The round was led by ICONIQ Growth, with Tiger Global, DST, KKR, Prosus, EQT Growth and Coatue joining as new investors. A number of Wolt’s existing investors also participated in the round, including 83North, Highland Europe, Goldman Sachs Growth Equity, EQT Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners.
The capital injection marks the largest funding round to date for a Finnish company and will be used to cement Wolt’s position in an intense global market, where competitors such as Deliveroo and Doordash are going public with valuations in the billions.
“We operate in an extremely competitive and well funded industry, and this round allows us to have a long-term mindset when it comes to doubling down on our different markets,” stated CEO Miki Kuusi.
Over the past year, Wolt has tripled its revenue to 285 million euros and expanded its workforce from 700 to over 2 200. It currently operates in 23 countries and 129 cities, having set up shop in Japan and Germany in 2020. It is also expanding its offering to new grocery and retail products such as cosmetics, pet food and pharmaceuticals.
“The opportunity is to equip brick-and-mortar stores to compete with Amazon and Alibaba — and be better than them,” Kuusi told Sifted. “Grocery is the first and most important priority.”
“It’s the natural expansion from restaurants,” said Kuusi. “It forces us to build the tech that will support all the other retail categories as well — electronics, flowers, clothes — much easier categories, but where the underlying frequency is lower.”
With great growth comes great valuation
Wolt raised 100 million euros as an insurance policy at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 but also began to prepare to take the company public. In an interview with Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, Kuusi estimated that the potential listing could take place in the spring of 2022 at the earliest.
“The whole industry is moving towards the next phase,” told Kuusi. “It’s about who can continue independently and who will get swallowed up.”
Kuusi didn’t comment on speculation about Wolt’s current valuation, although the company revealed a billion-euro valuation during its last funding round in 2020. Regarding future plans, Kuusi floated the idea of dual-listing Wolt on the Helsinki stock exchange and Europe or the US.
“This [funding round] is us putting our foot down and saying that if you’re going to take a share of our markets, you better prepare for long-term capacity from our end to react to all moves by our competitors.”