Samokat is a Russian dark store rapid delivery service for food and household goods. By 2022, it operates in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and 47 other Russian cities.

Native name
Typeprivate company
Industrydark store rapid delivery services
FoundedJanuary 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia
FounderRodion Shishkov, Slava Bocharov
Area served
Revenue9,700,000,000 Russian ruble (2020) Edit this on Wikidata
Number of employees
8,000 (2020) Edit this on Wikidata


Samokat was founded by former Yota and the Russian Post executive Rodion Shishkov and Magnit deputy CEO Slava Bocharov. The business partners were introduced in the early 2010s by Ilya Oskolkov-Tsentsiper and cooperated on the digital transformation of the Russian Post.[1] They first used the dark store delivery model in the 2017 project Smart.Space that improved service convenience in business centers and housing estates and offered a 15-minute delivery of a limited variety of food and household goods through its app storefront Magazinchik (Russian: a small shop). In late 2017, Magazinchik was split into a separate app (it will be renamed to Samokat in April 2019), which became the first specialized rapid delivery service in Russia.[2][3][4][5]

With USD 2.5 million in funding from founders and private investors, by the end of 2018, the company grew to 5 dark stores in Saint Petersburg, which handled 8,000 deliveries monthly. In June 2019, Samokat received a USD 10 million investment from PIK Group's investment branch PIK Investments, which allowed the company to start operations in Moscow and open 70 more dark stores. By the end of 2019, Samokat made over 100,000 deliveries each week. The rapid delivery market skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic: by May 2020, Samokat reached 1 million monthly deliveries, outplacing other delivery apps and traditional retailers offering delivery services.[6][1][3][4] Meanwhile, in April 2020, a joint venture of Group and Sberbank acquired a 75.6% share in Samokat.[7] Through 2020 to 2022, the company expanded operations to 39 cities and opened up to 1000 dark stores.[8]


Following the success of Samokat in Russia, Shishkov and Bocharov launched a US-based dark store delivery company Buyk,[9] which used parts of Samokat's technological backend.[10] The venture was supported by Fort Ross Ventures and Lev Leviev's LVL1 venture fund.[11] Buyk began operations in New York City in September 2021 and in Chicago in December 2021. By the time Russia launched the full-scale invasion into Ukraine, Buyk was between the funding rounds and fully dependent on bridge financing from its founders.[12] On March 17, 2022, the company filed for bankruptcy.[13][14]

Business modelEdit

Samokat operates a network of dark stores (from 180 to 220 m²) in densely-populated areas. The average operational radius of dark stores is 1.5 km, which allows delivery of orders within 15 or 30 minutes (depending on local circumstances). The orders are made in the mobile apps, packaged by the dark store staff, and delivered by bicycle couriers.[1][15] In 2022, the company opened several big dark stores (up to 450 m²) in Moscow and Saint Petersburg to deliver small wholesale orders.[16]

Samokat offers the same goods as convenience stores: grocery, pastry, meat, vegetables, household goods, baby items, and pet food. By 2022, the company offered around 800 private-label SKUs, including gluten-free and alternative foods, which totaled 20% of revenue. In 2022, Samokat partnered with the Russian Association of Alternative Foods to expand its line of vegetarian products with alternative meat, fish, meat preparations, and pastry made without animal products.[4][1][3][17][18][16][19]

Regular dark stores provide 2,500 SKUs, big dark stores offer 1,000 SKUs of wholesale goods.[20][21] Samokat also delivers of a wider variety of goods from its large warehouses with 5,000 SKUs through the dark stores in a couple of hours.[22][20] In 2022, the company launched a separate online storefront with over 7,000 SKUs of beauty products and a social media for beauty professionals.[23][24][25]

Samokat's technological backend includes a store management system (which monitors goods remains and expiry dates and helps dark stores' staff to package orders),[5] a load prediction system that calculates the number of future orders based on customer behavior and other factors (such as weather and road works),[3] and a delivery control system to manage a large distributed network of couriers.[26]


Samokat is controlled by the e-commerce-focused O2O Holding, partially owned by Sberbank (which has a share below 50%). Shishkov, Bocharov, and the company's top management hold minority shares.[1][27]

By 2022, Samokat operated 1092 dark stores (+120% year-on-year growth) in 49 Russian cities, being the largest dark store network in Europe (and the US), outplaced only by its Chinese counterpart Miss Fresh.[28] As of December 2022, it employed over 30,000 people, including staff and independent contractors, as couriers.[29]

In 2021, Samokat delivered 70 million orders (+300% compared to 2020).[18] In August 2022 alone, Samokat made 10.5 million deliveries (15% of 2021 results), effectively handling around 35% of all rapid deliveries in Russia.[17] According to the reports, in 2021, Samokat scored a revenue of 42.4 billion rubles (+320% year-on-year growth).[30]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ivan Chesnokov (April 2, 2020). ""Our mission is to save people some time." The history of Samokat takng over the rapid delivery market". Inc. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  2. ^ "Rodion Shishkov on Samokat". Esquire. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  3. ^ a b c d Ksenia Demidkina (February 25, 2020). "A Samokat worth $700 million: an ex-military and an economist launched a 15-minute rapid delivery and beat Yandex". Forbes. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Nadezhda Fedorova, Olga Dubravitskaya, Irina Parfentieva (July 12, 2019). "Gordeev invested in Samokat. Rapid delivery services keep pushing traditional stores". RBC. Retrieved December 1, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ a b "Samokat: the dark store delivery service that was before Yandex Lavka". The Village. July 15, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  6. ^ "Samokat beat Pyaterochka and Perekrestok by the number of online orders". Inc. May 7, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  7. ^ " Group and Sberbank acquired Samokat". Inc. April 2, 2020. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  8. ^ Darya Zaytseva (April 8, 2022). "Samokat ceased operations in small cities and closed several dark stores". Delovoy Peteburg. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  9. ^ Callum Burroughs (August 16, 2021). "An instant grocery app founder showed us the pitch deck he used to raise $46 million and explains why VCs are throwing wild amounts of cash at the sector". Business Insider. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  10. ^ Valeria Zhitkova (June 2, 2021). "Samokat, the Russian rapid delivery service, will launch in the US". The Bell. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  11. ^ "How two Russian-founded startups in the US became collateral victims of Putin's war on Ukraine". bne Intellinews. March 14, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  12. ^ Soo Youn (June 2, 2022). "How Russia sanctions helped kill 15-minute delivery in New York". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  13. ^ Jeremy Hill, Jackie Davalos (March 17, 2022). "Instant Grocery Delivery App Buyk Files for Bankruptcy After Russian Sanctions". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  14. ^ Theo Wayt (March 4, 2022). "Russian-backed grocery app Buyk furloughs 98% of employees due to sanctions". New York Post. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  15. ^ "A 15-minute delivery: Samokat, darkstores, and couriers". December 14, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Samokat found a way to compete with the discount shops". Oborot. June 14, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Samokat handles one third of the orders on the Russian e-grocery market". New Retail. September 5, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  18. ^ a b "VK reported on the performance of its e-commerce projects". E-pepper. April 28, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  19. ^ "Samokat to offer vegan products from local prducers". Inc. January 31, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  20. ^ a b "Samokat now offers small appliances and beauty products". Inc. March 18, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  21. ^ "Samokat opened big dark stores with a 1.5-hour delivery in Saint Petersburg and Moscow". Delovoy Petersburg. January 20, 2021. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  22. ^ Ludmila Klyzhenko (March 12, 2021). "Samokat: how the rapid delivery works". Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  23. ^ "Samokat opened the delivery of beauty products and perfume in Moscow". February 10, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  24. ^ "Samokat launches a beauty studio". Elle. March 29, 2022. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  25. ^ "Samokat launched a Beauty Studio project". Retail Loyalty. 2022-03-29. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  26. ^ Dmitry Nikitin (January 26, 2022). "Delivery collapse: how the shortage of couriers will affect delivery market". RBC Pro. Retrieved December 2, 2022.
  27. ^ "VK and Yandex exchanged assets. Few important details". RBC. August 23, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  28. ^ Rinat Tairov, Tatyana Romanova, Irina Yuzbekova (August 23, 2021). "Samokat outplaced western competitors in the number of dark stores". Forbes. Retrieved December 1, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  29. ^ "Samokat opened its 1000th dark store". December 27, 2021. Retrieved December 1, 2022.
  30. ^ "Samokat set a record in the number of deliveries in 2021". March 5, 2022. Retrieved December 1, 2022.