The three founders Takis (Greece), Gregor (Austria) and Christian (Germany) meet at University of Warwick while doing their Masters Degrees in Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
We get interested in the online grocery industry and write our MSc dissertations on improving its broken supply chains. Combined we submit over 60,000 words of academic analysis.
Straight after graduation we get part time jobs at the Uni and start mocking up the first version of Home Run (back then called Convibo) working on evenings and weekends.
Finally, after a couple of months of hard work, we launch. By that time we are operating a click and collect model: customers orders groceries online, and we shop and deliver them to our refrigerated branded grocery lockers. We don’t have any money so we do all the shopping and delivery ourselves with a bicycle trailer.
More stores are added, we’re growing 40% MoM and we are booked out almost every day.
Our good numbers get us an invitation to YCombinator - the No1 Startup incubator in the world. We fly to San Francisco and meet with incredible people, including the creator of Gmail. Unfortunately, we don’t make it into the program, but after all no reason to stop - now more than ever.
We max out our private funds and build more lockers to place at more locations. Over the course of the coming months, we realise they work best in apartment buildings.
Home Run is doing well, we secure partnerships with property management companies to install our lockers, however something doesn’t feel right anymore: we realise lockers are too expensive and property management companies take too long to make final decisions. We can’t scale fast and therefore we pivot.
We modify our existing platform, buy a 11-year old Toyota Yaris and start delivering door-to-door. Things start picking up again.
The Greek fund VentureFriends takes a risk and agrees to invest a small pre-seed amount for Home Run to start in London. We jump into the deep end and leave Warwick. The funding reaches our bank account while we are on the motorway to London.
One week after moving to London we are up and running and delivering the first orders. We still do everything ourselves from picking to packing and delivering.
The first store on Home Run’s platform is Waitrose, one of UKs leading supermarkets.
Three months in, we open up another store for our customers: the premium retailer Whole Foods Market.
After 3.5 months in London and two years in total we finally hire our first employee to shop and deliver orders.
We cold-email the CEO of Marks & Spencer and after months of intense hustling, we manage to get a trial running with one of the UK’s oldest and largest grocery players. Home Run is the first company in history to bring Marks & Spencer groceries online. We photograph over 4000 products in the basement of one of their stores, to create an online product database which didn’t exist before.
We are now getting noticed by many companies, including the largest online grocer in the world. Tesco, decides to work with us and to start exploring a same-day delivery offering for their customers. Now we’re cooking! Customers now have four stores to choose from for a speedy 1-hour delivery.
One of the most prominent funds in London, Jam Jar Investments, the Founders of Innocent Drinks, decides to lead our seed round. An exhausting fundraise lies behind us, but the real work is yet to come. We’re pumped and super motivated.
We now fulfil hundreds of orders per week, have dozens of drivers, cover 20,000 postcodes and work with four out of six leading supermarkets for their same day delivery offering. Everyone wants to explore more and our mission is to crack some really hard nuts and grow. It’s the time to do some homework and then take the market by storm!
By now we’ve hired an incredible tech team. A Software Engineer, a Senior iOS Engineer and a Senior Product Designer all join our ranks and bring some amazing talent, passion and experience. Vangelis, our senior iOS Engineer has himself Co-Founded a business, Kostas our Software Engineer, when he’s not engrossed in Game of Thrones is the best there is at building our webapps and Nikos our Senior Product Designer has an eye like no one else when it comes to making Home Run beautiful and easy to use.
After months of long hours and late nights, we’re thrilled to be able to launch our iOS app! It’s now available on the App Store, so if you haven’t already, go and check it out! Ordering your groceries just got even easier!
We have officially rolled out our re-brand! We are no longer Convibo… but now, Home Run! With sunny yellow as our theme colour and the pineapple as our logomark, we’re now strutting our stuff across social media, our website and app and anywhere else where we have a presence. For more information about our decision to re-brand take a look at our blog post here.
Meet Lucy! Lucy keeps the troops in order, and casts her eye over almost everything from marketing to managing the Founders’ time. Her background is in recruitment and it is here that she has made a particularly big splash. We are only as good as our people and hiring world class talent is paramount to our success. Lucy has fortified, perfected and led our recruitment across the board. She’s also the company’s grammer police. Sorry - grammar.
Meet Dom! As Head of Customer Operations, it is Dom’s responsibility to make sure that orders are on time, that the cold items stay cold, that our shoppers and drivers are happy, that customer queries are dealt with correctly and to manage the live operations team. In short, everything that enables us to do what we do, so this is an incredibly crucial position. He brings experience from Amazon, EY and Nestle and we don’t know what we would do without his cool, calm and collected attitude, not to mention his truly fabulous hair.
We have decided that we are going to make our technology and operations available to license out as a white label solution for grocery retailers who want to provide amazing one hour grocery delivery but under their own brand. Customers will shop on the retailer’s website/app but everything behind the scenes (website development, payment processing, customer service, live operations, personnel hiring, all the technology) will be run by us. We call this: Powered by Home Run. We’ve got everything in order to license out and now, the conversations with grocers across the UK and Europe commence.
We can now offer our corporate customers a Business Account! Corporate customers, we hear you ask? Yes! It came to our attention that our services were being used by concierge companies and property businesses etc. who find our on-demand grocery service to be of huge value to their own guests and clients. Among others, we now work with Airbnb owned luxury short term property rental business LuxuryRetreats who offer a fridge filling service and who will now be ordering their groceries from Home Run! For clients such as this, we are now able to offer a business account for convenient payment terms, VAT invoicing etc.
We love all of our wonderful investors: Venture Friends, Jam Jar Investments and of course our fabulous Angel investors. We couldn’t do what we do without their support and in June, we decided to open up our doors to the crowd to give everyone the chance to share in our success! Aside from this being an excellent way to top up our Seed round last year, the campaign is a great way to boost our brand, especially with a platform as prestigious as Seedrs! Our campaign is still live, so if you haven’t already, check it out here