interview gopuff rafael ilishayev bevmo californiadean

Interview with GoPuff co-founder Rafael Ilishayev, on why the startup acquired BevMo, breaking into the California market, responding to drivers’ demands, and more (Sam Dean / Los Angeles Times)

GoPuff, an American digital delivery service, recently acquired BevMo, a beverage retailer. This acquisition will allow GoPuff to expand its delivery services to customers in California. In an exclusive interview with GoPuff co-founder Rafael Ilishayev, we gained insights into the company’s strategic decision-making and its plans for the future.

Breaking into the California Market

GoPuff’s acquisition of BevMo will allow the company to break into the lucrative California market, where BevMo has a strong presence. Ilishayev acknowledged that the acquisition was a strategic move to expand GoPuff’s reach beyond the East Coast, where the company has been operating since its inception in 2013.

“California is a big market, and it’s important to us,” said Ilishayev. “We want to make sure that we can deliver our products to as many people as possible, and this acquisition will help us do that.”

Since GoPuff’s initial launch, the company has expanded its services to more than 500 cities across America.

Responding to Drivers’ Demands

GoPuff’s delivery services rely heavily on its drivers’ availability to operate. Therefore, the acquisition of BevMo also means that GoPuff will gain access to more drivers in California, making fast deliveries even more efficient.

However, the drivers’ compensation and working conditions have been a source of agitation in the gig economy industry. Ilishayev addressed these issues in the interview, stating that “GoPuff is committed to treating its drivers with respect and providing them with fair compensation and working conditions. We understand that our drivers are the backbone of our business and we will continue to work closely with them to ensure we address any concerns they may have.”

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GoPuff’s Future Plans

GoPuff is not stopping at its recent acquisition of BevMo. Ilishayev shared that the company is planning to expand its product offerings beyond convenience store items and beverages. The company will begin delivering home essentials, making grocery runs easier for its customers, a service that is now more relevant than ever given the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, GoPuff has big plans to expand its reach to international markets. The company is already operating in the United Kingdom and is looking to launch services in Canada next.

Closing Thoughts

GoPuff’s acquisition of BevMo is a strategic and calculated move that aims to increase the company’s footprint and provide customers with more convenience. The company is committed to its drivers and customers and is looking to expand its offerings and reach beyond America. As the company continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how it fares in a highly competitive industry and whether it can maintain its commitment to providing fast delivery while keeping its workers and customers happy.


As a seasoned business journalist, Fashion, and entrepreneur, Fobihe brings a wealth of experience to his writing about the world of commerce. Whether he’s analyzing market trends or interviewing industry leaders, his insights are always informed and insightful.

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