This food delivery app is taking orders in 23 war-torn Ukrainian cities

In Ukraine, where city dwellers often jostle for safety, the country’s largest delivery app has resumed service.

The more than 2,000 couriers who signed up to work for Glovo in the war-torn country have now deployed to 23 cities, where they deliver groceries, restaurant meals and prescriptions to people who have often need basic necessities.

Glovo says the couriers – whose iconic backpacks caused a stir on social media when we were photographed full of assault rifles — want to work despite the dangers: they need the money and say they are proud to deliver the things of daily life to people in need.

The Barcelona-based company, meanwhile, says it now operates its Ukrainian connections as a non-profit organisation.

It’s a service worried family and friends use from afar: Last week, Stephan Soroka, a Ukrainian who has lived in Prague since the start of the war, says he sent his girlfriend’s family from juices, chocolates and snacks.

Some 2,050 couriers in Ukraine make deliveries.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It only took 40 minutes from when Soroka placed the order to the arrival of the Glovo courier, Soroka said. Glovo doesn’t exactly promote the service for remote orders because it can’t guarantee delivery times – and Soroka confirmed it took him several tries to place his order.

Still, he said, “during a war where the city is under constant threat of rocket attack, it’s amazing to have the opportunity to get the necessities for your loved one.”

The Glovo app informed Soroka, who is the business development manager for wearyourbrand.org – a delivery hardware provider – that the courier had arrived and he told his girlfriend’s brother to meet the courier at the entrance. of the building.

Stephan Soroka was able to order food for his relatives in Kyiv using the fast delivery app Glovo.
Stephan Soroka was able to order food for his relatives in Kyiv using the fast delivery app Glovo.
Stephane Soroka

The courier, according to Soroka, said it made around 10 deliveries a day which were interrupted by air raid sirens and frequent checkpoints by authorities. Glovo, the courier said, “pays well” but it’s “dangerous” work.

“My girlfriend saw couriers wearing body armor,” Soroka said.

The company halted operations in Ukraine on the day the war began on February 24, but just two days later sent hundreds of couriers to the then safest towns in western Ukraine. Ukraine, including Lviv, Drigibych, Chernivtsi, Uzhorod and Truskavets.

During the first week of March, Glovo couriers made 10,000 deliveries to Ukraine.

Glovo couriers said they needed to work, company spokeswoman Kasia Kosior told the Post in an email — and some already did.

A parked bicycle with a yellow Glovo bag on the back.
Glovo now delivers to 23 Ukrainian cities.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

“We have decided to reopen the cities so that they can use our technology,” Glovo spokeswoman Kasia Kosior wrote in an email, noting that some couriers were already offering their services to ad hoc groups that had arisen to maintain the supply of the citizens.

“We can offer a secure connection, better coordination, security protocols, insurance, and they get paid for doing what they want to do. [in additions to getting] access to food for themselves and their families,” Kosior said.

Glovo, which was acquired in January by German giant Delivery Hero, is waiving the fees and commissions it normally charges companies. Consumers pay a fee which is donated to a Ukrainian non-profit organization, Come Back Alive. “We stopped seeing Glovo as [a] business,” Kosior said.

Glovo, which was acquired in January by German giant Delivery Hero, is waiving the fees and commissions it normally charges companies.
Glovo, which was acquired in January by German giant Delivery Hero, is waiving the fees and commissions it normally charges businesses.
NurPhoto via Getty Images

Couriers receive “higher bonuses”, Kosior said. “These are the street heroes,” she added. They also have local and international medical insurance “in case of an accident”, she added.

And when the air raid sirens go off, the app is immediately disabled.

The decision to relaunch in Kyiv on March 9 was complicated by a lack of supplies to deliver and a shortage of couriers, Glovo chief executive Dmitry Rasnovsky said in a “Friday Takeaway” podcast interview recently.

“When we decided to relaunch, we realized that few partner restaurants and supermarkets” were open, the executive said. “But there is a huge demand in Kyiv for groceries and prescriptions.”