Yandex, Russia’s largest technology firm, has launched an online service that uses bike couriers to deliver groceries to Moscow residents in 15 minutes, according to a news report by Bloomberg.
The service, called Lavka, is free and stocks approximately 2,000 items.
Yandex launched 20 years ago as a search engine like Google with a variety of online services, including ride-hailing and restaurant deliveries. Russia has several grocery delivery firms but according to the Bloomberg story, fast delivery is new territory.
“We saw that retailers themselves are too slow to deliver, while delivery startups that work with third-party stores don’t have real-time access to their assortment and often have to replace goods in the order,” Maxim Firsov, head of the division that includes Lavka, told Bloomberg. “Therefore, we focused on developing our own mini-warehouses with super-fast delivery.”
Yandex started delivering groceries last year. The demand for the service is anticipated to accelerate about fivefold to 200 billion rubles by 2023, according to the researcher INFOLine. The biggest rivals to Yandex in the supermarket delivery space are Utkonos and Perekrestok.ru.