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Grubhub Is Launching a Rapid Delivery Service in Partnership With Startup Buyk

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(Bloomberg) -- Grubhub is launching a new rapid delivery service, joining rival DoorDash Inc. in the competitive race to get products to people’s doors in record time.

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The Just Eat Takeaway.com NV subsidiary is teaming up with quick commerce startup Buyk to offer grocery and convenience items as well as Buyk’s private label products from Grubhub’s marketplace with delivery promised in 15 minutes or less.

The service will start in more than 30 locations in New York and Chicago and Buyk, which employs couriers on a full-time basis, will handle picking, packing and delivery of orders, the companies said Wednesday.

“We interviewed a lot of instant grocery convenience players,” Grubhub Chief Operating Officer Eric Ferguson said in an interview. “Our large goal was to find one that resonated with our diners but also one that’s best-in-class from a logistics perspective.”

The partnership, which is not exclusive, is one of several ways Grubhub is looking to cut down delivery times and break into new categories, Ferguson said.

The pandemic turbocharged demand for delivery of everything from restaurant meals to groceries and redefined consumers expectations for convenience. A crop of ultrafast grocers including Gopuff, Gorillas, JOKR and Fridge No More, ferry goods to doorsteps in as little as 10 minutes by relying on a network of warehouses, or dark stores, that carry a limited number of items for a smaller delivery radius. In the last year, New York City has become the epicenter of competition in rapid delivery with Gopuff leading the sector with 39% share, according to market intelligence firm YipitData.

The competition has spurred food-delivery incumbents like Grubhub to build ultrafast services of their own. In December, DoorDash opened a dark store for a pilot in New York.

Buyk, whose founders also started Samokat, one of the largest instant grocery-delivery services in Russia, launched in the U.S. in June. The majority of its 38 dark stores are in New York, but the startup expanded to Chicago this year.

Buyk will benefit from the partnership by capturing Grubhub’s millions of users to sell its range of private label products, which rolled out in January. Instant commerce rival Gopuff also offers its own brand of food and other household goods.

“Our private label is doing phenomenally well,” said Buyk Chief Executive Officer James Walker. “What Grubhub does is give us greater exposure to their network and customers.”

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