When Gloo launched in October, 2012 it asked one leading question: “Who needs Shoprite, when you can have all your groceries delivered to your doorstep?” Almost 7 years of operation, the founder has strong opinions about the answer.
Olumide Olusanya, Founder of the online grocery store, hinted on Twitter that Gloo will be shutting down operations in February, 2019. In the process, it will be launching a new product that it has been building for over 18 months. This is coming after ecommerce sites like Efritin, OLX and Dealday have all exited the market in the last two-three years. ” Gloo will be selling off its entire online goods at a 50% discount,” he added to his tweet, confirming that this new product will not be based on the data gotten from years of being in operation.
The Lean Startup, a methodology for developing businesses and products, terms this business decision as pivoting: a tool to discover additional growth–growth you might otherwise have overlooked.
It is not the first time the Gloo.ng will be changing name or business model. The Founder, who is a former Medical Doctor, launched the first version called ‘BuyCommonThings.com’ with his wife. They later decided the name was mouthful. During this re-branding, he was reported as saying “our business is saving you time, saving you money and enriching your life with happiness! Our True North is to do to supermarket shopping in Nigeria like what Amazon did to book shopping in the US.”
Before Gloo, Olumide Olusanya had led the team that rolled out West Africa’s first indigenous international payment card, Ecobank MasterCard.
When asked what finanlised the decision of the pivot, he pointed at the recession period in Nigeria in 2016, a period in which the inflation of the country went up to 18%.
The Chief Glootian, as Olumide fondly calls himself, has experience leading product teams to market in finance and ecommerce. We wait to see where he will steer his team next.