Picnic, the fast growing Amsterdam-based grocery delivery service, today announced it has raised €250 million in a Series C financing round to fuel its growth and build a state-of-the-art robotised fulfilment center for online groceries in the Netherlands. All existing shareholders participated in the financing round, as well as ABN AMRO providing a bank loan facility.
Launched in 2015, Picnic pioneered a modern milkman with a scheduled service by its iconic little electric vans, reliable minute precise delivery and exceptionally friendly service that has rapidly expanded across more than 100 cities in the Netherlands and Germany, replacing millions of trips to the supermarket.
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Close to zero food waste
In order to fulfil the enormous demand, Picnic announces today that it will start the construction of an ultra-modern robotic fulfilment center to process around 150,000 orders every week with close to zero food waste. The company designs most of its technology inhouse including its apps, electric vans, routing software, and warehouse automation.
“We believe you can only be successful in today’s online grocery industry if you leverage technology to its fullest potential” said Picnic co-founder Frederik Nieuwenhuys. “We will invest in a highly robotised fulfilment center that will, together with our unique delivery system, be the foundation of our future growth strategy and create over 1,000 jobs”.
Significant efficiency gains
The new facility will be located in Utrecht and sizes 42,000 m2, hosting more than 200,000 storage locations, across 3 temperature zones, one of the largest of its kind in the world. The technology will improve ergonomics for its workers, taking over the lifting, moving, and sorting tasks, and result in significant efficiency gains. The building will have over 100 goods-to-person pick and decant stations, automated bagging machines and frame loaders, all uniquely developed by Picnic.
The facility has been designed in-house in partnership with equipment suppliers and will be powered by Picnic’s proprietary software based on artificial intelligence. It will enable the continued transformation of the grocery retail industry towards home delivery, providing more convenience to families whilst reducing food waste and the use of packaging materials.
Sustainable food chain
Rutger van Nouhuijs, member of the Executive Committee of ABN AMRO bank: “Picnic builds hypermodern, sustainable e-commerce infrastructure and is leading in the world. This is fully in line with our ambition as ABN AMRO to finance companies that contribute to a more sustainable food chain and improve the living conditions in modern cities”.
2019 will be a record year for Picnic adding almost 300,000 new customers in the Netherlands and Germany, and marking the start of the construction of a state-of-the-art robotised fulfilment center.
Main image picture credits: Picnic
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