2016 has seen the London start-up arena transform into a dense and bloodied battlefield, with on-demand services right at the heart of the gore and glory. Deliveroo's reign as the darling of on-demand food delivery (£364m raised and reports of the 'Roo becoming the latest London 'Unicorn') was abruptly cut short by the launch of UberEats this June.
UberEats wasted no time in carving out their slice of the delivery pie by doing what they do best: Flooding the market and empowering their customers to market their service for them. Uber offered their existing and loyal 2million+ customers juicy £15, 20 and even £30 promo codes to try out the new service. In the same way that they succeeded in dethroning the likes of Addisson Lee and Hailo in 2012, UberEats has repeated their carpet-pulling trick on the food delivery market and recently boasted delivering their 50,000th meal a mere 3 months thereafter.
Fierce competition for riders and customers intensified over summer, with the two titans duking it out at the top whilst smaller players like Take Eat Easy and the newly minted Pronto became the latest skeletons to be confined to on-demand graveyard despite significant investment and traction. Overspend and failure to effectively acquire users and market share ultimately led to their demise.
Rival ride sharing app Karhoo (comparison and booking service for licensed taxis) caught on and attempted to out-uber uber by doubling the standard promo credit to £20 for first time users. The result? 90 days after it's launch, Karhoo claims to have more available taxis than Uber (33k Vs 30k), 140, 000 downloads and 7,000 bookings made each day.
Bevy is another newly launched app that is adopting a scrappier approach to generate rapid awareness and growth for their Beverage Butler service. The company is the first and only 'on-demand' business that delivers a wide range of alcohol, cigarettes snacks and more in just 30 minutes around London. Not only does Bevy match shop prices, but their trusty 'Butlers' are GPS trackable and deliver right to your door up until 5am. We sit down with COO and Co-founder Marco Saio to discuss how they plan to completely disrupt one of the oldest industries around and become London's next big thing.
What is Bevy?
Bevy is an on-demand service that specialises in delivering alcohol, mixers and more at shop prices and in just 30 minutes. We charge retail prices plus a flat £5 delivery fee.
The 'press ready response' for this is that we anticipated the explosion of on-demand services and mCommerce and applied these to one of the largest and most antiquated industries in the world: Alcohol. All of which is true, but more than anything I think we had always wanted to start something of our own and also be able to explain ourselves in a single sentence - Immediate delivery of alcohol at shop prices. In a world where you can source a meal, lawyer or even a jet in seconds, we couldn't believe that nothing like this existed. The mission was to instantly, affordably and conveniently deliver your favourite tipples and treats when you need them most. Bevy was definitely something we created for ourselves first and foremost!
With more and more 'on-demand' services flooding London and the UK, what sets Bevy apart against the likes of Deliveroo and UberEats?
We're talking about very, very different beasts. Bevy is the first and only service to focus exclusively on alcohol, cigarettes, vape and other 'impulse goods' like condoms and phone chargers. Bevy is a convenience tool for the spontaneous. Unlike other apps, Bevy charges local shop prices (no mark-ups) and on average our 'Butlers' deliver within 30 minutes, right up until 5am. Whilst some services offer restaurant priced wine or beer as add-ons to takeaways from many individual restaurants, Bevy is a one-stop-shop - We offer party packs, instant cocktail kits and discovery combos for every occasion. The app essentially puts your dream bar in the palm of your hand and you can GPS track your Bevy Butler from the store right to your door - And if it should be cold, it will be!
Who are the people behind Bevy and what kind of company culture are you trying to build?
In truth, it's the same old start-up cliché - We're a small and utterly obsessed group of people that quit our stable, well paying jobs at the wrong time and against everyone's advice. When we started Bevy, I was based in Sydney, our CTO in Boston, the tech team in India and my two other founders in London. The team has grown rapidly since then but our moxie is and will remain the same: Whatever it takes, whenever it's needed. All of the team still do deliveries to meet our customers and I think it's safe to say we're all pretty familiar with using the app as customers too!
What's next for Bevy?
Everything that our customers have told us they wanted: More specialty products, new cities, extended service hours, loyalty rewards, order splitting and of course, robotic / drone deliveries. We're trying to decide which will get us in the least amount of trouble! We've also found that more than 70% of new customers have come in through word of mouth referral, so we've has just launched the Bevy Brand Ambassador program. The premise is simple - We reward influencers for referring Bevy to their social circle using their unique promocode. The more people you refer, the more cash you earn. Top influencers can even earn the chance to interview for a position in our fast-growing marketing team, for more details please apply here: www.bevy.co/bevy-ambassador-program
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