We interview Sacha Michaud, co-founder of Glovo

How Glovo has become one of the most widely-used collaborative delivery apps
December 2018

In a little more than two years Glovo has become one of the most widely used collaborative courier delivery apps. The opportunity to create this successful service arose from the need to send and pick up orders in your own city, as if you did it yourself. If like us you want to know more about this business that is revolutionizing the world of courier delivery, don't miss our conversation with one of its co-founders, Sacha Michaud.

What did you famously write on Oscar Pierre's napkin that marked the beginning of this adventure?

I was introduced to Oscar in December 2014, he was already creating Glovo and I was planning to launch a very similar project with some investors. I loved it and I offered to join the project and do it together…

What is your business model? How is the Glovo app monetized?

Glovo is a revolution of "anything delivered now". Our technological platform works based on following a three-legged structure: it connects the user (consumer) with a store, business or restaurant in their city, allowing them to place the order and then connects them with one of our Glovers - independent couriers who are responsible for running the errand in a personalized and flexible way. We charge a service fee, plus a commission to our partners on the cost of the product or item.

How scalable is the model? How do you know if a country or city is attractive to you? What data do you use to make the decision?

The Glovo model works very well in: - Large, innovative, cosmopolitan cities. - Cities with more than 500,000 inhabitants. - Millennials are a very affinitive user target. There are many cities in Europe with this profile.

What product categories can be sent by Glovo? Who determines the legal or ethical limits and how is this passed on to customers?

Glovo is an app that reinvents the way in which we run errands, and allows you to literally ask for whatever you want. Within our app we have different categories: food, fast-food, snacks & drinks, supermarket shopping, pharmacy, gifts & more, send something and the "whatever" wand. Our terms and conditions establish what can be used in Glovo. Glovers are independent professionals and they are very aware of what they can and cannot carry, both at a product and size level. In the end, we only operate with bikes and motorcycles.

From your point of view, have you created a need or given a solution to a real problem?

People today do not want to wait 1 or 2 days to receive a delivery, they want it as soon as possible and as quickly as possible. That's where Glovo differs. Our delivery time is an average of 25 minutes, and courier services cannot offer this type of delivery, as they are too large and don’t send just "anything", but we do. Our users use Glovo on average 3 times per month, which indicates that we have established a growing interest and need to run urgent errands.

How do you manage the customer experience in Glovo? How do you build trust in the service?

Our highest priority is to carry out a quality service quickly and technology helps us a lot in this regard. The Glovo mobile application integrates a GPS geo-location function. In this way, the app is able to detect the closest Glover, which translates into an optimization of resources by saving on fuel and reducing the overall environmental impact. Luckily, European cities are very compact and allow you to cross them from one end to the other by motorcycle or bike in less than 30 minutes. To ensure the safety and confidence of users, Glovo, in addition to taking great care in how we choose our Glovers, has insurance that covers the merchandise being carried, and through the mobile application allows the user to locate and track their order throughout the entire journey. Among other features, like many services based on the collaborative economy, our valuation system is serves us very well. To ensure good service for our clients and also to our community of Glovers, we provide economic incentives to encourage those who achieve better valuations.

What is your point of differentiation against Deliveroo, Stuart, Foodora, Postmates in the US…?

The differential value of Glovo is that it offers a fast, cheap, easy and personalized service. In less than 60 minutes, users can receive what they need from their city: a bouquet of flowers, sushi, a mobile phone charger or a gift, whilst the Glovers receive economic compensation for their time and their work. The advantage over other companies in the sector is the technology we use. Glovo works with an app, which makes it faster in everything. Most companies are very focused on food only, whereas us - we deliver everything.

What do you think about Uber Eats or the Cabify Express service that was recently launched? Are you worried?

They are logical services and there will be more and more "on-demand" platforms in our cities. It’s a trend with enormous potential, and we believe that the more companies that are dedicated to transforming the way we buy and use our cities, the better. We are a fan of Uber and Cabify.

Out of curiosity, what has been your strangest order in the last year? What is it that people ask for the most using Glovo? Can you give us a little anecdote?

One of the strangest things that they have asked us for is that we go to wake someone up. Although sometimes they only ask us to call their intercom phone until the person wakes up, it is normal for the service to include a breakfast, so that the awakening is not so abrupt. For example, an inflatable doll. "But not any, the cheapest," the client says. More remarkable things include: an orthopedic leg; bring an iron to be repaired, "because I had already burned a few shirts"; food, "it does not matter what, just end the hangover"; a pregnancy test; collect some notes, photocopy them, take the copies to this address and return the originals ... These are just some of the requests we have received. It is no longer just a matter of food that Spaniards are asking to be delivered, but during 2016, we have seen how they are now requesting everything from last minute gifts and spontaneous urges, to instant solutions for life’s everyday problems. In fact, only 50% of Glovo's orders are linked to the restaurants or food, while the rest are related to other categories such as electronics, pharmaceuticals or small businesses, among others.

How are agreements with F&B and Retail brands evolving to distribute to customers? Can you give us some examples?

Of course we work for brands and stores helping them to distribute their products or merchandise within the city, but in reality most want to be inside our app and be able to sell their products to our user base. They want to have their store inside Glovo.

What other lines of business do you have in the pipeline?

Right now we are focused on the growth of the app and our technological platform to offer a better service and features to our users. These improvements include being able to keep delivery times at really low levels or even reduce them further by optimizing routes and the proximity of deliveries. We will continue with our international expansion, reaching other cities where we believe that Glovo could really be a necessity and finally try to make even more users aware of and using Glovo.

What wakes you up in the morning? What inspires you the most to fight for Glovo?

Focusing on the quality of service and maintaining the speed and quality that we have achieved so far, but when we are 10 or 20 times bigger ... and keep growing by launching in new cities.

About Sacha Michaud

Sacha Michaud, co-founder of Glovo

Sacha Michaud is a businessman. He has been founding and directing companies for almost 20 years. Before embarking on Glovo, he has had many other projects in Spain, London and the United States, which include the creation of LatinRed, the presidency of Jdigital and the management of Betfair Iberia.

Esther Veguillas
Marketing Manager