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The tech startup guru

Ronny Shibley, BEng 05
July 4, 2022
By Damon van der Linde, BA 08

In 2011, Ronny Shibley left his corporate job at Morgan Stanley to launch a software development startup called Codefish.

Shibley’s journey as an entrepreneur has seen him co-found multiple companies, taking him from Montreal to Beirut and eventually Berlin. There, in early 2020, he co-founded the electric bike-based delivery company Gorillas, which brings groceries to customers’ doors in a matter of minutes. The Q-commerce service was the first of its kind in Europe.

Within six months, the E-bike grocery delivery company surpassed “unicorn” status — a valuation of $1 billion — and eventually grew to 10,000 employees in nine countries.

“Everything happened so fast that I didn't even have time to digest,” he says.

Shibley recently stepped away from Gorillas and moved to London, where he launched Codefish Ventures, named in honour of his first startup.

Reflections on the success of Gorillas

“We launched two weeks into the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with a great brand and top-level service — the timing was fantastic. We were the only ones doing this, so it took around six to eight months for anyone to have platforms ready to start competing with us.”

On the work of Codefish Ventures

“We do early-stage investments with European startups involved in Q-commerce, last mile, web3 and cryptocurrency. We have a network of entrepreneurs who co-invest together and specialize in specific fields. We try to steer companies in the right direction. There’s is a big role to play at the beginning.”

The Concordia factor

“The people I met at Concordia were outgoing, social and like-minded, so I was able to find partners to build my first startup.”

Influential Concordian

Kamel Semakieh, BEng 06, joined me in founding Codefish. We got our first contract building a human-resources platform for a company in Oman, which helped us make that decision faster.”

Outside of work

“Most of the bonding time with my family takes place while we are travelling, so we take every opportunity to see the world together.”

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