Roman Trotsenko's Novaport invested in Grabr

The holding has invested $0.5 million and plans to become a service provider to order goods abroad.
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Novaport became a minority shareholder in Grabr service, as Roman Trotsenko (who owns 50% of the airport holding) told Forbes. Novaport invested $ 0.5 million in the service, informed the co-founder of Grabr Daria Rebyonok throug a representative. Grabr provides users an online platform through which you can order any goods abroad. The traveler, who took the order, would buy it and deliver the parcel for a fee.

The service was launched in early 2016 in the US and since April it has been available to worldwide users, including in Russia. What kind of stake in Grabr did Novaport get, neither Trotsenko nor Rebyonok would not disclose. However, Novaporta's participation is not limited to investments. According to Trotsenko, his airport holding company will be a "Grabr service provider."

Novaport has numerous opportunities for out-door promotion service in Russia, says Rebyonok. She expects that the federal airport network will allow for a quick spread in the regions and to reach more potential users of Grabr.

The founders of Grabr, Rebyonok and her husband Artem Fedyaev, met Trotsenko at the beginning of 2016, when they were looking for new investors. According to Rebyonok, then the businessman "took time out to see how Grabr would develop throughout the year." And in late November Trotsenko made a decision. But he was not the first of the Forbes billionaire list, who assessed the prospects of Grabr positively.

Investors with gazpacho

The idea of the service came to Rebyonok and Fedyaev in 2015. The couple, who moved from Moscow to San Francisco, was missing gazpacho from their favorite restaurant in Barcelona. "To find someone who is willing to bring you something from a country where it is located, was only possible in a small community on Facebook,"  says Rebyonok. The couple decided to "simplify the process and make it more reliable."

From 2015, the founders of Grabr invested in the project a small amount ($10 000-15 000). The first large investor was the co-owner of the railway operator Globaltrans Konstantin Nikolaev and antique furniture dealer Gregory Balzer. They invested $0.5 million each.

In the spring of 2016, the project  saw the founder of Rusagro Group Vadim Moszkowicz and the owner of R-Pharm Alexey Repik. According to Rebyonok, Konstantin Nikolaev helped to meet the new investors. In exchange for a $ 2.5 million investment, both Moszkowicz and Repik got a stake in the company. Rebyonok does not specify either how much each investor nvested or the size of their shares in Grabr, limiting herself to saying: "For projects that work in the Silicon Valley, it is considered normal when with the arrival of new investors in the project the shares of the founders and early investors equally blurred."

Participant of the next round of investment was not only Novaport. Among other investors were American Founders Fund and Global Founders Capital and Business Angel Charles Songhert, says Rebyonok. Talks with US investors have not yet been completed, but we are talking about investments of up to $1.5 million. After the transactions with them and Novaport the founders will have little more than 30% of the shares, says Rebyonok.

Biological media of the XXI century

At this stage the main goal is to increase the audience and the number of transactions, says Rebyonok. According to her, investors have even offered to remove the fee to concentrate on attracting customers.

Grabr commission is 7% of the transaction value. Additional 6-10% of the price bring service partners (Apple, Amazon, eBay, Nike, more than 20 international brands), if the product was purchased from them. Affiliate sales accounted for more than half of the Grabr orders.

According to Rebyonok, the service revenues in 2016 amounted to about $220 000. 70% provided the fee from the orders and 30% were from retail partners.

In January 2017 Grabr had more than 101 000 users. The amount of placed orders is in excess of $25 million, and the amount of the executed orders is $1 million. The most active users were Brazilians, Argentines, Peruvians and Russians. The latter accountfor about 20% of orders. The average order from Russia costs $140, and globally it is $250.

Novelty gadgets are leading in the number of orders, which are not yet available for purchase in Russia (drones, Fitbit). The second place is for clothes and accessories (for example, New Balance and Nike sneakers). The third is the food (wine, various "sanctioned" cheeses, chocolate and ham).

On the conditions of purchase, the amount of the remuneration and terms of delivery, users agree among themselves, says Rebyonok. With international or long domestic routes, such as Vladivostok to Moscow, "the provider" can earn significant money, Trotsenko said: "Our staff sometimes compensate up to half of the cost of the ticket by Grabr".

Trotsenko claims that Grabr is neither more nor less "technological biomedia of the 21st century". According to him, "many couples have met and even married, bringing something through Grabr": "The future begins right in front of our eyes, and it's very interesting."