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Norwegian e-grocery business Oda has raised €223M to fund territorial expansion in a funding round led by SoftBank and tech investor Prosus.

Oda, previously known as since launching in 2013 before a rebrand today, currently has a share of online grocery orders in Norway of over 70% and plans to use the funding to commence its international expansion.

It has started construction of a state-of-the-art fulfilment centre in Finland and is due to launch in Helsinki later this year. Oda also plans to launch its offering in Germany in 2022 and is in discussions with suppliers.

As part of the transaction, Neil Cunha-Gomes, investor at SoftBank Investment Advisers, and Roger Rabalais, CFO Food Delivery at Prosus Group, will join Oda’s board.

Dutch-listed global tech investor Prosus attempted to buy Just Eat in 2019 before eventually won the race and is a major investor in DeliveryHero and Last week Prosus increased its stake in Berlin-based online food-delivery service Delivery Hero to 25% and separately yesterday announced it is to sell a 2% stake in software group Tencent, to raise approximately $15bn.

Oda’s existing investors Kinnevik and REMA both participated in the investment round managed by Carnegie.

Oda says it aims to be “the most effective online grocer in the world”, driven by its highly automated fulfilment coupled with a strong focus on personalising the online grocery shopping experience for its customers.

During the pandemic-associated e-grocery boom, the company experienced well over 100% growth in its B2C business.

Oda claims to be “the most efficient online grocer in the world”, registering 212 UPH (units processed per labor hour at the warehouse), compared to 169 UPH it attributes to Ocado.

Karl Munthe-Kaas, CEO and co-founder of Oda, comments: “In Oda, we believe we have cracked the e-grocery logistics code to become the most affordable, the freshest and the greenest e-grocer in the world. We are thrilled to finally share the news of our funding, and international expansion. This comes at a time when demand for our services, not just within our native Norway, but also internationally, is incredibly strong.

“Our proprietary technology and automation, creates an extremely effective value chain from farm to fork, allowing us to compete profitably with discounters on price. This puts us in a unique position to win the global e-grocery race. We look forward to bringing our service to customers in Finland later this year, and Germany in 2022.”

Munish Varma, managing partner for SoftBank Investment Advisers commented: “We believe that Oda’s customer-centric focus, market-leading automation technology and fulfilment efficiency are a winning combination, and position Oda for success in scaling internationally for the benefit of customers and suppliers alike.”

Larry Illg, CEO of Prosus Food added: “Online grocery represents a large growth opportunity and compared to traditional e-commerce, is still in its very early days.

“Our expertise from operating and investing in e-commerce and food delivery companies for over a decade, many of which now have promising grocery delivery businesses, positions us well to capitalize on the opportunity in online grocery.”

“We have seen a significant inflection point with grocery over the last year with the market transitioning online, accelerated by COVID. Oda’s leadership and impressive growth in Norway paired with its groundbreaking technology and ambition to scale across Europe and beyond makes them an ideal partner to tackle the grocery opportunity over the coming years.”

year with the market transitioning online, accelerated by COVID. Oda’s leadership and impressive growth in Norway paired with its groundbreaking technology and ambition to scale across Europe and beyond makes them an ideal partner to tackle the grocery opportunity over the coming years.”

In December 2019, Oda replaced plastic bags with cardboard boxes, and now scores 0% food waste on baked goods due to its in-house, demand-driven bakery. Oda is introducing electric delivery vehicles, with the intention of operating a fully electric fleet by 2025.

Oda also rolled out what it calls another environmental innovation in November 2020 when it created Norway’s first climate dashboard for groceries, allowing its customers to see a ‘receipt’ revealing the CO2 emissions of each item purchased and order produced.

Morning update

The FTSE 100 this morning as risen to another new post-COVID high, rising a further 0.4% to 6,913.2p.

Risers include Naked Wines, up 1.4% to 776p, Finsbury Food Group, up 1.3% to 78p and AG Barr, up 1.3% to 508.4p.

Fallers so far today include Stock Spirits Group, down 1.9% to 281p, McBride, down 1.8% to 89.6p and Domino’s Pizza Group, down 1.5% to 346.8p.

Yesterday in the City

The FTSE 100 had another strong day, ending the day up 0.9% at 6,885.3pts and the index’s highest level since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Just Eat was amongst the market’s stronger risers, up 5.1% to 7,165p yesterday.

Hilton Food Group was up 2.9% to 1,150p after reporting that its annual revenues surged to £2.8bn amid Covid-19 home cooking boom.

Other risers included McBride, up 4.8% to 91.2p, Glanbia, up 4.1% to €12.83, Hotel Chocolat, up 3.8% to 415p, Nichols, up 3.7% to 1,400p, Marks & Spencer, up 3% to 157.2p and DS Smith, up 2.9% to 424.4p.

The day’s fallers were led by travel food specialist SSP Group, which fell 11.8% to 346p as a result of shareholder approval of its previously announced £475m rights issue.

Other fallers included McColl’s Retail Group, down 2% to 31.4p, Bakkavor, down 1.6% to 123p, Greggs, down 1.3% to 2,242p and Premier Foods, down 1.1% to 98.5p.

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