Clubbi, a Brazilian business-to-business resource for small food retailers, brought in $4.5 million in seed funding to expand across the country.
The remote first company started in 2020 as an online commerce resource for neighborhood markets and grocery stores — most that have never shopped online before — to stock up on products they need, offering competitive pricing and better customer service.
Co-founder João Macedo initially had the vision for Clubbi while working as head of distribution for Red Bull. He saw how fragmented and analog the commerce business was, resulting in difficulty reaching a large retail base. In fact, suppliers still rely on door-to-door sales, he told TechCrunch.
“They depend on intermediaries, and that makes go-to-market more complex and expensive,” he added. “I lived in India, and it was fragmented there also, but B2B marketplaces were doing well there.”
Last year, he joined with Marcos Adler and Alexandre Farber to create a marketplace connecting suppliers, like Kraft Heinz, Adria and Piraquê, with markets.
Clubbi launched in October 2020 with 24-hour delivery, no minimum order quantity and flexible payment terms. It is currently working with 1,000 grocery stores in Rio de Janeiro, up from three at launch, with plans to grow to over 3,000 by mid 2022, Adler said. The company is also growing 40% month over month, gross merchandise value-wise.
“We reach a long tail of customers that are hard to service, are working with less working capital and offer them a single place to buy everything they need and have good delivery lead time to keep inventory fulfilled,” Adler added. “All they have to do is go on the website, place a one-click order and get it the next day on their doorstep.”
Valor Capital Group co-led the round with ONEVC and was joined by Better Tomorrow Ventures, Latitud and Canary, which led Clubbi’s $550,000 pre-seed round.
The funding will be used to accelerate growth, technology development, expansion into other Brazilian cities and develop additional supplier partnerships. Clubbi offers about 7,000 to 8,000 SKUs on its marketplace, while the average store will carry 1,000 to 2,000 SKUs, Adler said. The company started with five employees and also plans to hire additional staff to bring its now 40-person employee base to 70 people by the middle of 2022.
Meanwhile, the company still has a long way to go to get in front of over 200,000 mom-and-pop grocery stores in Brazil, which generate more than $35 billion in combined revenue, Valor Capital Group’s Antoine Colaço said in a written statement.
“These stores still face many challenges when trying to procure goods in an efficient and low-cost manner, and they also lack access to fair financing solutions,” Colaço said. “Clubbi is delivering an integrated and simple way for these stores to receive the best products — at the right prices and payment terms — at their doors. The social and economic development Clubbi generates is huge and the Company’s early results are very promising and impressive.”
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