Delivering a feeling of home — our investment in Yababa

Project A invests in Yababa to scale a multicultural grocery delivery business across Europe

By Enrico Mellis

The food we eat at home, beginning with our childhood and throughout our lives, plays a larger role than being mere sustenance. It’s an expression of our culture, where we’re from, our family origins. It has the power to transport us elsewhere, across time and space, and evoke intense emotions of home and belonging (anybody remember THAT scene in Ratatouille?).

At Project A, we’re always looking for businesses which can transform an entire industry and serve a large number of people with a product that changes their lives for the better. That’s why we’re proud to announce that we’re co-leading the €15.5m seed round of multicultural grocery delivery startup Yababa, together with our friends at Creandum and an amazing group of business angels.

We’re very much looking forward to working with the founders Ralph Hage, Javier Gimenez, Hadi Zaklouta and Kamel Semakieh on their mission to bring multicultural groceries same-day to homes across Europe.

We believe that we have found an outstanding team, targeting a large and overlooked market with a sustainable, proven business model.

A $34bn market ready to be served

The shopping experience for domestic groceries has improved tremendously in the past two years with the emergence of generalist online supermarkets & qCommerce players.

The Turkish and Arabic communities in Europe currently don’t have a broad range of choices offering fresh and broad supermarket assortments — especially not with a same-day delivery option. Consumers still rely largely on a fragmented offline purchasing experience for Turkish and Arabic groceries. They have to buy products from small mom&pop shops in their neighbourhood. However, that supply widely differs from city to city and district to district. In Germany alone, over 20% of the population has a migration background, and many of them immigrated from the Middle East.

Yababa is an online supermarket offering same-day delivery of groceries, tailored to the Turkish and Arabic communities. They provide consumers access to a wide assortment of products including high-quality products from the Middle East, fresh locally sourced products, and non-food essentials at supermarket prices with a same-day delivery promise.

Ralph, Javi, Hadi & Kemal — a team of expats with a huge vision

Having known the team for a while now, we were immediately hooked by their strong sense of purpose. They are working extremely hard to deliver a taste of home to millions of people across European communities, wrapped in an amazing shopping experience.

The team comes with plenty of operational experience from some of the fastest-growing tech companies in Europe such as Delivery Hero and Tier Mobility as well as renowned strategy consulting firms. Operational at heart, they have built and led multinational businesses from the ground up in industries ranging from e-mobility to quick commerce and food delivery.

We are very excited to work with them over the coming years and do our best to support them in building a category-defining player in Europe!