German Gref Pile Up on a Scooter

A joint venture between Sberbank and Group may buy a stake in Samokat, one of the largest express delivery services, within a month, Forbes sources say, the parties to the potential deal do not comment on a possible partnership.
Origin source
In the coming month, the joint venture of Sberbank and Group will become a co-owner of the Samokat express delivery service, Forbes told three sources on the food technology market. Through which legal entity the purchase will be made, the amount and exact terms of the transaction are unknown. The founders of Samokat Vyacheslav Bocharov and Rodion and Kirill Shishkov, representatives of Sberbank and Group declined to comment on the partnership.

Forbes source in the joint venture confirmed the fact of the upcoming transaction. “I don’t know the details, but I learned last week that the purchase will take place,” he said. According to another source close to the negotiations, Sberbank and Group will receive from 25% to 45% in Samokat, another 30% to 50% will remain with the founders and several investors who invested in the project at the start. A further 27% will continue to be owned by the subsidiary of PIK Group Sergey Gordeev F 55 PIK Innovations, which invested $ 10 million in the service in July 2019. PIK press service also declined to comment.

“The deal as a whole follows from the logic of the behavior of our IT giants. It was obvious that they could not get past such a large segment as express delivery of products. “Scooter” is one of the most prominent representatives of the market, and it is not surprising that it attracted the attention of strategists, ”said the owner and CEO of the food delivery service“ Dostaevsky ”Vladimir Ovelyan.

In January 2020, the Delivery Club, part of the joint venture of Sberbank and Group, launched the delivery of products to their homes in partnership with Samokat. This indirectly indicates that the transaction will be carried out precisely through the joint venture, said Grigory Kunis, manager of the iGooods product delivery service. “Since can no longer do this business without Sberbank, the latter cannot but participate in the transaction,” he said.

If Samokat enters the joint venture, it “will absolutely definitely break out into the leaders of the express delivery market, but sooner or later they will establish parity with [Yandex's product delivery project] Yandex.Lavka, the founder of the venture fund the Untitled Ventures Konstantin Sinyushin.

“Scooter” has grown from a communication application for managing companies and residents of apartment buildings Smart.Space, which Bocharov and Shishkov launched in early 2017. The “Shop” option was added to the main functions, which made it possible to order everyday goods with delivery - salt, matches, milk. Soon, the function was allocated in a separate application. In 2018, under this idea, the founders raised $ 1.5 million from several private investors. The funds allowed to open five own warehouses, and the number of orders increased to 8,000 per month. The app was renamed "Scooter." Products were purchased on the Metro Cash & Carry network, and delivered by foot couriers in 15-30 minutes. The average bill was 400 rubles, the margin of the "Scooter" - about 8%. Now the service works in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

In the summer of 2019, the project closed the second investment round, agreeing on investments with the “daughter” of PIK. Thanks to the $ 10 million received, it was possible to increase the number of warehouses to 120 (for comparison, Yandex.Lavka has just over 80) and reach the indicator of up to 100,000 orders per week. In 2019, the revenue of Scooter, according to Forbes estimates, amounted to 730 million rubles. The company operates at an operating minus (the loss is not disclosed), but the first three warehouses have already reached profit, the founders assure.

Vyacheslav Bocharov - a native of the Magnit network, Rodion Shishkov since 2008 has been vice president of innovation at Yota. About six months in 2015, the partners worked together at the Russian Post (Bocharov returned to Magnit at the request of Sergei Galitsky in the same year).

Sberbank and Group are seriously interested in the product delivery market. In October 2018, an Internet holding company invested $ 1 million in a Foodza startup, which looked for regional farmers and grocery distributors, bought food from them and sold catering in one-window mode. Despite the support of Group, in January 2020, the startup was closed due to unprofitability. In April 2019, together with Sberbank, the holding invested 500 million rubles in another food tech startup - a service for delivering products from Instamart stores. For two companies, according to Forbes estimates, received a share of about 45%. After the creation of the joint venture, Instamart was renamed SberMarket. According to the current CEO of the project, Asan Kurmanguzhin, the turnover for 2019 amounted to 1.85 billion rubles, the service operates in 36 cities of Russia and has already reached operating profit.