La Belle Vie acquires Frichti after going through bankruptcy proceedings

Unveiling the Triumph of La Belle Vie: The Acquisition of Frichti

In a stunning turn of events in the world of French food delivery services, La Belle Vie, the renowned grocery delivery startup, has successfully acquired Frichti, a fellow food delivery service that faced the challenge of court-ordered receivership. After careful consideration, the court selected La Belle Vie’s offer over three other competitors, as reported by Les Échos. This acquisition marks another major development in the ever-evolving landscape of quick commerce and food delivery services in France and Europe.

Frichti, established in 2015, had garnered an impressive sum of €100 million in funding over the years. The company initially focused on delivering ready-to-eat meals for busy individuals during their lunch breaks. However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frichti expanded its offerings to include grocery delivery services as well.

In January 2022, during a time when quick commerce was a highly lauded post-pandemic startup sector in Europe, the well-known company Gorillas acquired Frichti. Unfortunately, Gorillas faced a series of setbacks and challenges thereafter. Following a tumultuous year filled with layoffs, retractions, and consolidation efforts, Gorillas (and Frichti) were ultimately acquired by Getir, another prominent instant grocery app.

However, the plot thickened as Getir faced its own troubles and ultimately filed for bankruptcy in France a few months ago. While the company continues to operate in select markets such as Turkey, the U.K., Germany, and the Netherlands, Getir’s French branch underwent court scrutiny to explore the possibility of an acquisition and rescue from administration. Ultimately, Getir and Gorillas were forcibly shut down by the Paris court, while Frichti transitioned into administration.

In a contrasted trajectory, La Belle Vie clearly stood out in the industry. Founded in 2015 by Alban Wienkoop and Paul Lê, the company embarked on a unique mission to build an online supermarket from scratch, offering a wide range of products including fresh produce like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and cheese, as well as consumer packaged goods such as cereals, shampoo, and ketchup.

La Belle Vie’s growth has been marked by a slow but steady pace. In 2021, the company secured a €25 million Series B funding round, reaching profitability earlier this year. Their tech-focused approach and commitment to developing their own warehouse, order management, and transport management systems have greatly contributed to their success.

Now, in 2023, La Belle Vie anticipates generating a remarkable $60 million in revenue (€57 million), excluding Frichti’s revenue. In 2022, Frichti alone reported a revenue of $73 million (€69 million), with 80% of that revenue originating from the Paris area.

With the acquisition of Frichti, La Belle Vie plans to retain 168 employees out of the total of 408. They will consolidate their operations by scaling down from Frichti’s current 16 delivery hubs to just four. La Belle Vie, with its prior manpower of 350 employees, primarily focuses on serving the greater Paris area.

Both La Belle Vie and Frichti will continue to coexist, as they cater to slightly different customer segments. With Frichti’s strong brand presence in Paris, La Belle Vie recognizes its potential and intends to amplify its visibility. The founders further emphasize their tech-oriented and logistics-focused approach, aiming to generate profitability from their food tech delivery business model in France.

One notable change that accompanies this acquisition is the launch of Frichti Market. Serving as an editorialized version of La Belle Vie, this innovative platform will showcase Frichti’s products along with a selection of La Belle Vie’s items. Frichti Market will offer approximately 6,000 unique products, creating a curated and personalized experience for consumers.

La Belle Vie’s co-founder and co-CEO, Paul Lê, explains that Frichti’s customer base primarily consists of Parisians seeking convenience and quality in their day-to-day lives. They cater to small families and individuals who desire hassle-free grocery shopping. In contrast, La Belle Vie’s flagship service specifically targets families with larger orders, aiming to be the ultimate online supermarket.

As La Belle Vie proudly takes the reins of Frichti, the company seeks to further enhance Frichti’s unit economics and profitability. With La Belle Vie’s successful track record and notable achievements, including becoming the only Western European company to master the last-mile delivery model with same-day deliveries, they continue to pave the way for a prosperous future in the competitive landscape of grocery delivery services.

In this mesmerizing chapter of the world of quick commerce and food delivery, La Belle Vie emerges as a beacon of ingenuity, resilience, and innovation. Their conquest of Frichti not only signifies their ongoing pursuit of excellence but also demonstrates their determination to revolutionize the industry. The story of La Belle Vie is one that captivates, inspires, and challenges the status quo, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of French and European gastronomy.

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