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Delli wants to bring social commerce to food

Sep 26, 2022
Illustration of a cell phone wearing a napkin in between a fork and spoon.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Delli, an online food marketplace that connects buyers with sellers, hopes to bridge the two through food content.

Why it matters: Much investment has gone toward social commerce platforms that support beauty and fashion brands, but there are far fewer models focused on the food industry.

Driving the news: The London-based company snagged $7.2 million in a seed round co-led by Balderton and HV Capital this month.

How it works: The community-driven food platform connects foodies with local, small-batch food makers.

  • Consumers can purchase something they like on the platform with a few clicks, and it can be picked up or delivered.
  • The company also uses the “drop” model, made popular in fashion — selling a limited amount of a new product for a set period of time.
  • Delli's platform helps “give [food makers] a voice,” as well as enables passionate eaters to discover new foods more easily, COO Marie Petrovicka says.

What’s next: The fresh capital will be used to bring more users to its platform. Delli has more than 200 active sellers currently.

  • “We're finding out that the buyers are really interested in the stories behind the sellers, behind the food to kind of emulate a local market experience,” Petrovicka says.
  • The company hopes to develop more tools that can engage and support small-budget, local producers.
  • Delli will focus on the U.K. market first, she says, especially in its large metro areas.
  • However, it's garnered a lot of interest from the U.S. as well, she notes.

State of play: While the fundraising markets are choppy, seed-stage investors are still active, according to Petrovicka.

Yes, and: Petrovicka and Delli co-founder Simon Beckerman both hail from careers at Depop, acquired by Etsy last year for about $1.6 billion.

  • “I do have experience growing communities at scale,” Petrovicka says.
  • “I think there was also obviously a confidence in that we weren’t doing it for the first time, but for the second time,” she says, referring to how Delli was able to land the raise.

Meanwhile, Delli hopes to tap into a growing awareness of conscious consumption, Petrovicka says.

  • Consumers are increasingly seeking new methods of sustainable shopping, an EY global consumer survey from June found.
  • About 87% of participants said they’re making an effort not to waste food and 36% said they’ll buy more secondhand products, per the report.
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