Vancouver-based startup Tiggy has raised $6.3 million in its seed funding round led by family-owned investment company Heartland.
Tiggy said the round also attracted undisclosed investors from Europe, Russia, United States, and Canada, as well as from international funds such as Global Founders Capital. Chef’s Plate co-founders Jamie Shea and Patrick Meyer also contributed through the Redbox Ventures fund, and became the startup’s advisors.
Founded by Eugene Bisovka, Razmik Sukyasov, and Oskar Hartmann this year, Tiggy provides 15-minute grocery delivery services. It recently launched its first dark store on September 20.
Dark stores refer to a retail facility that resembles a conventional brick-and-mortar store but is not open to the public. It is used to house goods that are purchased and fulfilled online. The dark store model takes up less space and requires fewer staff than a regular grocery store.
Tiggy said it processed 80 orders in its first week and by mid-November, the company was receiving 144 orders per day.
The company currently operates in select Vancouver regions such as Coal Harbour, Chinatown, Yaletown, and Gastown. It has plans to provide its “ultrafast delivery” to about 70 percent of Vancouver in the coming months. Beyond Vancouver, Tiggy has its eyes on establishing dark stores in Toronto.
According to Tiggy, its dark stores vary according to the needs of exact areas, ethnic make-up of the population, and local specifics.
The company notes that planning for the locations of future dark stores is based on automated analytics that calculate the density of neighbourhoods, levels of income, education degree, and potential areas.
“Our nearest competitor delivers orders within 60 minutes, yet this set-up is not guaranteed and tied within a certain time frame,” Bisovka said. “The very fact that you can get your morning milk and breakfast pastry in 15 minutes with no extra charges is an extraordinary notion.”
Market research firm Mintel found that the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated Canadians’ use of online grocery services. By mid-April in 2020, 37 percent of Canadians were shopping more online, with 22 percent specifically noting they were buying more groceries online.
Canadians also tend to seek products that are locally sourced. Business Development Bank of Canada reported that 45 percent of consumers made an effort to buy Canadian products in the past year. Tiggy claims it is set to support sustainable development, local producers, and Canadian farmers.
Featured image courtesy Tiggy.