Founders: Yakir Gola, Rafael Ilishayev (co-CEOs)
Funding: $1 billion
Key technologies: Cloud computing, Internet of Things, software-defined security
Industry: Retail, logistics
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0
You know all those snacks and personal-care items you need or want, at say, 11 p.m. but don’t want to go out to get? That’s why there’s goPuff. The Philadelphia-based company was started in 2013 by Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev, two college students at Drexel University who got tired of having to jump in their car whenever they got a late-night craving for M&Ms or soda. To disrupt the $230 billion-a-year convenience-store industry, the pair created an app where a user places an order (there are over 3,000 items listed) and, for a flat $1.95 delivery fee, has their selections delivered in under 30 minutes. The company operates in more than 500 cities across the U.S. and works with distributors to deliver snacks, drinks, ice cream, personal-care items, home essentials, baby products, alcohol, over-the-counter medicine and more.
Last year goPuff opened its 150th distribution facility, nearly tripling the number in one year. There are 3,000 employees. Investors are on board with the concept. In August the company closed a $750 million round of funding led by the SoftBank Vision Fund and Accel Partners, bringing its total funding to $1 billion.
In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the company has hired additional drivers to meet the demand for items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies and over-the-counter medicine. The company even partnered with a distillery to source and distribute hand sanitizer. To help customers feel safe, goPuff launched noncontact delivery as an in-app option so that orders can be left on a customer’s doorstep. It’s also committed $1 million in orders to hospital workers through its Health Care Support Initiative, donated 50,000 masks to hospitals and municipalities and partnered with Roc Nation to donate 200,000 meals to Feeding America.