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Start-up of grocery delivery Voly cuts staff again, shuts down social media

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Rapid grocery delivery startup Voly has cut staff for the second time in six months, less than a year after saving $18 million in a seed round.

The Sydney-based online supermarket was launched in July 2021 with a promise that groceries would be delivered in 15 minutes or less. More staff have reportedly been laid off at the company this week, after half of the office staff were withdrawn and warehouses closed in June, just weeks after rival Send’s collapse.

Send was placed in voluntary administration less than 12 months after launch.

Voly serves 42 Sydney suburbs but is now concentrated just south of the Harbor Bridge in the Eastern Suburbs, CBD and Inner West.

It increased the delivery time from 15 to 20 minutes and halted plans to expand into Melbourne.

The company’s marketing continues, including in-app ads seen by Startup Daily this week. But in the past 24 hours, Voly deleted his Instagram account, which hadn’t been posted for a month, as well as his Facebook page.

The Voly Twitter account @getVOLY is now locked with no followers.

The Voly Twitter account on November 11.

The company did not respond to Startup Daily’s latest request for comment.

Co-CEOs and co-founders Mark Heath and Thibault Henry told staff earlier this year that the company had enough runway to survive until February 2023.

But Voly faces a decline in discretionary spending amid rising interest rates to address high inflation, in addition to a slump in capital investment for startups.

It also competes with a better-funded rival in Milkrun, which raised $75 million from Tiger Global in January, as well as global players such as Doordash and UberEats.

Voly’s backers include Sequoia Capital India, Global Founders Capital and Australia-based Artesian Capital.


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