Jow - the app that enables customers to do their regular grocery shop in just 1 minute - has raised $20M. The round was led by EURAZEO, and includes existing investors Headline (formerly eVentures), Partners of DST Global, and Stride.VC.
Launched in 2018, Jow has since experienced rapid growth to become the leading app in France for meal inspiration and online grocery shopping. Now working with the 6 largest grocery brands in France (Carrefour, Auchan, Intermarché, E.Leclerc, Monoprix and Chronodrive), Jow gives its customers access to over 4,000 stores across the country, with the ability to choose between curbside pick-up or home delivery.
Jow has previously raised $1.5M in October 2018, and $7M in December 2019, and is now announcing a Series A of $20M. Led by co-founders Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, Antoine Maillard, and Franck Maurin, the company saw exponential growth in 2020, confirming customer appetite for the app. Concluded earlier this year, the series will be used to fuel Jow’s international expansion, starting with the US.
“A digital personal shopper, kitchen help, and life coach, Jow helps families eat well, and reduce cost as well as waste. Over 20 million meals have been prepared thanks to Jow, and each typically includes 25% more fresh ingredients, and 15% less waste. We are extremely proud to offer families a way to eat better, reduce waste, and lighten the mental load of meal preparation.”
Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, co-founder and CEO of Jow
Jow is as much a media startup as it is an ecommerce and tech one. Its fully integrated approach has wholly equipped it to stay ahead of the recent evolutions in shoppable content.
“Over the last 20 years, ecommerce has evolved to become one of two things: either a content platform to sell a vision, an idea (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), or a shoppable site to push specific products (Amazon, Shopify). This duality is no longer relevant - people can now purchase products on Instagram, and traditional retailers are exploring dynamic content. Jow has embraced this merging of content and shopping, and invested in offering a seamless end-to-end experience, where content is shoppable in a fully integrated solution, from idea to plate.”
Investing in the first mile
Where most traditional and new players have focused on optimizing the fulfilment and delivery experience (the last mile), Jow instead zeroed in on the shopping experience (the first mile). Predating the Covid-19 pandemic, Jow’s founders’ conviction was that customers could benefit massively from a cleaner and more personalized experience upstream from the delivery experience.
“Most online shopping experiences tend to be the same - pages and pages of products, presented on flat catalogues that the customer has to work through to finalize their basket. Jow is the only startup that has instead invested qualitatively in the shopping experience, reinventing what it means to do groceries online, with impressive results.”
Antoine Zins - Eurazeo
Helping all families eat better
Where most new foodtech companies have developed optimized delivery or meal preparation services, offering mostly high-end services, Jow has instead focused on bringing affordable, varied and healthy meals to all. Indeed, where those new companies cater to the 10% wealthiest, often urban, consumers, Jow instead caters to the 75% of the population who mostly eat at home, and tend to buy their food in supermarkets.
Through varied recipes, and a strong concern for feasibility and health, Jow enables families to eat better while sticking to their budget and usual shopping habits. Indeed, Jow’s recipes can all be made with regular supermarket ingredients.
“Our goal was to help our community return to a qualitative experience around the table. We wanted to help people enjoy sharing a varied and healthy meal together, while minimizing waste.”
Easy, and with less waste
For each recipe made, Jow selects the best products, and adjusts the customer’s basket to the right quantities. If recipes share ingredients, Jow will also optimize the basket to remove any excess, leaving the customer with only the exact amount of products they need for all of their recipes.
“Going to the supermarket is typically something people do when they’re short on time and inspiration. They end up buying products they don’t need, or are likely to let go bad in the back of their fridge. These types of purchases add up - on average, one household will waste 66 pounds of food a year, which is both environmentally and economically disadvantageous. With Jow, none of that happens; the app automatically optimizes your shopping cart to ensure that no product will be wasted.”
A service that is beneficial for customers as well as retailers and grocers
Up to 70% of products in a customer’s basket are added directly by Jow’s algorithm, meaning the company has the ability to influence basket contents massively. Where a customer wants variety in what they eat, a brand might want to push a specific product - Jow can marry the two. For instance, if a grocer is out of stock on a specific item like pasta, Jow can recommend recipes using only rice, quinoa, or other ingredients that the grocer has in stock. This way, the customer doesn’t ever see the stock outage, and the grocer still benefits from a sale.
“In the typical grocery shopping setting, the customer has to peruse through aisles to find what they need, something which is both laborious and time-consuming. In turn, grocers have only limited and painful ways to influence their customer’s behavior, typically done through promotions. With Jow, the customer’s basket is automatically created on the basis of the recipes they picked, meaning very little work for them. This also represents an extraordinary opportunity for grocers to manage their supply and influence customer baskets (and, as such, their margin per basket), as Jow is updated in real time with the grocer’s availability and can take into account grocer preferences on which products to prioritize. We therefore are able to help historical large players transition from flat catalogs paired with promotions or upselling to influence demand, to dynamic recommendations, supported by subtle and efficient offer fine-tuning.”
Jow provides a brand new way to go grocery shopping, with the aim of helping its customers answer the ever-present question “what’s for dinner tonight?”
Jow recommends tailored menus, based on customer tastes and food habits, with easy to make, delicious recipes adapted to their everyday life. Once the menu is validated, the app automatically generates a basket at the customer’s retailer of choice, and optimizes all the quantities to minimize waste and expenses. Jow also keeps a list of all regular staple items the customer might want or has previously ordered, making it easy for them to do their entire shop in one go.
With 1 click, the customer pays, triggering the supermarket to prepare the order, which can then be picked up by the customer or delivered to their home.
Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, Co-founder CEO
+33 7 72 38 59 15