London-based on-demand delivery startup Jinn shutters

Steve O'Hear
Jinn, the London-based startup that offers a same-hour ‘shop on your behalf’ delivery app that operates quite similarly to Postmates in the U.S., has shut down, with the company is in the process of going into administration.

Jinn, the London-based startup that offers a same-hour ‘shop on your behalf’ delivery app that operates quite similarly to Postmates in the U.S., has shut down, with the company is in the process of going into administration. TechCrunch understands that the remaining fifteen or so people still working in Jinn's London office were let go on Tuesday, while, according to a source, payments to freelance delivery drivers and other staff are outstanding.

Founder and CEO of Jinn Mario Navarro confirmed that the startup has entered the deadpool, and issued the following statement:

"To our employees, couriers, partners and customers,

It is with a heavy heart that I share that Jinn has now stopped operating and won’t be taking any new orders.

These past few months, we have tried through all means to find solutions to keep Jinn alive. Unfortunately, we have now run out of time and we will be filing for administration. We deeply apologise to everyone who relied on Jinn in any way.

To our employees, I’d like to thank you for everything that you’ve done in these past four years. You have helped develop a platform capable of delivering orders from any store or restaurant in around thirty minutes, a first of its kind in the United Kingdom. You have helped make this service known to over a hundred thousand customers, who have received over a million deliveries. You have supported these customers and thousands of couriers and partners across these years. Your achievements have been nothing short of extraordinary and the fact that Jinn is closing does not change that.

To our couriers, partners and customers, thank you for being part of a great community and for accelerating innovation in the on-demand delivery space. Together, we have greatly improved the standards of this market, and it is stronger than ever thanks to you. We encourage you to continue working with the different companies providing solutions for on-demand delivery in the UK. I’m confident that this market will continue to grow and I’m hopeful for the future.

Mario"

Meanwhile, Business Insider is reporting that Jinn -- which to varying degrees competes with Deliveroo, UberEATS, and Quiqup -- had met with three rival food delivery businesses earlier this month about a potential acquisition deal, but in the end ran out of time to be able to make a sale possible. However, my understanding is that the company began shopping itself around as early as this Summer, but with administration looking increasingly likely, accelerated efforts to find a buyer in the last week.

I understand that the administrator Moorfields has been appointed and will now be tasked with finding an acquirer for any of Jinn's remaining assets, namely the software platform that powered the ordering and dispatching functionality of the delivery service.

A member of Moorfields' team also confirmed that couriers working for Jinn are owed money. In a message sent by Jinn to its fleet of drivers (and seen by TechCrunch) they are advised that if they are owed any money, they will be contacted by the administrator in the coming days who will "deal with your situation on a case by case basis".

More to follow...