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Spanish delivery firm Glovo out to conquer the world

BARCELONA: With an bold 27-year-old boss and a rising military of pc engineers, Spanish startup Glovo is chasing worldwide development by increasing past meals deliveries, regardless of criticism of the working circumstances of its drivers.

4 years in the past Oscar Pierre give up his first job at Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace group, in Toulouse in southwestern France after simply three months.

Now the cofounder and CEO of Glovo, an app-based on demand courier service, manages 1,500 staff in 26 nations, half of them in his hometown Barcelona the place the corporate has its headquarters.

“I used to be searching for one other rhythm,” the slim former aeronautical engineer, who comes from a household of entrepreneurs, advised AFP, explaining he discovered the aeronautics trade “a bit gradual”.

On the entrance to Glovo’s headquarters there are a number of yellow backpacks utilized by the agency’s 50,000 drivers to ship restaurant meals by bicycle or bike to individuals’s houses in 288 cities world wide in addition to diapers, drugs, flowers and different items.

As a result of in contrast to its rivals Deliveroo and UberEats, Glovo doesn’t simply ship meals. “Order what you need,” the app tells its clients.

Glovo is on monitor to rack up €250mil (RM1.13bil) in gross sales this yr, Pierre stated, a 200% bounce over 2018 when gross sales already recorded a 350% bounce over the earlier yr.

Because it was based in 2015 the corporate has raised €460mil (RM2.08bil) from buyers, and it lately achieved the standing of a “unicorn” – a startup valued over US$1bil (RM4.06bil).

“It makes you dizzy, it is a variety of strain, however on the similar time we profit from it as a result of we all know that it’s distinctive to reside this,” stated Pierre at Glovo’s headquarters which options beanbags and desk soccer for workers.

‘A lot larger’

Glovo is already getting cash in Spain, Italy and Portugal and Pierre expects the corporate as an entire can be worthwhile “inside 18 months”.

The corporate’s technique includes specializing in areas the place it faces much less competitors than in western Europe similar to Latin America, Ukraine, Morocco and the Ivory Coast.

It desires to hurry up supply occasions utilizing algorithms cooked up by a whole lot of engineers and to do that Glovo plans to rent 300 new workers for its IT workforce in 2020.

“Now we have to decide on a machine studying mannequin that is ready to estimate how lengthy an order is gonna take to organize after which solely inform the courier to reach on the location as rapidly as attainable, similtaneously when the order is able to be picked up,” stated Mustafa Sezgin, the top of the corporate’s IT division.

Meal deliveries account for three-quarters of Glovo’s revenues however “we wish to suppose that meals is the beginning of one thing a lot larger” similar to Amazon began by promoting books, stated Pierre.

Glovo already has seven so-called “darkish supermarkets”, distribution centres full of merchandise which aren’t open to the general public, the place its drivers can choose up gadgets and it plans to open 100 by 2021.

The objective is to make sure deliveries are carried out inside 15 minutes.

The Glovo app may quickly be used to make restaurant reservations, purchase film tickets or rent house restore companies.

Faux freelancers?

However these bold tasks have been overshadowed in Spain by complaints over the working circumstances of Glovo’s drivers, who’ve staged a number of strikes.

They complain of strain to make deliveries rapidly and inadequate hours to earn a good wage.

Twenty-one drivers have taken Glovo to courtroom, accusing the corporate of treating them as “pretend freelancers” as an alternative of offering them with formal contracts that may require the agency pay social safety contributions on their behalf.

The courts have dominated in favour of riders 11 occasions, and on the aspect of Glovo ten occasions.

Spain’s social safety system has demanded the Glovo pay it a whole lot of hundreds of euros in arrears for a whole lot of drivers.

Pierre argues the query just isn’t whether or not riders are “staff or freelancers”.

“It is a new paradigm” that wants “new rules”, he stated.

Pierre stated 60% of Glovo’s drivers work half time and revel in nice “flexibility”.

To extend the drivers’ earnings, Glovo is working to enhance the app in order that they’ll do three deliveries per hour, in comparison with two presently, he added.

“With expertise it is attainable,” Pierre stated. – AFP

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