which drew from a survey of more than 17,500 consumers in 11 markets that account for 50% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP), noted a 1.7% year-over-year increase in grocery’s digital transformation.

The same study also found that the industry’s digitization is boosted globally by network effects. For instance, a 10% rise in digital shopping activities is linked to a 6.9% increase in online grocery orders.

The online grocery landscape is shifting. Turkey-based multinational eGrocer Getir, one of the few remaining players in the ultrafast delivery category, is growing its international presence. In November, the company announced the acquisition of online grocery company FreshDirect, previously owned by multinational grocery giant Ahold Delhaize, to capture a greater share of eGrocery orders in the United States.

In the United Kingdom, robotics is taking over. British grocery technology company Ocado, for its part, is doubling down on automation to boost fulfillment efficiency.

Plus, the industry’s global digital transformation is not limited to the pure-play eCommerce space. Digital technologies are also making their way into the in-store experience, from Instacart aiming to have “thousands” of smart carts operating in stores by the year’s end to French grocery giant Carrefour similarly introducing 2,000 smart shopping carts within the first half of this year.

In an interview last year with PYMNTS, Cust2Mate CEO Guy Mordoch noted that the company sees a 30% increase in average basket size when shoppers use smart carts over regular shopping carts.

Grocers are noting the need for smart digital technologies for in-store shoppers. The PYMNTS Intelligence study “Big Retail’s Innovation Mandate: Convenience and Personalization,” which drew from a survey of 300 retailers across the U.S. and U.K., revealed that 60% of grocers think consumers would be very or extremely likely to switch merchants if not offered self-service kiosks. Plus, 40% said the same of the ability to scan products and pay without standing in line.

Plus, according to the PYMNTS Intelligence survey “Consumer Interest in an Everyday App,” based on responses from more than 3,300 consumers in the U.S. and Australia, 61% of Americans who shopped for groceries in the previous month did so via connected devices at least some of the time, and 63% of Australians did the same.