Online grocer Buyk (pronounced "bike"), which promises grocery delivery from its microwarehouses in 15 minutes or less, said it has expanded into Brooklyn, Queens and Bronx after the service's launch in Manhattan in September.
With the expansion, Buyk now operates 20 dark stores in New York City, where it competes with other rapidly growing ultrafast delivery services, including Jokr, Fridge No More and Gorillas. Buyk touts an assortment of fresh groceries and household essentials from leading national and international brands as well as local producers.
Looking to reach all five of New York City's boroughs and then other large metropolitan areas across the U.S., the expansion announced Thursday "represents a major first step to realizing these exciting plans," Buyk stated in a news release.
See also: Fast Delivery, Even Faster Expansion for U.S. Microgrocers
Buyk co-founders Slava Bocharov and Rodion Shishkov became early players in the "instant-delivery" grocery space in 2018 with their launch of Samokat ("scooter" in Russian), which grew rapidly to capture nearly 6% of Russia's online grocery market from 2019 to 2020, WGB reported this summer. Buyk raised $46 million (USD) ahead of its debut this fall.
"We see huge potential for future growth in the ultrafast sector, as online channels continue to represent just a small share of the total grocery market," Bocharov said in the release, adding that Buyk "intends to lead the way in this transition from offline to online."
Buyk, a real-time grocery service promising delivery in 15 minutes or faster from cyclists carting quickly assembled convenience orders in local city neighborhoods, held its official launch in Manhattan Sept. 14.
WGB stopped in for a tour and the following photos, illustrating a rather bright dark store enabled by an efficient system that Buyk's founders say is proven successful in a previous venture in Europe.
Buyk is now available to nearly every Manhattan address (points north of Harlem are expected live later this month), and the company said it intends to expand across all New York boroughs by the end of this year and then into other large metro areas across the U.S., next year.
The new service leans on the experience of its seasoned founders, entrepreneurs Rodion Shishkov and Slava Bocharov, who previously started and ran Samokat, one of Europe’s fastest-growing ultrafast delivery services and the largest operator of dark stores among on-demand grocers outside of China,with 722 in operation as of last month. Of those, 323 have opened within the past five months.
“Three things are central to the Buyk business model: hyperlocality, execution and, of course, our proprietary technology,” Slava Bocharov, CEO and co-founder of Buyk, said in a statement. “Tried and tested through years of our European operations, this technology is the magic through which the whole business operates. With this tech, we can assemble the ideal assortment for each area down to the finest detail, we can optimize picking strategies to ensure your order leaves the dark store almost as soon as you’ve put your smartphone down, and we can study the best routes to shave vital minutes off delivery to ensure your order arrives when you need it, and not a second later.”
Pictured here are some dry-grocery goods. Buyk's Upper West Side microstore is heavy on snacks, convenience foods and better-for-you options.