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The promise on the “Flink” website sounds tempting, at least in some big-city neighbourhoods. “Groceries delivered in 10 minutes. No matter what you need: we deliver your groceries including fresh fruit and vegetables in organic quality directly to your home. Within 10 minutes and at supermarket prices.” In the battle of the ten-minute, smartphone app grocery delivery services, the two Berlin-based competitors Gorillas and Flink were previously tying. However, Flink has now found a substantial partner in the form of the Rewe Group. Rewe has agreed on a strategic partnership with the delivery service so that the food retailer’s customers can also start enjoying turbocharged delivery. Based on their agreement, the Berlin start-up’s exclusive supplier for the goods it delivers will be Rewe. In return, Rewe has acquired a stake in the company’s latest USD 240 million venture round, making it a shareholder of Flink. Lionel Souque, Rewe’s MD, has also released a statement signalling his optimism: “Flink is a pioneer in rapid grocery delivery. We are convinced that our cooperation for product supply will make a crucial contribution to Flink becoming Germany’s number one in the segment.” He also says that Rewe will be able to benefit from the market segment’s development.

Flink is a descendant of Hamburg-based start-up Pickery, which sent its couriers into local Rewe supermarkets to pick up groceries. Its leading managers include Christoph Cordes, who was formerly an executive at Home24, an online furniture retailer that Rewe also bought an early stake in. Flink says it delivers 2,400 different products to customers in 18 cities, where it has built up 50 stockrooms and a customer base. It also says it already has access to over three million consumers. Rewe itself is continuing to deliver groceries, doing so though in fixed time frames with a longer lead-up. “The food retail sector in Germany has seen its delivery and in-store pick-up business double during the Covid-19 crisis,” Souque adds. He says that Rewe is Germany’s market leader in the segment and that it wishes to expand its e-commerce business.

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