May 24, 2022

Gorillas halves its headcount at HQ

The speedy grocery poster child is halving its HQ team to cut costs as it looks for fresh funding

Inside a Gorillas dark store

Speedy grocery delivery startup Gorillas has laid off half of its employees at its Berlin headquarters, Manager Magazin reported last night.

Around 320 jobs are being cut to extend the company's runway, as it seeks to lower costs while raising additional funding.

The company will also pull out of several markets — Italy, Spain, Denmark and Belgium — it said in a press release this morning.


It will instead focus on reaching profitability in its five key markets: Germany, France, UK, Netherlands and the US. Currently, over 90% of the company's revenue comes from these markets, it said.

Speedy grocery hits the ice

Gorillas became the poster child of the super-fast grocery delivery market last year; it was one of the first European startups to launch in the sector, grew to over 10k employees (including riders) and quickly expanded across Europe. It has raised $1.3bn in VC funding so far, from big names like Tencent, DST Global, Coatue and Delivery Hero.

But it's also had plenty of speed bumps along the way. Sifted spoke to more than a dozen employees last summer who said hypergrowth had led to a "toxic culture" at the company.

Now, eight months after its last funding round, amid a global downturn, it's struggling to raise again, sources tell Sifted.

It's also struggling to compete on downloads with Getir, its Turkish rival, data from Apptopia suggests. In May 2022, Getir had 1.5m app downloads globally, compared to Gorillas which had just 320k.

Layoffs at European startups

The news came hours after Klarna, the buy now, pay later giant, announced that it would be laying off 10% of its global team. 

Online events platform Hopin, headquartered in London, also let 138 employees go in February — equivalent to 12% of its staff. Last week, Swedish healthtech company Kry confirmed it was letting go 10% of its employees, which equates to 100 people.

This piece was updated to include information from Gorillas' press release