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  • Irish grocery delivery startup Buymie has raised $9 million to grow its business and expand into the UK. 
  • The delivery app, backed by new investors Wheatsheaf Group, will begin operations in Bristol, UK as part of its growth plans. 
  • "Back in 2014, I realised that the online grocery business was dysfunctional but that demand would grow," Devan Hughes, CEO and cofounder of Buymie, told Business Insider in an interview. "Covid has brought around a gold rush of businesses trying to shoehorn same-day grocery delivery but we work because we are an ally of retailers, not a disruptor."
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Online grocery delivery is one of the few sectors set to benefit from economic changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, with shoppers stuck at home during lockdown.

In the UK alone, the online grocery market in 2020 could be worth £16.8 billion ($21 billion) according to research firm Mintel. Mintel links a 33% year-on-year growth in the space to COVID-19, although it's already a lucrative market for companies that get it right.

It's with this in mind that Buymie, a grocery delivery startup from Ireland, is making the UK its next market. 

Dublin-based Buymie, founded in 2015, operates a same-day grocery delivery service, where you can order groceries and have them delivered to your door. It plans to expand to Bristol, UK armed with €8 million ($9 million) in fresh funding.

The startup's additional capital comes from new investors Wheatsheaf Group, part of the Grosvenor Estate, a British property group with $36.7 billion assets under management as of 2019. Follow-on investments were also committed from existing backers including: Act Venture Capital, Sure Valley Ventures, Haatch Ventures, and HBAN.

"Back in 2014, I realized that the online grocery business was dysfunctional but that demand would grow," Devan Hughes, CEO and cofounder of Buymie, told Business Insider in an interview. "COVID-19 has brought around a gold rush of businesses trying to shoehorn same-day grocery delivery but we work because we are an ally of retailers, not a disruptor."

UK food delivery startup Deliveroo has expanded into grocery, as has Uber via its Uber Eats service through partnerships with grocers such as Morrisons and Aldi.

Buymie's latest round came about due to the coronavirus. The company closed a €2.2 million round in Q4 2019 after strong growth but opted to extend it with new investment. The company is trading nine months ahead of its 2020 business plan, Hughes said. 

Buymie says its partnership model with retailers, including Lidl in Ireland, and the Co-op in the UK, allow it to leverage its tech and algorithm better than its competitors. "Retail partnerships are key to our business," Hughes added. 

These latest funds will go towards investment in the startup's IP and scaling its infrastructure alongside increased headcount in the company's operations and tech teams. Beyond Bristol, Buymie is also considering expansion into 15 other UK cities.

Check out Buymie's pitch deck below: 

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