Movile, the technology company that owns iFood, received funds worth R$ 1 billion from Prosus, the internet business branch of the South African company Naspers. This is the biggest single check obtained since Movile’s foundation in 1998. The funds will be used to expand iFood’s operation, in addition to the expansion of the financial services and logistics business of the Movile ecosystem.
The company plans to invest particularly in the fintechs MovilePay and Zoop, which work with digital wallets, purchases (machines for credit and debit cards) and advanced funds for facilities such as the restaurants that work with iFood. The company will also invest in the group’s Latin American expansion, especially in Mensajeros Urbanos, a Colombian logistics company that is growing in Mexico and in other countries in the region.
“The major focus of this capital injection is investing. Zoop has already received R$ 170 million. This money enters Movile and goes to iFood and Mensajeros Urbanos, but it will also bring other companies to the group”, said Patrick Hruby, CEO of Movile, in an interview that marks the debut of Bloomberg Línea in Brazil.
By bringing other companies into the Movile ecosystem, Hruby specifically refers to acquisitions of tech startups with “exponential growth potential”. The company also seeks “diverse talents” for the team. Movile currently has about 5,000 employees and 600 open job postings.
Movile is betting on financial services to expand the business of both iFood and the logistics vertical, a segment still not active in Brazil. 150,000 restaurants have registered in Conta to use the services of the group’s fintechs. Since October last year, these clients have gotten a total of R$ 200 million in credit.
“iFood is not a bank, it is not a financial institution, but through Zoop it can offer financial services to these clients. We know these restaurants, so we are able to provide a free account and credit for them,” said Hruby.
According to Hruby, Movile has maintained an average annual growth of 80% in revenues during the last three years. The company has led its expansion through over 30 acquisitions and investments in tech companies.
Prosus is the largest and oldest investor in Movile, its first investment dating back to 2008. The CFO of Prosus Food, Roger Rabalais, is the chairman of the board of directors of Movile. The Brazilian company Innova Capital, owned by mega-investor Jorge Paulo Lemann, together with Prosus/Naspers, brought in R$480 million in 2018 and is among the company’s shareholders.
After the investment, Movile plans to expand the portfolio for the logistics, fintech, and games verticals in Latin America.
Amid the pandemic, e-commerce had a strong growth of 36.7% in Latin America last year, boosting the demand for last-minute logistics calls in the region. In Brazil, online sales increased 66% in 2020 – twice the growth seen in the US – according to data from Euromonitor. By 2024, Worldpay by FIS forecasts an average expansion of 56% for Brazilian e-commerce.
Movile is also betting in the games industry through Afterverse, a games brand created within PlayKids and which has seen strong growth in the last months. According to Hruby, Movile’s PK XD and Crafty Lands reach 50 million players in 180 countries per month, a figure that places the company among the major global game companies.