Czech online food retailer Rohlik Group has received €190mn from investors, which it will use to support its expansion in its current markets, for its plan to enter the German market and for investments into technology and improving its services, the company announced in a press release.
Rohlik, named after the most widely eaten Czech roll, has benefited enormously from the accelerated shift to online shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, British retailer Marks and Spencer, which has been forced to close all its shops in the Czech Republic because of government restrictions, has shifted its sales operations to Rohlik.cz.
“We expect that our activities will kick-start the market and force all players in the retail industry to accelerate. We are not focused on delivering a small basket very quickly like other firms in the market, but on fulfilling the real needs of families in Europe,” said founder and CEO of Rohlik Group Tomas Cupr.
The investors are Partech fund, the global company Index Ventures, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), J&T Banka, the independent global investor Quadrille Capital, the Czech family investment firm R2G and the current investor Enern.
“We are very proud of this investment, which addresses several pressing issues we are facing today. With the provision of equity the EBRD is making a long-term commitment to a young and dynamic company at a time when access to finance is often challenging,” said EBRD Director, Agribusiness, Natalya Zhukova.
“The expansion of online retail is a direct response to the huge disruption that the coronavirus pandemic is causing. And creating training opportunities for young people is essential at a time when labour markets are increasingly coming under strain,” Zhukova added.
The new investment is expected to boost jobs. The company is seeking to expand its operations in Hungary, and to enter the Romanian market.
The company entered the Hungarian market in 2019, Austria in December last year, and plans to launch online sales in Germany in the next few months under the Knuspr.de brand.
In 2020, Rohlik Group posted a turnover of over €300mn, up by more than 100%.