Delivery Drop has sold a 25 per cent stake to US-based MMA Global, which Mr Phipps leads.
WHAT WILL THE COMPANY DO WITH THE MONEY?
The deal values the fledgling firm at a whopping £10m and the enormous injection of cash is set to send it into the stratosphere with ‘explosive’ growth planned in the UK and Europe, and billboard and television adverts.
Founder and managing director Syed Shiraz, aged 36, said Mr Phipps contacted him on LinkedIn after he posted a story in The Star just before the firm launched last November.
The pair had talks as it grew rapidly from one city and 170 drivers to 11 cities, 1,900 drivers and 30,000 active users.
It led to four months of negotiations and eventually, on Friday, a deal.
WHAT DOES THE COMPANY DO?
Delivery Drop is one of a host of companies that sprang up during lockdown delivering small grocery and household orders in half-an-hour from local shops and independents, throwing them a lifeline during desperate times. Today, with demand continuing to soar, they are attracting big investors.
Syed Sherazi said, “I am incredibly excited with this opportunity with MMA Global, it goes to shows our business model in the last 12 months has gone from strength-to-strength.
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“We are operating in a $25bn online grocery market. Our model is to use local stores as fulfilment centres, which gives us a scope of almost 50,000 outlets in the UK.
“Our partnership will allow for explosive expansion to give the UK and Europe real convenience with new technology roll outs in 2022.”
Delivery Drop, which employs 33, is headquartered on Rutland Road in Sheffield, and its turnover is £2.5m.
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It has 20 vacancies at any one time, Mr Sherazi said, and is set to hit 100 employees within the next 12 months.
The company launched with its own technology following 19 months of development and £300,000 investment.
At the time, Mr Sherazi said: “I’ve spent so much time building this, I’m confident I can give businesses what they expect. I’ve also got a fantastic team.”
HOW DID THE DEAL COME ABOUT?
Following the deal he added: “When I spoke to The Star a year ago I did not think I would be having this conversation today. Jim Phipps has a soft spot for the city. He contacted me after I posted the story and we spoke on many occasions.”
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Jim Phipps served as United’s co-chairman for just under three years, after being brought to Bramall Lane by Prince Abdullah. He was in post when the prince secured full control of the Blades in a High Court victory over longstanding owner Kevin McCabe in 2019.
In June, he became chief executive of MMA Global, a branding, tech and entertainment platform.
WHAT DID JIM PHIPPS SEE IN DELIVERY DROP?
He said he was a big admirer of Delivery Drop’s technology and leadership.
He added: “I am really glad to welcome Delivery Drop to the Zukisphere, where we intend to engage customers and to connect the worlds of games and cryptocurrencies with the world of commerce.
“Delivery Drop has visionary leadership and exciting growth potential. Delivery Drop’s technology was built in-house and is constantly being updated on a nimble, forward looking ‘learn as we grow’ basis.”