The startup assault on the humble neighborhood store continues to intensify.
Now there’s Robomart, which wants to bring the groceries, cooked goods and prepared foods of the supermarket aisle to your doorstep with a white-labeled service for wholesalers and big box retailers.
The culmination of a ten-year vision from founder Ali Ahmed, Robomart is an autonomous grocery store department on wheels.
Robomart is the serial entrepreneur’s latest startup. Ahmed, who first conceived of the rolling grocery store theory while an employe at Unilever ten years ago, went on to saw LuteBox , which was around the social sharing of media content.
From LuteBox, the London-based entrepreneur moved on to the now-defunct Dispatch, a competitor to the U.S.-based on-demand concierge services like Magic, which pitched a bespoke service where users could — for a fee — get almost anything their hearts desired( but you couldn’t get a tiger ).
At its height, Dispatch had 1500 deliverers and the company received the most orders from folks who wanted grocery deliveries( this was in the early days of on-demand before Instacart, etc. had brought grocery delivery to the masses ).
After investors bought Ahmed out of Dispatch, the entrepreneur endeavoured to Santa Clara, Calif. to start Robomart.
“I believe we’re creating a new category, ” Ahmed says. “We think we’re vying with the sidewalk robots.” In fact, Ahmed seems to be competing with the corner store — which offers the same fractional amount of goods with the debate of proximity and convenience.