Bokksu Scores $22M as Grocery Delivery Market Continues to Heat Up

Bokksu is the latest of many e-grocers to garner investor attention, and will use the funding to expand its product line of authentic Asian goods, as well as grow its team.
Written by Ellen Glover
January 25, 2022Updated: January 26, 2022
NYC-based Bokksu raised $22M Series A, hiring
Photo: Bokksu / Facebook

After years of bootstrapping, Asian grocery delivery startup Bokksu announced Tuesday it raised $22 million in fresh funding. The Series A was led by Valor Siren Ventures, and caps off four consecutive years of 100 percent year-over-year growth, according to TechCrunch.

Originally launched as a Japanese snack subscription in 2015, Bokksu now serves as an online marketplace for Japanese lifestyle products like homegoods and accessories, as well as an online grocery store for authentic Asian food products. Its groceries now ship anywhere in the U.S. and Canada, and its subscription boxes are available in more than 100 countries.

Interestingly, Bokksu isn’t only the only player out there looking to dominate the Asian grocery delivery market. Weee!, a Bay Area startup that delivers food from Asian and Latinx grocery stores, closed on a massive $315 million Series D round last March. And Umamicart, a newbie to the space that was recently featured among Built In NYC’s Future 5 up-and-coming startups, recently raised $6 million in seed funding to grow its Asian food delivery business. 

Meanwhile, the entire e-grocery industry has never been hotter. Now worth $39 billion, Instacart is one of the few companies in the country to reach the coveted dragon valuation status of $12 billion or more. And other rising stars in the space like Hungryroot and Misfits Market have bagged big rounds of funding over the last year to keep up with surging demand amid the pandemic. All told, the global last-mile delivery market for food and groceries made about $25 billion in revenue last year, and is expected to cross $72 billion by 2025 — presenting a lot of runway for startups like Bokksu to grow and innovate. 

This is exactly what it plans to do. Bokksu says the fresh funding will be used to expand its product line, improve delivery times and grow its team. 

“Today, I am beyond elated to announce Bokksu’s $22M Series A funding because we now have the capital, best fit investor partners, and (most importantly) talented team to exponentially grow and pursue our mission to bridge cultures through Asian food,” founder and CEO Danny Taing wrote in a recent LinkedIn post.

He went on to say that this round of funding is especially meaningful to him because it shows how far “our society and business world has progressed.”

“I’m a proud gay Asian man. I was also a solo bootstrapped first-time founder who had never seen a venture-backed entrepreneur that looked like me,” he wrote, adding that there is still a long way to go to tackle the “dearth” of VC-backed startups founded by women, people of color and other underrepresented groups. “It’s meaningful to me on a personal level that a gay Asian man has successfully raised a Series A for a D2C Asian food startup, and I hope this milestone inspires, motivates, and validates other underrepresented founders.”

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