Miami — If you’ve ever renovated your home you know that construction projects rarely run on time, and a big part of that is having the necessary materials available when you need them. While other industries have been quick to adapt to tech advances, the construction sector has been somewhat reluctant, but in Brazil, we’re seeing startups trying to change that. One such company is Sooper, an online marketplace for construction materials, which today announced the close of a $5.7 million seed round led by Kaszek Ventures and Canary Ventures.
Sooper is a B2B marketplace with suppliers on one side and retailers on the other. While the company would not detail how many suppliers they work with, it did say that it has more than 15,000 items on its marketplace. Like many other niche startups are doing today, Sooper is also offering financial products such as credit to retailers. “Part of the long term idea is to offer financial products to the construction industry,” said Rafaela Khouri, co-founder and CEO of Sooper.
Sooper is based in São Paulo and currently works with suppliers from all over the country and retailers within the city, but one of the things the company plans to do with the money from this round is to expand to the greater São Paulo area. In its current model, the company offers next-day free delivery, and that’s been one of the ways it can offer credit successfully.
“If a client goes to the store and wants a product that they don’t have, the retailer is able to sell the product because they know Sooper will send it by the next day,” Khouri said. Sooper allows the retailer to take out a loan, and only pay it back after they’ve sold the goods as long as that’s within a 90-day period, said Khouri
“Working capital is a major pain for both suppliers and retailers,” Khouri said. Right now the company is offering credit up to about $30,000 reais, “but it’s not a hard limit. It might get bigger over time,” Khouri added.
Sooper makes money by charging a slightly higher price on each piece it sells to a retailer.
Khouri, who has a background in startups and private equity, having also worked at Quinto Andar, met her cofounder, Hygor Burza Dupin through a founders’ program at Canary Ventures. The goal of the program, which is called Takeoff, is to help potential entrepreneurs to find a business concept and develop it. While Khouri brought the startup knowledge, Dupin brought the technical expertise.
Khouri and Dupin founded Sooper in May 2021 and launched the product just months later in November. The company has two distribution centers in São Paulo and plans to use the money from this round to expand Sooper`s client base, operation areas and to further attract and develop talent, especially product, technology, and customer service.
The company has 40 employees and said its revenue has grown 270% MoM (month over month).