Japan’s food delivery startup Dely secures second round funding from Anri

From the left: Anri partner Anri Samata, Dely CEO Yusuke Horie, Beenos partner Hiro Maeda, and Dely COO Yusuke Sato in the laptop screen

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based startup Dely, a food delivery service operating in Tokyo, announced today that it has fundraised an undisclosed sum from Japanese seed investor Anri. This follows their seed funding in July led by Beenos with participation from East Ventures and Party Factory.

Dely CEO Yusuke Horie explained his business:

Our system is well organized, and we have had no trouble in our delivery service. When we started our service, it is provided only for a lunch time on weekdays but we added a dinner time and Saturday to our operating hours in August. We’ll try to partner with more restaurants and acquire more users from now on.

The company sees a steadily growth in acquiring partnering restaurants. Their service is currently available only in Shibuya but plans to add Ebisu and Roppongi to the delivery areas.

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Coinciding with the funding, Anri general partner Anri Samata, Beenos managing partner Hiro Maeda, and FreakOut COO Yusuke Sato, who will join the board of Dely as an advisor, spoke on the potential of on-demand delivery services in Japan.

Samata explained why his fund has invested in Dely:

We have invested in startups providing infrastructure-focused services like Coiney (payments), Raksul (printing), Crowdworks (crowdsouricing), so logistics is also one of our interest. I’ve talked with many logistics startups in Japan. Since Horie is the most interesting man among them, I decided to invest in his startup. We see a market because Japan’s GDP and land area are sufficiently large. Existing logistics services work well but don’t provide on-demand delivery. Disrupting an existing industry structure is my mission. So we expect that they will evolve further.

Beenos has invested in US-based same-day food grocery service Instacart. From that perspective, Beenos managing partner Hiro Maeda predicts that on-demand services will become more common in Japan in five to ten years. He said:

Thanks to mobile technology, delivery services can detect the exact location of their delivery persons in real time, which allows anyone to become a delivery person for these services. In addition to delivery services, it will be inevitable that individuals will be able to provide their personal values as a service.

According to Horie, Maeda’s mentoring was very helpful in developing the product because he is familiar with Instacart through his investment.

Horie said:

Maeda’s feedback on the service was to the point. It was really helpful that he joined our team in a seed round. Thanks to him, we can aim to develop a much better product.

In response to him, Maeda added:

I think we’ll need an on-demand service like Postmates. But it’s not easy so a crazy man should do it. In terms of that, I think Horie is suitable because he is young and beyond our mind and has no prejudice.

Sato analyzed the Japanese logistic industry and explained that it will be impossible for major logistic companies to roll out an on-demand delivery service despite the fact that they have a huge and efficient delivery network system.

He said:

However, thanks to a surge of smartphone users, there is huge potential to build a high cost-performance delivery network comprised of non-professional delivery persons.

I think we can turn the impossible into the possible. That’s what only a crazy man like Horie can do. That’s why I decided to bet on him.