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The founder of Voly confirms that this is the end of his grocery delivery start-up

The co-founder of Sydney-based startup Voly, Thibault Henry, has confirmed that the company has closed, a week after the company ceased operations.

Henry used LinkedIn to announce his startup’s demise on Friday morning, saying the company’s existing backers were unwilling to support the company further.

Last week, VOLY deleted all its social media accounts and suspended deliveries on Friday night.

A week later, Henry announced that Voly was “no longer operating in Australia”.

The Sydney-based online supermarket launched in July 2021 with the promise of groceries being delivered in 15 minutes or less. It raised $18 million in a Seed round led by Sequoia Capital India along with Global Founders Capital and Australia-based Artesian Capital last December.

While Voly’s co-founders told staff earlier this year that the company had enough runway to survive until February 2023, the first signs of trouble surfaced in June, just weeks after rival Send collapsed into voluntary governance in May, when Voly half of his office staff withdrew and closed warehouses.

Henry said on LinkedIn that it was “a nice trip on an ‘ambitious project’, but they ran out of money to make it work.

“The sudden changes in the macroeconomic environment, unstable geopolitics and high inflation have made it extremely difficult to raise new capital, despite the support of our current investors. Without enough runway to become profitable, we had to make the difficult decision to stop operating,” he said.

“Thank you to the whole VOLY family!! It was an absolute pleasure working with you all. You should be damn proud of what you’ve accomplished! You are all extremely talented and wonderful people! We had something special. Something else. Something incredible.”

Henry said 80,000 Sydneysiders had used the service and thanked his co-founder and co-CEO, Mark Heath.

“We made a commitment to ourselves to lead with respect, positivity and always see the best in people. In that respect, I think we succeeded,” he said.

“For every founder out there, it’s a tough environment. Hold on and good luck with everything.”

Henry’s announcement came just 48 hours after UK-listed food delivery company Deliveroo closed in Australia and went into voluntary receivership after seven years on the market.

Deliveroo said the Australian market “is highly competitive” and had no path to profitability “without significant financial investment, and the expected return on such investment is disproportionate to Deliveroo’s risk/reward thresholds”.

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