U.K. Delivery Startup Zapp Hires Bank of America’s Chu as CFO
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. grocery delivery startup Zapp has hired Bank of America Corp. Managing Director Ngoc Chu as chief financial officer to help it navigate an increasingly crowded and competitive industry.
Chu worked as an investment banker for 15 years, most recently at Bank of America in London advising on media and internet deals including Auto Trader Group Plc’s public stock offering. She previously worked at HSBC Holdings Plc.
Zapp started operations in January and is among the better funded European startups offering groceries within minutes. It’s raised about $100 million from venture capitalists including Light Speed Venture Partners and Atomico to fund its network of urban micro-warehouses. The company differentiates itself from rivals with 24-hour service and a focus on also selling more profitable items such as cellphone charging cables.
Chu, who started her new role three weeks ago, said she wants Zapp to have disciplined finances and not rely heavily on free vouchers when it comes to keeping customers.
“Obviously focusing on unit economics, that is very important for us because this is a model that is super compelling and can be very profitable if done right,” she said.
Investors have poured billions into the burgeoning sector and business has soared during pandemic lockdowns. Chu said she’s seen no sign of a slowdown since the U.K. ended almost all of its remaining pandemic restrictions on Monday, and the following day was “the best Tuesday ever.”
While some companies are facing difficulty raising funds or exploring a sale -- such as the U.K.’s Dija and France’s Cajoo -- Chu said Zapp doesn’t need new financing imminently.
“We have plenty of runway in front of us so it’s not an immediate priority but, that being said, we are growing very fast and there will be a sensible time,” she said. She didn’t rule out potential mergers or acquisitions, but added “we have to ask ourselves what we are acquiring that we can’t build ourselves already.”
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