Reaching profitability last year, ethnic e-grocer Weee! can continue with its plans of nationwide expansion in catering to underserved populations after raising $315 million in Series D financing.
According to a Brick Meets Click/Mercatus grocery survey, online grocery sales in the United States grew more than 9% to a record-setting $7.2 billion in June 2020. Meanwhile, Statista reports that the grocery market for ethnic customers is expected to surpass $464 billion by 2030. This is where Weee! is looking to make its mark, with its current category assortment spanning ethnic ingredients essential to Asian and Hispanic cuisines.
"Ethnic communities have been overlooked in the online and retail space. We believe the opportunity to provide these fast-growing communities access to exciting and affordable groceries is tremendous," said Larry Liu, founder and CEO of Weee!
Weee! offers the convenience of delivery from its own warehouses of a wide community-curated selection of fresh produce, seafood, meat and pantry staples; including many that are hard to find and exclusive. Products are guaranteed to be delivered at peak freshness and priced lower than, or comparable to, offline stores. No subscription is required to shop, and next-day delivery is free with a low order minimum.
Currently, Weee! serves cities in California, New Jersey, New York, Washington, the District of Columbia, Oregon, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Maryland and Virginia, and aims to expand to 30 cities across North America by 2024.
The new funding will help the e-grocer to invest in efficient fulfillment technology, a stronger and more diverse product assortment, and engagement with the broader Asian and Hispanic communities with state-of-the-art personalization features.
The new capital also allows the company to recruit more exceptional talent. Just last month, Weee! welcomed two experienced executives to its leadership team: Thomas Jeon, general counsel; and Ankur Shah, chief finance and strategy officer.
Jeon brings nearly 20 years of experience in managing domestic and international legal affairs from private practice and as in-house counsel. He joins Weee! most recently from Backcountry, having previously held roles at eBay, Netflix and Lucasfilm.
Shah is a global startup executive with 20 years of investing and operating experience. He was previously a seed investor and chief finance and strategy officer at Careem, a ride-hailing company in the Greater Middle East that was recently acquired for $3.1 billion by Uber.
Weee!'s latest round of financing was led by existing investor DST Global. New investors include funds managed by Blackstone, Arena Holdings and Tiger Global.
The e-grocer has received more than $415 million in funding. In August 2020 alone, it raised $35 million in Series C financing also led by DST Global.
"Weee! has a unique understanding of how explosive growth can be achieved sustainably in the emerging online grocery space," said Rahul Mehta, managing partner at DST Global, which has offices in Silicon Valley, New York, London, Beijing and Hong Kong. "The team's back-to-basics focus on merchandising, everyday low prices, and remarkable social shopping approach are what sets Weee! apart, and we're excited to deepen our support for their mission."
"We are thrilled to leverage DST Global and our new investors' strategic view on the future of retail and vast experience building and scaling technology companies to accelerate our mission," added Liu.
Based in Fremont, California, Weee! was founded in 2015 with the belief that quality, freshness and accessibility shouldn't be compromised when it comes to food. Providing Asian and Hispanic groceries, the company is recognized as a trusted household brand among underserved communities.