Getir , a Turkish rapid grocery delivery startup, has concluded a Series D funding round, raising over $550m from investors such as Tiger Global , Sequoia Capital and Mubadala Investment Company, amongst others. This marks Getir’s third round of investment in 2021, with nearly $1bn raised since the beginning of the year.

Getir was founded in 2015 by Nazim Salur (founder of Bitaksi , Turkey’s leading taxi app), Serkan Borancili (founder of GittiGidiyor, which was acquired by eBay in 2011) and Tuncay Tutek (ex-PepsiCo and P&G executive in Europe & the Middle East).

It pioneered the concept of offering convenience-store items in as little as ten minutes in Turkey several years ago. Through its mobile app, it offers an on-demand ‘ultrafast’ delivery service for a selection of 1,500 everyday items available seven days a week, day and night. Getir increased its revenues fivefold last year and is likely to do so again in 2021, according to Salur.

After the recent funding round, which came barely three months after its last financing, the company’s value tripled to over $7.5bn. This means Getir is now worth more than food delivery apps Deliveroo and GrubHub , as well as UK supermarkets Morrisons and MARKS AND SPENCER .

Getir is now operating in 25 cities in Turkey and has already launched grocery delivery operations in the UK in February 2021 and in the Netherlands in May 2021. The company intends to use the funds from its recent funding round to fuel its further expansion into the US, France and Germany.

Covid-19 has rapidly accelerated the widespread adoption of online grocery shopping

Formerly a steadily growing but still small niche, the market for online groceries which can be delivered in less than 20 minutes from local ‘dark stores,’ has been rapidly developing in 2020, fueled by pandemic related lockdowns and a rise in online shopping. For example, in the UK, more than 13% of weekly food shopping is now done online, compared to 7% from before Covid-19 restrictions were introduced.

The pandemic has forced the part of shoppers to change their priorities and many have turned to online grocery shopping services for the first time. The sudden focus on grocery delivery looks set to alter consumer behaviour well after the pandemic subsides.

Big investors are chasing the grocery app craze and competition is increasing

More than $14bn has been injected into the instant delivery market globally since the start of 2020, with investors racing to get a foothold in rapid delivery companies. As returns are exciting, the competition is also intensifying.

Getir’s direct competitor, Berlin-based Flink, had raised $240m from investors including Prosus , Bond and Mubadala Capital to expand its business into more cities and countries. Flink launched just four months ago and already operates in more than 18 cities.

Another of Getir’s European rivals, Gorillas, is also reported to be fundraising again just months after its last round, aiming to raise $1bn in a deal that would value the company at over $6bn despite it has only been operating for just over a year.

Going forward, the success in the market will depend on how well online grocers meet surging demand. The services best able to handle surging order volume and provide consistent, reliable service should be able to thrive even after the pandemic subsides.