Bloomberg Línea — Is it a southern hemisphere winter for startups, and one of funding difficulties? Not so for Inventa, a startup that connects small and medium-sized retailers to suppliers.
A year after its founding, the company announced Wednesday that it has received a $55 million Series B round led by U.S. venture capital fund Greylock Partners, the fund’s first investment in Brazil.
Other global and local investors participated in the funding, such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Monashees, which led Inventa’s $20 million Series A in January, as well as Founders Fund, Tiger Global, NXTP, ONEVC MAYA, Pear VC, Avenir Growth and A* Capital.
This is the third fundraising round for the startup, which has so far raised $405 million in total.
“We don’t need the capital. But it’s important for us to accelerate with new product categories.,” Marcos Salama, CEO and co-founder of Inventa, said in an interview with Bloomberg Línea. “These are investors that we have known for a long time, it is not as if we agreed one day and closed the deal. These are conversations over time, they are seeing the results of the company, understanding what we are doing and why.”
“We have a well-defined and clear strategy. This round helps us deepen existing categories and now open new categories such as accessories, jewelry, because our customers - small and medium-sized stores - are looking for these products, it’s data-driven information,” Salama added.
Inventa’s business model consists of giving credit to small and medium retailers while managing how much they spend on products from suppliers, and using technology to recommend better products. In recent months, the company says it has jumped from approximately 20,000 to more than 40,000 client retailers in Brazil, and doubled the number of its suppliers to 800.
Inventa plans to take its first steps outside of Brazil between the third and fourth quarter of this year, expanding into Mexico and Colombia.
“We have the recommendation technology, which is something that is hard to build and has a lot of value. It is something replicable, rapid expansion is part of the way we work. The technology team is in Brazil, but we will have teams located in those countries,” according to Salama.
The company currently has around 230 employees and intends to end the year with 500.
“The number of people is not a badge of honor, but our business will require a commercial team to expand. We make sure we take care of that team as best we can,” he said.
Salama said that in a situation of high inflation and interest rates, the startup’s financial solutions, with 90-day interest-free terms for shopkeepers to pay, and a credit card with no additional fees, help retailers.
“We are starting to deliver free software to the vendor and the shopkeeper. They learn how to sell better and make more targeted offers.”