CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Online grocery operator Relay Foods here plans to expand to next-day delivery in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., markets at the end of April, the company’s founder and CEO told SN on Tuesday.
The move comes as the company prepares to open a fulfillment center in the Washington area, Relay’s third such facility. Its other two are in Virgina. It also follows the recent completion of a second round of financing that brought in $8.25 million from a network of about a dozen investors.
“You don’t get a ‘Round B’ of venture capital financing unless you are growing very quickly,” Zach Buckner told SN, adding the company is profitable on a “per order” basis.
Relay expanded into the Washington and Baltimore markets last year through the acquistion of online purveyor Arganica, which until now has offered more limited delivery, two days a week.
Read more: Relay Expands Grocery in Mid-Atlantic
Relay’s model calls for sourcing products from partners such as Whole Foods and Supervalu, as well as directly from local producers, and routing them to convenient pick-up locations in the market near employment centers. Customers then pick up their orders and “do the last mile themselves,” as Buckner explained.
Relay will also deliver orders directly to customers’ homes for a fee — $10 per order, or for a monthly fee. There is no added charge for customers to pick up their own grocery orders.
The company launched the service in 2009 in Charlottesville and then expanded to Richmond, Va., before the acquisition of Arganica last year brought it to Baltimore and Washington.
Read more: Relay Expands E-Grocery in Mid-Atlantic
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