Yummy Closes “Largest Funding Round Ever” for a Venezuelan Startup

Amidst the economic crisis in the country, digital economy-based services are making their way in, making life easier for Venezuelans

The executive said that a large portion of these resources will be used to acquire users in all the countries where they operate and establish their network of dark stores
October 21, 2021 | 06:05 PM

Bogotá — Venezuela, burdened by hyperinflation, hyperdevaluation and unemployment, found support in digital services, and local startups were essential at a time when doors are closed for many foreign companies.

A local reference is the Venezuelan platform Yummy, which operates in the delivery and ride-sharing segments and raised $18 million in a Series A funding round that will contribute to its expansion in Latin America, company founder Vicente Zavarce told Bloomberg Línea this Thursday (21).

The executive highlighted that this is “the biggest round of investments for a Venezuelan startup ever”, which led him to say that “the system of technology companies can change the country”, even if those are companies “from Venezuela to Venezuela or from Venezuela to the world”.

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“Our expansion into Latin America will be with a sub-brand called Yummy Rocket, which is our app for deliveries in under 15 minutes that covers everything – from convenience stores to supermarkets,” he said.

The funding round was led by Anthos Capital, with participation of JAM Fund, said the leader of Yummy, which was recently launched in Peru and Chile and which will now seek to reach a third market that has not been disclosed.

In these countries, the focus will be on fast trade, delivering more than 2,000 products in less than 15 minutes. The company plans to have 50 active dark stores in each country by the end of 2022.

Regarding the operation, the co-founder of Anthos Capital, Bryan Kelly, highlighted “the value that Yummy can create through last-mile services and fast trade in poorly served markets in Latin America”.

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“We became a leader in the delivery industry with our super app in Venezuela in all categories – food, supermarkets and pharmacies – and then we launched a ride-sharing app in Venezuela that quickly became 20% of the business’ revenue”, Zavarce recalled in the interview.

The company's plans point to an expansion throughout Latin America with its delivery model
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Yummy processes more than 340,000 monthly transactions in Venezuela, with steady growth of over 35% in the last four months.

The Venezuelan company also has a network of more than 5,000 drivers in its ride-sharing and delivery operations in 12 cities in the country.

In Caracas alone, the platform totaled almost 120,000 trips – “almost the same as what Uber achieved in Los Angeles when its service was launched,” Zavarce said in a previous interview.

In addition to the Venezuelan capital, Yummy also offers ride-sharing services in Valencia, in the state of Carabobo (mid-north region of the country); and from October, in Barquisimeto, in the state of Lara (mid-west) and Maracay, in the state of Aragua (mid-north).

“These are cities where we are already leaders in delivery in general. The major expansion capacity of (Yummy) Rides is precisely because we are a strong leader in the delivery market”, explains Zavarce, who guarantees that the company will continue to expand to other cities.

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According to Transactional Track Record (TTR) data, up to the third quarter of 2021, 124 Private Equity operations were registered. Of these, 50 transactions have a non-confidential total value of $11.1 billion – 507.51% more when compared to the same period in 2020.

On the other hand, by the third quarter of the year, 734 Venture Capital transactions had been closed, of which 593 have non-confidential values totaling approximately US$14.3 billion – an increase of 231.88%.