Czech-based online grocery Rohlik Group will launch operations in Italy, Romania and Spain next year under a new Sezamo brand, the company said on Thursday.
Group chief marketing officer Jakub Petřina, explained, "All these countries use latin-based language and we wanted to continue with a "food word" as a brand. The sesame seed is popular in all cultures. Sezamo is based on ‘sesamo’ in Italian, ‘sesame’ in Romanian and in the future ‘sésamo’ in Spanish.
"The word ‘Sesame’ is also connected to the ‘Open Sesame’ magic phrase in ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’, maybe because its seed pod splits open when it is ripe... kind of like a treasure being unlocked. Of course, Rohlik, Kifli, Gurkerl and Knuspr remain as brands for Czechia, Hungary, Austria and Germany. And Rohlik, Kifli, Gurkerl, Knuspr as well as now Sezamo have lots of treasures inside waiting to be unlocked and delivered."
The group, founded in 2014 by entrepreneur Tomas Cupr, delivers over 1 million items on some days in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Austria under local brands.
The company raised €290 million ($328.7 million) this year, including a €100 million round in July led by Index Ventures which valued the firm at €1 billion. Rohlik said its turnover exceeded €300 million in 2020.
Rohlik said it would start deliveries in Milan in Italy and in the Romanian capital Bucharest in the first half of the next year, and add Madrid in the second half.
"We will soon be in Madrid with even more countries to come. This comes on the back of impressive growth in all our new countries, case in point being Munich, where we recently broke the 1,000 orders per day milestone in record time," group CEO Cupr said in a statement.
Rohlik said it planned to expand its German operations launched in Munich in August under the Knuspr.de brand to Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Essen, Hannover, Stuttgart, Leipzig and other cities within two years.
Sezamo plans to deliver approximately 8.000 grocery items in the fresh category to customers' homes within three hours in Italy and two hours in Romania.