Buenos Aires — Argentina’s Intuitivo, a startup that creates software for vending machines, has raised $7.8 million to support its growth and hire more staff, founder and COO Tomás Manzitti told Bloomberg News.
Investors in this seed round include MercadoLibre’s Fondo Meli fund, Yavu Ventures, Ripio founder Sebastián Serrano, Mural founder Patricio Jutard, and a former Pepsico executive, César Melo.
The company builds smart refrigerators and vending machines that use algorithms to process consumer transactions using cameras.
Intuitivo has 250 of the so-called ‘grab-and-go’ machines, and plans to install between 3,000 and 4,000 more by the end of 2022, and a total of 10,000 over the the next 18 months, Manzitti said in an interview.
The company sees a growth potential of 10 million grab-and-go points over the next five years, including by converting existing vending machines.
The product “will expand very quickly in the U.S., because companies have been looking for a solution like this for a long time”, Manzitti said.
The U.S. and Japan, which also has a large vending machine culture, present themselves as two big opportunities to Intuitivo, he said.
The startup, which already has Arca Continental and Nespresso among its clients, tested its software in Brazil with AB-InBev and has added operations in Peru and the U.S.
Geographic growth will depend on where the brands and companies Intuitivo works with want to take their grab-and-go points, Manzitti said.
The company has 23 employees, and plans to use the seed round’s proceeds to grow its technical team to 70 staff.
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