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Cases Digex Co. Sbermarket

Mobile marketplace development & deployment

Cases Digex Co. Sbermarket
Cases Digex Co. Sbermarket
A mobile grocery delivery
Instamart / SberMarket
2015 – 2022
SberMarket delivers groceries from major retailers, including METRO Cash and Carry, Auchan, Globus, Lenta, OKAY, SELGROS etc. Its network spans over 160+ cities and delivers from 120+ retailers to the doorstep.

It is a foodtech startup (ex-Instamart) that has grown exponentially since 2013. The project supported by and private investors was finally acquired by Sber in 2020.

About the client

In the early 2010s, the Russian market burst with new opportunities. Delivering everyday goods from the nearest stores was one of them. Instamart teamed up with Digex Co. to create a marketplace for retailers to offer last mile delivery.

Something similar to Instacart in the US and Canada, but with a focus on mobile. In 2013, it became clear that fast growing mobile tech would drive e-commerce. We were to develop the country’s first multi-retail marketplace with its own payment and delivery system.

The challenge

Digex Co. managed infrastructure and mobile apps development. MVP release at AppStore and Google Play proved service viability and attracted new investments. Budget constraints were also to be considered during the Seed round.

We set off with the analytics, technical and functional requirements of the app, and its use cases. The team had to create a responsive design that would look and work well on any device and any OS. Mobile app architecture also deserved much attention.

Users wanted the following:
  • Select a store of choice or go for the nearest one;
  • Use Elasticsearch to search for or select goods;
  • Filter goods from the catalog;
  • Sign-up via e-mail and have their own page in the app;
  • Purchase and deliver goods to all types of users;
  • Select a delivery address;
  • Select a payment method.
Technologies used: Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android.

Digex Co. provided IT expertise and worked thoughtfully on business requirements. The application worked well in all the supported iOS and Android versions. Android testing took a majority of the QA team’s time as it was important to check all the features on different mobile devices.

We went from mere SOW development and ticket handling to complete integration with the customer. The joint team adopted Agile scrum methodology to accelerate service development and growth.

The marketplace developed and attracted more and more investment as a successful startup. Digex Co.'s input increased, as the user base expanded. By mid-2018, Digex Co. became Instamart’s global IT partner to cover the following:
  • Service architecture;
  • IT consultancy;
  • Mobile app development, including UI design;
  • Support of the growing IT infrastructure;
  • DevOps and CI/CD support;
  • Training for the customer’s team.

Work progress

After Digex Co. became the IT partner, time to market reduced significantly, and updates were released 2−3 times faster. The project expanded, development accelerated, and Instamart grew to become the leading marketplace to deliver everyday products from the nearest retailers.

2018-2019 updates
  • Sign up and sign in with a mobile number;
  • Hybrid payment was introduced: 1 ruble was charged upon order confirmation, and the rest - at the check-out;
  • Select a retailer to buy from;
  • UX and UI redesign and update;
  • Select a delivery address to see which retailers deliver there and what they offer;
  • Marketing analytics;
  • Introduce Crashlytics to track potential critical errors and gather data on OS version, device, and other information to prevent and fix issues;
  • Add goods to favorites;
  • Product cards improved for all product groups;
  • Promotion banners and Sale sections for all retailers.

The pandemic
COVID-19 became another strong driver for SberMarket. Demand for doorstep delivery accelerated rapidly in February, 2020. Uptime and fault tolerance became a must for the growing customer base. The new normal and updated sanitary protocols made clear we needed delivery time slots: customers wanted to be able to book up to 2 weeks in advance and receive automatic notifications on the slots. Instamart pioneered contactless delivery which is common now.

Develop up to the plan
  • As the service scaled incrementally, many new partners joined the project.
  • Third party services and partner systems integrated with Instamart via API.
  • As the business developed, we improved the app design, catalog UI, and customer experience.

IT product development

METRO Cash&Carry became the first retailer to sell and deliver via SberMarket, St. Petersburg and Mosow being pilot delivery locations.

In 2016, Instamart was launched in AppStore and Google Play.

More investments followed after an MVP release, and 2018 turnover reached 1 bln rubles with 200 mln of net revenue. The company was set to increase its customer base and scale out through mobile. Delivery destinations expanded, and Chelyabinks became the last million city to welcome Instamart in 2019. A minor startup became a foodtech leader. Retailers, thrilled by METRO Cash&Carry success, rushed to the marketplace: Auchan, Dixie, SELGROS Cash&Carry, Lenta and others.

120+ retailers, 150,000 orders daily and 80+ locations all over the country from Kaliningrad to Petropavlovsk Kamchatsky – that’s how 2022 ends for SberMarket.

In 2015-2020, Instamart attracted major investments from SBT Venture Fund II, Gazprom Media Partners, and Mail.Ru Group, and multiple private investors, heads of SA Media Group, Qiwi, and Dixie among them. Instamart became a unicorn, a recognized leader and growth driver in e-commerce.

In 2020, the majority share of Instamart was acquired by Sber in a 12 bln rubles deal. Instamart continued under a new brand, SberMarket.

Instamart becomes SberMarket

SberMarket changed, and so did Digex Co.’s role in it: once a mobile development and infrastructure vendor became an integral IT partner. By creating an intuitive foodtech product, we enabled the company to concentrate on what it does best – the commerce: advertising, end sales, average bill growth, expanding partnerships and attracting funds.

Reliability and scalability
At the start of 2021, SberMarket’s user base reached 17 mln customers per month. Stability became top priority. The number of crash free users reached 99.99%.

Zero data leakage is another thing to be proud of: through smart design, Instamart/Sbermart is now the most secure and best protected delivery application in the industry.

A e-comm unicorn
With multi-million ruble investments from SBT Venture Fund II, Mail.Ru Group, Sber, Gazprom Media Partners, and private funds, SberMarket made a huge leap forward for over a few years to lead the national e-commerce market. The rapidly growing service was acquired by Sber in a 12 bln rubles deal. Instamart continued under a new brand, SberMarket.

Digex Co. contributed to it up to the first half of 2022. The service with over 80% of orders placed via mobile demonstrated x3 turnover growth.

The result

150 000+
orders delivered daily
partners among national retailers
mobile app Uptime
cities of Russia are covered by SberMarket delivery network

Facts and figures

orders placed via iOS & Android mobile apps (as of the start of 2022)
bln rubles paid by Sber to purchase the start-up

Technology stack

Android, iOS
Firebase, Crashlitics, Adjust, Yandex Metrika
JIRA, Confluence, Github, Zeplin
Java, Objective-C, Kotlin, Swift
Bitrise, GithubActions


Android, iOS
Firebase, Crashlitics, Adjust, Yandex Metrika
JIRA, Confluence, Github, Zeplin
Java, Objective-C, Kotlin, Swift
Bitrise, GithubActions


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