Jokr, which bills itself as “the first global platform for instant delivery of everyday products,” is now launching in the United States, starting with New York City, with plans to roll out to at least five more U.S. cities by the end of 2021.
Founded by a New York based team of former Walmart, Uber, Delivery Hero and Softbank executives, and backed by investors such as Tiger Global and HV Capital, with further funds from its founders, Jokr offers an instant retail delivery model that promises to deliver to its customers within 15 minutes. Powered by strategic micro-fulfillment hubs in and around the cities in which it operates, the company fills spontaneous and everyday needs across categories, among them grocery, personal care, baby, wellness and household items.
With no minimum order requirements or delivery fees, the service offers around 1,500 carefully curated products, including well-known local New York brands Olipop Sodas, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream and Gotham Greens, and household must-haves like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day items, as well as other marquee brands.
“Our mission is simple: Jokr aims to improve the speed of delivery, lower the price and create an outstanding customer experience for anything that can be locally delivered,” said U.S. co-founder Zachary Dennett, a veteran of Hoboken, N.J.-based Jet.com and then Walmart, which acquired the website in 2016 and wound it down four years later. “Recognizing consumer demand for fast, consistent delivery of everyday products, Jokr offers a highly curated and data-driven selection of products that is hyper-localized for each and every neighborhood, taking the guesswork out of what product consumers want and need. As a life-long New Yorker, I recognize the hassle, time and energy spent on shopping for everyday essentials — Jokr saves customers time and money, allowing for more spontaneous celebrations with better products.”
Informed by hyper-localized and neighborhood-specific data, Jokr’s micro-fulfillment hubs enable consumers to order the exact quantities of what they need. Each hub is refreshed on a daily basis, with constantly changing items that rotate based on sales data and consumer demand and availability. The hubs work as micro-distribution centers for pickers to immediately fulfill and move an order to a waiting rider, who then delivers the items to customers in 15 minutes or under. Joker also aims to revitalize empty storefronts by partnering with local business leaders to place hubs at strategic real estate locations throughout the city.
“Jokr’s flexibility and focus on the local community are key to setting our service apart,” noted U.S. co-founder Tyler Trerotola who spent three years at San Francisco-based Uber. “Jokr’s hubs, located in convenient areas around the city, allow our team to reach customers who want quality products, instantly. Our prices are on par with — and frequently cheaper than — grocery and corner stores. In planning to rapidly scale the business across U.S. markets, we aim to work on a hyper-local level by buying from local businesses, revitalizing empty storefronts, and hiring our delivery riders full-time from the local communities.”
After the U.S. launch, the New York-based global retail business plans to expand its operations across the Mid-Atlantic, including Boston, with additional European and South American cities in the next few months. In contrast to other delivery companies that hire independent contractors, Jokr’s employees, including hub pickers and delivery riders, receive benefits and all of the perks of being full-time employees.
The company’s delivery zone already includes most of Manhattan below 35th Street, as well as Williamsburg, Brooklyn and Long Island City and Jackson Heights in Queens, with more New York City neighborhoods to be added in the coming weeks. The app is currently available for free download on iOS and Android devices.
Jokr is already live in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Lima, Peru; Mexico City and Guadalajara, Mexico; and Bogota, Colombia.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart operates more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries, and e-commerce websites, employing 2.2 million-plus associates worldwide. Walmart U.S. is No. 1 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Walmart-owned Sam’s Club ranks No. 9 on the list.