... and what's in store for 2022!
We're thrilled to announce that we raised $3 million in seed funding. Announcing what's next seems like a great way to reassure our valued partners and customers that we're here to stay.
To begin with, a big THANK YOU! 🙏
Last year we launched an 🛒 "Ethnic Grocery Delivery" service, but our dream is much more ambitious. I'd like to reaffirm our vision.
Almost three years ago, we were just analyzing the growing market trends and wondering why investors would invest in a grocery delivery startup. Grocery delivery startups rarely report profits, and market leaders' numbers don't lie. The answer is obvious. A bull market gives investors the illusion that everything they buy will rise up. We never intended to become just another grocery delivery service as a startup.
After that, a pandemic devastated our lives. It was already evident that small businesses and retail markets were in decline. Being part of an ethnic minority community, our friends and family had a difficult time getting their groceries. We have realized that small corner grocery stores played a significant role in supplying affordable and high quality food options to immigrants, the backbone of our nation. During the pandemic workers globally lost US$ 3.7 trillion in earnings1 in earnings and immigrants in the U.S. experiencing higher unemployment2. There were many small businesses that shut down.
Studies have shown that small ethnic grocery stores offer a trusted cultural social space3 for ethnic identity formation and food security by providing affordable groceries, but now they must deal with many uncertainties. Two years ago, we developed a business plan to assist these independent grocery stores4.
We needed an open and fair marketplace to reverse Amazon's impact on our community. As a challenging, perhaps unusual path, we began building free business tools, infrastructure and services to increase small grocery store earnings. As of today, Bakkal now provides last-mile delivery, inventory control, marketing assistance, and procurement services to more than 100 small businesses in Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
Our investors and amazing team have supported my co-founders and me since the beginning of our "humble" plan to dominate the grocery industry.
What is next?
The number of Bakkal users has grown 5x over our seed-round target, but the user experience is far from satisfactory. More resources will be devoted to improving our user experience. Based on the feedback we receive from our users, the end-user mobile application user experience will be greatly enhanced in the next 30 days.
By increasing our product diversity and extending our field team, we will be able to add new small businesses to our Bakkal Partner Network. We are updating our Bakkal Stores application to be able to address our partner's top concerns and challenges.
We are also launching a pilot program to modernize procurement by delivering new products direct from vendors to select Bakkal Partner Stores. Our procurement services will be rolled out to all of our partner stores over the next six months as we increase the product variety carefully. Our partners will no longer be stuck replenishing their businesses as they have since the 20th century.
A big announcement is also in the works to reach our followers beyond our current delivery area.
🚀🚀🚀 Stay tuned and spread the word about Bakkal!