How Ocado went from understated British grocer to an $18.4 billion tech giant, as the coronavirus pandemic confirms the future of grocery shopping is online

Elva Mankin

"Bots" are seen on the grid (or "The Hive") of Ocado's "smart platform" in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.
“Bots” are seen on the grid (or “The Hive”) of Ocado’s “smart platform” in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

  • As grocery stores worldwide experienced stockpiling, long lines, and health worries amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people turned to shopping online.

  • It has been a goldrush for the British company Ocado, an online-only grocery marketplace that also operates technology for supermarket giants worldwide.

  • Ocado was the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 in the second quarter of 2020, and, in May, Ocado raised over $1 billion to grow its services.

  • It is now betting big on its US expansion, hoping to convert Americans to grocery shopping online.

  • Huge challenges remain, though. Many Americans are still reluctant to buy food they can’t see in person, and some fear the current online pandemic-driven boom could prove a one-off.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic

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How Ocado went from understated British grocer to a $18.4 billion tech giant, as the coronavirus pandemic confirms the future of grocery shopping is online

Elva Mankin

"Bots" are seen on the grid (or "The Hive") of Ocado's "smart platform" in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.
“Bots” are seen on the grid (or “The Hive”) of Ocado’s “smart platform” in Andover, Britain, on May 1, 2018.

REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

  • As grocery stores worldwide experienced stockpiling, long lines, and health worries amid the coronavirus pandemic, millions of people turned to shopping online.

  • It has been a goldrush for the British company Ocado, an online-only grocery marketplace that also operates technology for supermarket giants worldwide.

  • Ocado was the best performing stock on the FTSE 100 in the second quarter of 2020, and, in May, Ocado raised over $1 billion to grow its services.

  • It is now betting big on its US expansion, hoping to convert Americans to grocery shopping online.

  • Huge challenges remain, though. Many Americans are still reluctant to buy food they can’t see in person, and some fear the current online pandemic-driven boom could prove a one-off.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The coronavirus pandemic

Read More

Will the Facebook advertising boycott force the social media giant to change? Not likely

Elva Mankin

Hundreds of advertisers say they won’t spend money on Facebook in July or beyond over concerns the social media company isn’t doing enough to stop hate speech.  But the exodus of spenders may not be enough to push CEO Mark Zuckerberg to make the level of change that critics are demanding. 

Critics have an initial list of 10 recommendations that they say would help Facebook corral hate speech and make civil rights a priority when moderating content.

Zuckerberg and top executives, who have agreed to meet with the civil rights groups behind the Stop Hate for Profit boycott this week, plan to release the company’s third civil rights audit, which Facebook says will address many of the activists’ concerns, as well as other policy changes that were already under consideration.

The pressure on Facebook seems intense, but it may not be as powerful as the headlines make it appear.

Brands

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