Mail.ru Group and Sberbank joint venture to receive controlling stake in Samokat e-grocery service

The joint venture between Mail.ru Group and Sberbank focused on transportation and food has announced the signing of binding documents on investing in Samokat, the grocery and home goods express delivery service. The deal is expected to be closed in the first half of 2020, pending approval from Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service. After that, the share of the JV in the service will amount to 75.6%.

The joint venture will receive a controlling stake in Samokat following the purchase of shares from the project’s financial investors. The company’s founders and management will remain its co-owners with minority stakes.

Samokat delivers groceries and basic consumer goods within 15-30 minutes. Its network consists of ‘dark stores’, or warehouses that work exclusively for online orders through mobile apps.

Samokat offers some 2,500 items for sale. These are both well-known brands and the company’s own trademark which accounts for up to 50% of sales volumes in certain categories of goods.

The service’s network currently comprises 140 warehouses in Moscow and St. Petersburg, delivering more than 600,000 orders per month. Samokat offers free delivery.

Samokat will be connected with the ecosystems of Mail.ru Group and Sberbank, receiving the opportunity to use its partners’ tech and operational know-how, and to integrate with the other businesses of the joint platform. The service is already working with Delivery Club, offering grocery and home goods delivery.

Boris Dobrodeev, Mail.ru Group CEO:

“Acquiring the leader of this market in Russia is in line with our strategy. Since the very start of negotiations, we have been convinced that mass express delivery of food will disrupt consumer habits in Russia.

The spread of the virus has pushed people to change these habits much faster than anticipated: Moscow and St. Petersburg have already introduced temporary self-isolation for their citizens. We will do everything we can to provide quick and contactless delivery to anyone in need of food or basic items”.

 Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank:

“Delivery of groceries and basic consumer goods is one of the fastest-growing e-commerce businesses. Samokat is already a leading dark store delivery service, and we are confident about the company’s business model and the team. In the current challenging environment brought about by the coronavirus, delivering goods and food to people who are quarantined or in self-isolation becomes an important service to the society. The O2O investment will help Samokat focus all of its resources on this task”.