Bob Iger is putting his time and talents toward growing Gopuff, a Philadelphia-based on-demand delivery company started in 2013 by a couple of college students selling hookah supplies.
Though the name Gopuff hearkens to its smoky origins, the e-commerce platform now delivers a dizzying variety of products, the likes of which can be found in grocery and convenience stores, and aims for a 30-minute delivery window. The firm announced on Wednesday that Iger, former chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company and himself a bit of a serial investment dabbler, would be joining as an adviser and financial backer.
Starting at $2.95, Gopuff will deliver just about anything – from toothpaste to a bottle of whiskey – and is one of the more advanced companies thriving in the “instant commerce” space. Gopuff differentiates itself by establishing its own warehouses and distribution centers in some of the roughly 1,000 worldwide cities where it operates.
Iger’s stake was not disclosed. The company is in the middle of closing a $1 billion funding round, and it wasn’t clear whether Iger’s piece was part of that package.
“It’s been exciting to spend time with Gopuff leadership learning about the company, the founders, and their aspirations,” Iger said in a statement. “I am excited to advise, mentor, and support the executive team as they continue building a company uniquely designed for how consumers are changing and growing.”
Though Iger’s is arguably is one of the steadiest investment hands to have on the wheel, the instant-grocery space is no sure bet. While similarly well-funded, app-based delivery startups struggle with profitability and valuation challenges, Gopuff just went through a round of restructuring layoffs, a drivers’ strike, and executive shuffling. An IPO expected this year has been indefinitely put on hold.
But the former hoookah-hocker has one of the industry’s bigger footprints and a strong focus on the influencer space – for instance, fellow former Disney employee Selena Gomez is an investor, as is former NBA superstar Chris Paul, who reportedly made the introduction to Iger, who’s arguably the most bankable entertainment executive still in business.
So put that in your pipe and smoke it!