Buyk, a new grocery delivery service that recently launched its first line of private label products, is not anymore. The Russian-backed company has ceased operations and filed for bankruptcy, citing financial difficulties in light of financial restrictions imposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to prevent money from leaving the country.
First covered by Bloomberg, Buyk recently laid off almost all of its employees, around 900 people, amid financial difficulties. The startup’s founders are Russian and had provided bridge funding as the company prepared to close its next round of funding.
The founders of Buyk also launched the Samokat delivery service, one of Russia’s largest instant grocery delivery companies. It is partly owned by state-owned Sberbank, which was placed on the U.S. government’s list of sanctioned entities last month following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Buyk had considered selling himself and had “contacted all sorts of potential strategic partners in the United States,” including DoorDash Inc., Gorillas and Gopuff. In February, Grubhub and Buyk teamed up to provide 15-minute delivery of Buyk itemsincluding private label products.
Buyk, founded last year, filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The company listed its co-founders Slava Bocharov and Rodion Shishkov as its major shareholders. Buyk is seeking court protection “given the investors’ inability to further finance the ongoing business,” according to court documents.
“We diligently explored all possible options and partnerships to restructure Buyk and maintain the business, however, the war in Ukraine and subsequent funding restrictions unfortunately made it impossible to continue operations,” said James Walker, CEO of Buyk. “I am extremely proud of the entire team at Buyk for their incredible accomplishments since launching the business last year. They are truly some of the most talented and dedicated people I have had the opportunity to work with. pleasure to work with in my career and I wish them much success in the future.”