Top 10 Unicorns In Chile
Unicorns: Several prominent Chilean brands have already signed million-dollar deals with foreign companies. Chilean startups are enjoying their best moment on the international market.
A good example is companies like Cornershop, Betterfly, and NotCo, which offer a service rather than a product.
Another important deal by a Chilean startup was the Cornershop-Uber deal, wherein the transport and delivery company purchased Cornershop’s remaining 47% ownership for more than US$1.4 million and became the sole owner.
There have been unprecedented rounds of investment funding for Chilean startups.
In early June, a fund connected to Shake Shack creator Danny Meyer invested between US$10 and US$25 million in NotCo. In 2021, NotCo hoped to become a unicorn company.
NotCo products would then be available in thousands of stores throughout New York by this step. It could be easy for vegetable-based hamburgers to gain a foothold in the rest of the United States if they can sell them in that market.
Fintech startup Betterfly has also experienced outstanding growth, providing low-cost financial services. For example, Betterfly offers health insurance for companies for less than 4,000 Chilean pesos (about $6), which can be increased by adopting healthier habits while also covering their employees.
Betterfly raised $60 million in its third round of investment funding, outperforming similar companies notCo and Cornershop.
Still, Cornershop’s success stands out as the most notable. With the $1.4 billion deal, Uber demonstrated its commitment to the purchase. As a result of its value exceeding $3 billion, the company was dubbed a “unicorn.”
It is estimated that 44% of companies facing equipment damage spend more than 40 hours per week dealing with emergency maintenance crises. Yet, according to the consulting firm Gartner, 90% of companies do not have an appropriate strategy for managing their physical assets.
Industries such as hotels, recreation, product manufacturing, medical care, education, government, real estate, and others require asset maintenance management, and this is planned reviews that must be done periodically to the physical equipment and machinery of companies, regardless of its actual state of operation and to anticipate possible breakdowns that generate significant losses of money and time.
Through intelligent maintenance, asset failures can be reduced by more than 25%, maintenance costs can be improved by at least 15%, and productivity can be increased by up to 50%, said Alejandro Pérez, founder of Fracttal.
According to the Digital Industrial Revolution with Predictive Maintenance study, among the main critical points that companies face when not managing their assets correctly are emergency maintenance (90%); the aging of IT infrastructure and technology (88%), and the difficulty in monitoring their holdings in real time (22%).
It is important to know the status of the assets to reduce accidents and operational risks. In addition, automated maintenance demonstrates multiple benefits for investors focused on upgrading their operations in the face of aging assets.
Technological advancements in metalworking machines and their peripherals.
Importance of the metalworking industry in Mexico
In its fifth edition, the international exhibition Expomaq 2022 opened its doors to present the developments and innovations in metalworking, machine tools, and manufacturing technology.
The event will be from June 22 to 24 at the Poliforum facilities in León, Guanajuato.
During these days, attendees will learn about the latest technology solutions to promote digital manufacturing in the automotive, aerospace, energy, military, molds and dies, medical, household appliances, oil & gas, and metal-mechanical manufacturing industries in general, which make up the excellent manufacturing force that is Mexico.
During the inauguration, Javier de la Iglesia, president of Expomaq, commented that they will sign an agreement with the State of Guanajuato to hold the sixth edition of this exhibition in 2024 with Poliforum León as its headquarters.
Historically, Expomaq, since its first edition, has promoted industry 4.0 and the digitization of production processes thanks to the direction and vision of the Mexican Association of Machinery Distributors (AMDM), with a history of 78 years made up of committed companies. With the development of the country and the industry in Mexico, it was uniting more than 150 companies and 5,000 brands worldwide, representing 90% of imports of the national machinery industry.
Eduardo Villalaz Román, president of the AMDM, declared that as the organizing association of this international event, they are proud to represent more than 4,000 brands from 120 countries in the sector, which generate employment for more than 20,000 people. Likewise, this industry obtains 10,000 million dollars per year from imports and generates 900 million machinery units, representing 18% of the national GDP.
After Covid-19 triggered the economic recession, Expomaq 2022 is shaping up to be the event that will reconnect the market following the recession. It will lead to the renewal of the Mexican economy.
They should note that the international fair will bring together more than 250 exhibitors with more than 1,500 major brands worldwide, such as Germany, Brazil, China, South Korea, Spain, the United States, England, Italy, India, Japan, and Taiwan, among others. In addition to more than 250 demonstration machines, around 650,000 kilograms of total machinery weight and 2,000 international brands, all in an area of more than 18,000 square meters.
Brands such as Renishaw, Tractian, JLG, CIA Neumática Internacional, Hemaq, Uline, Abamex, Fracttal, Terra Regia, Toyota, Red Kap, Macquarie, among others, will be participating in the exhibition area.
To highlight, Mónica Villareal, CEO of México Industry, assured me that the printed and digital medium has 25 years of presence reporting on the Mexican manufacturing industry, for which it has consolidated its presence at the national level. For this reason, it became the official medium of Expomaq.
During the three days, there will be technical. Master conferences such as the ‘Perspectives of the post-pandemic aerospace sector,’ ‘Changes that impact the production and commercialization of heavy trucks,’ ‘Industry 4.0 and digitization reach the control of machine tools’, ‘Nearshoring: How to seize the opportunity effectively and what we can learn from success in China, take, learn and adapt,’ among others.
Chile’s Betterfly is Latin America’s latest unicorn, with a tech platform encouraging healthier habits such as walking and meditation.
The company’s founder and CEO, Eduardo Della Maggiora, has announced that his company will expand into seven Latin American markets by the end of this year due to the investors’ growing interest in the platform.
Betterfly has grown from a startup of 30 to an organization with over 500 employees in 17 countries since launching our benefits platform in 2020. Our growth grew by 20x this year as we hired exceptional people, and A total of 2,500 companies, ranging from small businesses to publicly listed companies, have signed with us,” said Eduardo Della Maggiore, the founder and CEO of the firm.
More than $200 million in funds have been collected in the last year due to the participation of new investors, including QED Investors, Mundi Ventures, Greycroft, Lightrock, and DST Global Partners.
Our goal is to build further a company based on purpose and to help telegraph to the world the importance of companies whose core values are a social good and who measure success by how they do so,” Maggiore said while expressing pride in the team they have assembled in recent years.
Besides Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, and Costa Rica, Betterfly will also expand its footprint to these countries.
The company’s valuation has reportedly risen to over $1 billion due to its Series C fundraising round.
In Chile, betterfly is used by hundreds of employers to motivate healthy habits such as walking and meditation among their employees.
Ultimately, the startup wants to foster healthy workplaces, reducing companies’ spending on employee health care.
Employees are the lifeblood of every business. Moreover, innovative and productive employees tend to be healthy.
In 2021, the company’s revenue grew by a staggering 20%, despite only operating in Chile and Brazil.
There are no competitors for Betterfly in Latin America, meaning the company is unique. In addition, Betterfly is the first social enterprise in Latin America to earn unicorn status, according to local media reports.
Plans call for expanding operations from 500 to more than 1,000 employees in 2023 by launching operations in the United States and Spain.
We have made progress because of our diverse international team. A diverse group of people across the globe contributed to this rapid growth. To create impact at scale and grow faster, we will hire exceptional talent worldwide,” he said.
The series QED Investors invested because they saw potential in the product, according to a Linkedin post from Mike Packer. They made the Series B investment because the company executed well and scaled quickly. Betterfly can change the world, so we have now invested in Series C.”
In his view, Juan Pablo Larenas González, Chief Impact Officer of Betterfly, put it this way: being a social unicorn is not an objective. It is a consequence. He posted:
In this effort to empower people to DO BETTER, LIVE BETTER, AND BE BETTER by educating, inspiring, and leading by example, we commit to walking the talk and spreading the Betterfly Effect as far and wide as we can.
Total Funding Amount
It has reached a $1 billion valuation, positioning NotCo as Latin America’s next unicorn. However, when NotCo’s growth comes to a level in which a new round of funding is inevitable, Maximiliano Silva Figueroa, the company’s country manager in Chile, told LABS that NotCo’s growth would lead to a new round of funding.
TechCrunch reports that the Jeff Bezos-backed company was founded in 2015 by Matias Muchnick, Karim Pichara, and Pablo Zamora and that its current valuation is around $300 million. A Series, C Round of 85 million dollars, supported NotCo’s debut in the United States in 2020’s third quarter, including participation from Bezos Expeditions, Future Positive, and L Catterton.
Even with the pandemic, Figueroa says, the company’s growth was five times as much in 2020 as it was in 2010 and twice as much in Chile alone. As a result, our valuations do not necessarily correspond with the previous round but are proportional to the upcoming Series D.
“We are growing incompare to last year, we opened an operation in the U.S. and three other countries. We have also experienced rapid expansion. The speed of development of new functions and the complexity of coping with a pandemic would have been different if things weren’t different before the pandemic, but this has been an important growth period.
Sales of plant-based products are increasing more than twice as fast as the overall food market in the U.S. The Good Food Institute, a lobby group in the U.S., reports that SPINS’ retail sales data shows sales of plant-based foods that directly replace animal products have grown 27% to $7 billion in the past year.
NotCo, which sells its first product, NotMilk, in 500 Whole Foods stores in the U.S. through a partnership with Whole Foods. “The U.S. market is the largest in the world. There is very significant penetration of plant-based products with consumers worldwide,” says Figueroa.
A great market attracts great competitors, which presents a challenge. According to recent reports, in the coming months, Impossible Foods plans to achieve a $10 billion flotation via an IPO or merger with a blank-check company.
Reuters reports that Beyond Meat’s market value has dropped from $14 billion to $8.5 billion. Its U.S. operations, called Future Farm, are valued at BRL 715 million and started in January.
Bruno Franco, a Brazilian, is a managing partner of ENFINI Ventures, a company that backs Future Farm. During a LABS interview, Franco explained that ENFINI views plant-based foods as a powerful concept that can lead to greater sustainability and better use of resources for the food industry.
The final output of plant-based businesses is becoming more similar (in terms of taste and look) to conventional animal products, which preserves our experience and food culture. “We observe that there are currently new techniques and technology utilized in food production. Combining the two elements creates an excellent argument and is entirely disruptive. This combination uses how much these businesses can expand and produce revenue to justify transforming a portion of the food production chain. In conclusion, the solutions offered by the plant-based sector can have more food with less consumption of natural resources and, as production scales, even lower-priced goods.
NoCo believes it holds the key to defeating all of these big players. According to Figueroa, the company has the know-how to bring an alternative to animal protein to the mass market, thanks to its proprietary artificial intelligence technology patent. We are a technology company. In every replacement category, we can compete.”
“As with Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods only works with meat. We can compete in every category with NotCo’s technology.”
With its go-to-market channel split in the U.S., NotCo’s operations have expanded to reach a larger consumer base. Figueroa says that the company is making progress even though it started with baby steps. COVID-19 caused us to start slowly in the U.S. We have now seen an increase in velocity and shelf space turnover. I’ve been delighted with NotMilk’s performance,” Figueroa reports.
Canadian markets should also be addressed and supplied by U.S. headquarters. In Latin America, the company offers dairy and meat replacements, including NotMayo (plant-based mayonnaise) and NotMeat with NotBurger (five of the company’s key products in Chile, Argentina, and Brazil). Latin America will launch new products by year’s end.
As of now, NotCo does not plan to open an office in Mexico. It has offices in Chile, Brazil, and Argentina in Latin America. In addition, andean countries (Colombia and Peru) have been expanding their product lines.
Figueroa believes By the end of the year, NotCo products will be available indirectly in Latin American markets due to COVID-19.
As of now, NotCo does not plan to open an office in Mexico. However, it has offices in Chile, Brazil, and Argentina in Latin America. In addition, Andean countries (Colombia and Peru) have been expanding their product lines.
Figueroa believes By the end of the year, NotCo products will be available indirectly in Latin American markets due to COVID-19.
As a result of social distancing, the startup has not been able to see as much growth from partnerships in the foodservice industry (for example, with Burger King in the Andean region and Papa John’s in some Latin American countries) as it had hoped before the pandemic.
Intending to expand operations to 15 new cities across Latin America, a Chilean prop-tech startup has secured a US$ 35 million Series A round.
A seed investment of US$ 6 million was raised by Houm, which was founded in 2018. VC firms Goodwater Capital and Fifth Wall are co-leading this latest investment
In the last year, Houm has grown more than 11x. Besides its 350 employees, it has more than 300 “homers” (young people who verify information provided by owners by visiting and inspecting properties).
Founder and CEO Benjam*n Labra stated: “We are very excited to reach this milestone and welcome our new partners.” The world’s best funds believe Houm has great potential, and we’re only getting started.”
With a comprehensive digital platform, the company helps lease and sell properties quickly.
‘Houmers’ at the company provide free professional photography and videography. Furthermore, they inspect the houses or apartments, giving the marketplace platform a sense of credibility and security. It takes less than 24 hours to publish the properties. In-person or virtual tours are then taken of the property by Houm.
Houm calculates the optimal rental or sale price for properties using an AI algorithm called ReV. Then, similar properties and transactions in the area are used to calculate it.
A Labra representative said the company had rented 95% of its properties in less than 30 days, and the company shows properties on average six minutes a day thanks to its freelance force, the ‘houmers.’
In addition to providing a safe and reliable service and supporting families in vulnerable situations, Continuing our expansion in the region fulfills our purpose and gives us great satisfaction,” Labra concluded.
Fracttal One is the ultimate CMMS/CMMS maintenance management software. Please carry out your maintenance operations on the device you need, from anywhere, with all the information available online since it is stored in the cloud.
Fracttal One is a tool that allows you to centralize and digitize your maintenance processes and optimize your plan, allowing more control over assets and greater implementation of preventive strategies in your maintenance management.
With Fractal One, you can:
- Schedule your maintenance operations quickly and easily. Assign resources and be responsible for tasks. Manage multiple activation frequencies by dates or by the number of readings. Turn pending charges into work orders and track them to completion.
- Manage your available assets from one place. Make a record of your physical assets: locations, equipment, spare parts, materials, tools, etc.
Take control of RR. HH., service companies or contractors, and customize these fields according to your needs: attach advanced documentation, management of guarantees and costs, among others.
- Control scheduled tasks and operations. Our software for maintenance management automatically indicates pending charges. Assign tasks to your technicians or those of a supplier, manage spare parts, tools, or services and validate their execution.
- Analyze your activities in real-time. Visualize maintenance management in an agile and simple way from the BI dashboard. Get real-time reports for decision-making. You will have news on work orders, incidents, availability, reliability, etc.
- Advanced reporting. With Fracttal One, you can create everything from graphics to entire custom panels according to the needs of your maintenance department. Review your maintenance plans in real-time and download the reports to share them with the rest of the team.
In addition to all these innovations, as it is a 100% mobile software, Fracttal One allows you to:
- Receive alerts wherever you are, identify your assets by QR codes and NFC tags, have the entire team work in the field while being permanently connected through the platform, and much more.
Cornershop is one of the leading companies offering online grocery services in Chile, Mexico, Peru, and, more recently, Toronto. Uber Technologies Inc. acquired its majority stake in the company on Friday. They will require regulatory approval before the investment closes in early 2020. They disclosed no details about the agreement.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s CEO, said, “Our goal is to make Uber the operating system for your everyday life, whether it’s getting a ride, ordering food, or getting groceries delivered.” Cornershop says they look forward to partnering with Uber to bring grocery delivery to millions of consumers on the Uber platform.
Cornershop launched in 2015 with a primary focus on the Latin American market. Oskar Hjertonsson, founder and CEO of Cornershop, said the company is excited to partner with Uber to make this mission more impactful. “Uber is the ideal partner for us as we expand to more countries worldwide, offering our customers the convenience of on-demand groceries from incredible retail partners.”
Under Cornershop’s current leadership and reporting to a majority Uber representative, the company will continue to operate once the investment has closed.
The Cornershop online grocery marketplace was started by three friends in 2015 and is based in Santiago, Chile. Customers can order groceries with the Cornershop app or website. Personal shoppers pick up and pack orders at participating grocery stores. The customer is contacted after each shop to approve any replacements or request a new item to be added.
As part to its international omnichannel capabilities, Walmart announced in September 2018 that it would buy Cornershop for $225 million. However, Mexican economic competition regulator COFECE rejected the acquisition in June, citing competitive concerns.
The Ontario-based Walmart Canada became Cornershop’s first official partner outside Latin America, launching its pilot program in Toronto earlier this year. In response to strong customer demand, They extended Cornershop’s services to 14 Walmart Canada stores last week.
Banco de Chile and Poliglota sealed a strategic alliance whose goal is for one million Chileans to be able to have a conversation in another language by 2025. The agreement is aimed at all clients and segments of the entity who can enjoy benefits, scholarships, and discounts in language training within the startup.
According to figures from the Language Experience study carried out by the Chilean learning startup Poliglota, 72% of Chileans have a basic level of English and only 2% master the language, ranking 46th globally among 88 countries.
These figures demonstrate the importance of working to reduce the communication and language gap so that Chileans can have more opportunities in their personal and work lives, the financial institution said in a statement.
Claudia Herrera, manager of the Marketing and Digital Banking Division of Banco de Chile, stated, “we are happy to to offer our clients this benefit that will allow them to learn languages together with Poliglota. Our clients will be able to acquire new tools to expand their opportunities in an increasingly connected world, thus closing the gap that we maintain as a country. We believe it will be a very successful alliance.”
Meanwhile, Carlos Aravena, CEO of Poliglota, assured that “this alliance is aligned with the purpose that we believe that professional talent in Chile is at a high level and that international opportunities are within reach of a video call and the only thing that separates us It’s the language barrier.”
“If we achieve this, we will be changing the reality of a country that is much more open to the world and contributing to the continent’s development,” he added.
Support for SMEs by Banco de Chile
Claudia Herrera took advantage of this agreement to recall that the SME Program for Chile -promoted by the same bank- works as a comprehensive ecosystem made up of experts in the world of entrepreneurship, with whom initiatives are made available to clients and non-clients that promote their ideas and strengthen their businesses in their different stages, in a joint effort with allies specialized in other areas, such as the Universidad del Desarrollo, UDD Ventures, Fundación País Digital, Propyme, Nubox, Cebra, The Kickass Co., COMPITE, Multivende, and Poliglota, among others.
“This agreement with Poliglota joins other initiatives and alliances that we have in the bank, which align with our permanent commitment to Chile and the development of people and SMEs,” added Claudia Herrera.
The strategic pillars of Banco de Chile’s SME Program for Chile are to encourage micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs to accelerate their sales, improve their business management, and support entrepreneurship in the country collaboratively among all its participants.
In the mechanical workshop in Quilicura, his father had where little Carlos Aravena learned his first lessons in customer service and attention.
“The first thing he did with customers when they arrived was offered them a Coca-Cola and invite them to sit down,” he recalls in a cafe in Condesa, one of the trendy neighborhoods for Latin American startups in the heart of Mexico City, where he has lived since this year managing the growth of Políglota, the language platform that started in bars and today has just sealed alliances with BBVA, Banamex, and Banorte, with whom it reaches 22 million Mexicans, half of the people who have a credit in the country.
“He had to do many things, from cleaning the car’s wheels to earn a tip, making cash, and serving at the inn. My dad was a very good entrepreneur but a lousy administrator. Usually, all the businesses he had gone bankrupt. He had a restaurant too. That helped me understand and remove my fear that he could get up again. I have that resilience, not being afraid to take risks, to believe in success”.
Always, he says, he wanted to be an entrepreneur. “Some wanted to be lawyers, others astronauts. I wanted to be an entrepreneur.”
According to figures from the “Language Experience” study, carried out by the Chilean learning startup Poliglota, 72% of Chileans have a basic level of English, and only 2% are proficient in the language, ranking 46th globally among 88 countries. These figures demonstrate the importance of working to reduce the communication gap and that Chileans can obtain more opportunities in their personal and work life.
To this end, Poliglota and Banco de Chile sealed a strategic alliance to reach a million Chileans who can hold a conversation in another language by 2025. This will allow people to fulfill their goals and dreams and thus build a more competitive Chile and better prepared for the challenges ahead in this modern and global era.
The agreement targets all bank customers and segments (Individuals, companies, and SMEs) who will be able to enjoy benefits, scholarships, and discounts on language training within the startup.
“With this news, our personal and SME clients will be able to acquire new tools to expand their opportunities in an increasingly connected world, thus closing a gap that we maintain as a country. For all this, we believe it will be a very successful alliance”, said Claudia Herrera, manager of the Digital Banking Division of Banco de Chile.
Regarding the work that they will carry out together with the financial institution, Carlos Aravena, CEO of Poliglota, assured that “this alliance is aligned with the purpose that at Poliglota we believe that professional talent in Chile is at a high level and that international opportunities are at hand.” reach of a video call and the only thing that separates us is the language barrier. If we achieve this, we will be changing the reality of a country that is much more open to the world and contributing to the continent’s development”.
With this association, the aim is to deliver a new benefit to the individual and SME clients, who will be able to study languages dynamically and thus be able to apply for jobs with better pay, expand the network of professional contacts, develop culturally, among other great dividends that are learning a new language brings with the Polyglot method.
Cristóbal Griffero, CEO and founder of Fintoc, explained the main scope of his business model for this fintech. Under this logic, he explained that the firm’s purpose is to serve as an intermediary between financial institutions and companies. Therefore, most of them are just fintech.
In a conversation with Banco Itaú’s Vision of Leaders space, Griffero asserted that his business model “comes to provide solutions to all companies that, needing a connection with financial institutions, are unable to do so.”
In most cases, a person looking to manage their money, pay a friend, or apply for credit has access to an app that uses Fintoc to connect to their bank account,” the CEO explained.
Griffero pointed out that “the idea is to consolidate all the financial information of different entities up to 24 months. This type of tool acquires special relevance when it comes to being able to rent an apartment or request a loan because it shows the entire history of that person”.
Regarding the obstacles they had to overcome during the lifting of Fintoc, Griffero recognized that the undertaking itself was an arduous task. However, he argued that maintaining a constant growth rate is one of the main challenges.
He said that “it allows us to test ideas and win a market quickly. Sometimes, what happens to us is that we can get distracted or tired, and speed is lost. Or, on the contrary, go very fast, and this is a marathon of 5 or 10 years. That is why keeping the level of speed constant is key and a challenge”.
Fintoc’s next expansion
The entrepreneur assured that the secret is the conviction of the project. He insisted that this has led them to consolidate their brand and think about expanding.
In fact, during the conversation, Griffero highlighted that they plan to internationalize -starting with Mexico-as well as venture into the world of means of payment and interconnect processes at the regional level.
“Most of our clients have a presence in more than one country. So just as we make the connection in Chile, we also have to do it in other countries. We want to make a single connection,” she concluded.
The statements of Cristóbal Griffero, CEO and founder of Fintoc, were in the framework of a conversation in the InnovaTalks space. The initiative is part of Banco Itaú’s “Vision of Leaders” cycle, which the entity broadcasts through its YouTube channel.
After failing with their first startup, a Chilean and an Argentine who met online decided to create a company specializing in bots (automatic processes) and compete with giants worldwide. In less than two years, they have businesses in 15 countries, offices in 5, and projects to invoice US$4 million in 2021. In addition, they are months away from landing in Europe and the US.
Chilean startup Rocketbot has become one of the biggest global RPA (robotic process automation) platforms in less than three years, beginning as a small initiative of two partners that caught Google’s attention. This explosive growth has now been further established after securing 2.1 million dollars in funding in the company’s Pre Series A Round.
Groupo Consorcio is the largest financial services company in Chile with a role in Insurance, Banks, Previsions, and Savings, and the largest investor in Rocketbot. On this platform, companies can create their bots to automate tasks and already has over 200 clients in the region.
Rocketbot received capital from two Mexican companies, including Consorcio and VC Manutara Ventures and Angel Ventures Guadalajara, the regional venture capital arm of the Carabela Fund. As a result of these contributions, the Chilean startup will be able to expand not only in Mexico but also throughout the world. These funds will be used for physical offices in Mexico, Europe, and Brazil and tools to facilitate consolidation in Mexico.
“This capital raise comes at a time when we are searching for ways to expand our operations internationally,” Juan Jorge Herrera, the CEO of Rocketbot, said. In addition to our highly competitive strategy, we continue to seek alliances with large regional and global brands. With the capital, the tool will be developed further, incorporating new functions associated with artificial intelligence and automation in various industries”.
According to Javier Sánchez from Angel Ventures, friendly technology such as Rocketbot will enhance the digital presence of Mexican companies -and the region-. Increasing productivity through technology is very important to Mexican companies, and Rocketbot’s solution, coupled with a stellar team, is the best.”
Meanwhile, Andrés Medina, CEO of Compusoluciones, commented that Rocketbot creates a great solution for implementing easy-to-implement technologies, such as RPA, to carry out the digital transformation of companies. As a result, we can expand our presence in the region under a model similar to ours because Rocketbot’s tools are very well suited for companies in different sectors.”
Using AI, Rocketbot recently integrated scanned, photographed, and handcrafted documents into their bots. Also, Gartner, one of the world’s leading technology consultancies, ranked their RPA platform as second for midsize companies (annual revenue up to 1 billion dollars) at the end of last year.
Technological revolutions like robotic automation democratize processes, and we cannot imagine them otherwise. The co-founder and Commercial Director of the Startup, Rafael Fuentes, explained that Rocketbot is committed to globalization, making RPA easy and enjoyable for large companies or SMEs.
Streamline the distribution process for fruits, vegetables, and legumes by cutting out intermediaries. Among these were the U.S.-based fund ASAP and undisclosed Chilean angel investors, who invested $850,000 in Lomi, a Chilean startup founded last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lomi plans to use the funds to expand its dark store operations in Chile, develop technology, and market its products. Local Market Integration (Lomi) was founded in August 2020 to address an important issue during the pandemic. More than 100,000 users have visited Lomi’s website since its foundation, where they can purchase fruits, vegetables, snacks, dairy products, and meat. Francisco Leitao, the co-founder of the company, says it will shortly expand to one or two additional areas of the country after serving most neighborhoods in Santiago.
According to Leitao, Lomi wants to focus on supporting small producers. The modern consumer wants healthy foods and organic products to contribute to the ecosystem in some way. The pandemic caused difficulty in delivering products to users. Their daily routine involved knocking on doors. We created a Mercado Libre-like marketplace to bring small, local, and organic producers together.”
The market for Lomi is not tiny. Approximately 300,000 producers operate in Chile alone, with 93% being small businesses. With technology, we wanted to create a platform where these producers could serve users’ needs in a few clicks: to eat healthier, reduce waste, and help the environment.”
With more than 1,600 local producers and 1,500 products available in over 25 categories, the startup offers more than 1,600 producers and 1,500 products. Upon arrival at Lomi’s dark store, the product is delivered via Cabify and Pedidos Ya’s last-mile delivery services. The product arrives within 30 to 60 minutes, depending on Santiago’s region. A visit to the website does not just show the product, but also provides a closer look at the small farmer behind the product.”
Over 2,000 sales are generated by the startup each month. Users have purchased over 5,000 products in less than nine months. Approximately $100,000 was earned by the startup in April alone. In Lomi, sales are growing exponentially, says Leitao.
Lomi’s website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org are options for producers to register to sell their products on the marketplace. In his statement, Leitao says that his company purchases products at a fair margin for both parties.
The startup raised a $160,000 round in November 2020 through the Chilean crowdfunding platform Broota. In the first dark store, the money was invested. The same investors who made the latest investment round invested $400,000 in Lomi a few months later.
It plans to hire more people in Santiago’s dark store in addition to 30 to 40 new remote jobs in Latin America by 2021.
In addition to expanding to Mexico, the startup is considering Florida (United States), Colombia, Peru, and others. Platforms should assist people in their efforts to eat healthier and care for the ecosystem. People are dissatisfied with how we live today, which is evident in protests worldwide.
Several people have asked us if we are open to expanding into other countries or regions in Chile. Our goal is to accelerate this transition because we believe that producers have the chance to reach those places quickly.”
The company is expected to expand into other markets at the end of 2020 or in the first half of 2022. Lomi plans to raise a Series A round within the next few months. If you don’t have the money to expand and acquire new users, the problem with an exponential curve is that you could lose customers.”
In Latin America, Xepelin is small business’s top B2B payments platform. PayPal Ventures and Kaszek are leading the $111 million Series B funding round, with participation from PayPal Ventures, DST Global, Wellington, Battery Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and MSA Novo, FJ Labs, Amarena, Picus, Gunderson, Cathay-Seaya Latam, Carlos Garcia, and Gilgamesh. Earlier this year, the company raised $230 million in Series A funding, the largest in Latin America.
As part of the Covid project, the focus has shifted from in-person payments to the online world, accelerating the trend of consumers making more purchases online during this period to minimize in-person transactions. Faster, easier, and more convenient, digital payments are here to stay.
By scalability of payments infrastructure and a regional platform for SMBs, Xepelin is leading the shift to digital in business-to-business. In addition to integrating B2B payments and working capital for SMBs, the company’s mission is to position itself as the “Digital CFO for B2B Companies.”. The company uses real-time financial information, embedded financial services, and complex data models to reduce long-term, time-consuming processes from weeks to hours so teams can focus on what matters most: operating the business.
Xepelin entered the Mexican market after capturing an important market share in Chile and has quickly become the leading company in the country. As a result of its Series A, the company has expanded to serve over 5x more customers in Chile and Mexico, increased Mexico revenue by 60x, and launched Xepelin Payments. This B2B payments platform enables companies to manage and automate payments to suppliers with or without financing. As a result, Xepelin Payments has grown faster than any other product in the company’s history. During the Series B round, LatAm Payments will expand its B2B payments services, hire additional talent, launch new products, and expand into new countries.
Nicholas de Camino, the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Xepelin, stated, “We aim to be the leading company in B2B fintech in Latin America.”
The SMB segment has been the most neglected and forgotten segment by financial services, and we have treated them as our partners from the start.
Sebastian Kreis, the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Xepelin, said, “We were built to solve emerging market problems.” We are moving fast – our strategy is to solve the biggest problems facing small and medium businesses throughout Latin America, all on one platform, connected to the whole ecosystem, and more democratized so that everyone has access to it, no matter what size your business is, getting the same service and terms.”
Xepelin has gained considerable traction in Latin America since its inception. In Mexico and Chile, the company currently has over 400 employees driving its regional growth.
We are delighted to serve Xepelin and support its mission to empower SMBs with a best-in-class payment and financial services platform.” said Jamie Reynolds, Partner, and Co-Founder of Avenir.
“Kaszek Ventures is thrilled to continue to support Sebastian and Nicolas as they take Xepelin to the next level as a managed finance platform for small business.” Nicholas Szekasy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Kaszek Ventures, said, “Xepelin has identified an opportunity to help SMBs improve their cash flow at scale.”
edited and proofread by nikita sharma