Jüsto, the online supermarket, wants to establish itself in Latin America. The Mexican startup raised $152 million in a Series B investment round, which was led by General Atlantic, a leading global growth capital firm. This new injection of capital will allow it to strengthen its presence in Mexico and Latin America in the midst of soaring inflation that affects the purchasing power of consumers around the world.
In Mexico, general inflation stood at 7.45% per year, the highest rise in the last 21 years, with the boiling of fuel prices, and foodstuffs such as onions, avocados, tortillas and eggs. Ricardo Weder, founder and CEO of Jüsto, explains that, until now, the company has managed to reduce the impact of the increase in logistics costs by having a high percentage of local products in its warehouses.
“There is a fairly large inflationary pressure and it is difficult to predict what the real impact will be in the medium term. Inflation is not something we can stop, but we work together with our suppliers to make gradual increases and thus reduce the impact a little, “explains Weder.
Jüsto seeks to grow in Mexico and open its first physical store in Peru
Since its creation, the technology startup has raised $250 million in investment rounds, however, Weder has not wanted to reveal whether the company has already passed the $1 billion valuation threshold, which would transform it into another of the Mexican unicorns, where companies like Kavak, Bitso and Clip are.
“Part of our policy is not to share valuation because it fluctuates and we think the important thing is for the team to focus on long-term goals,” says Weder.
The founder of the startup comments that 50% of the capital of the investment round will be invested in Mexico, the most important market for the startup, which has a presence in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Puebla, Monterrey, and Querétaro. The plan here is to add more cities to its range of operations towards the second half of the year.
It also has plans to consolidate in Brazil and Peru. “We have only been in Brazil for five months, but the growth is being much higher than in Mexico, for which we are quite happy, it is 10 times more than the cities of Mexico. We will also continue to invest in Freshmart, which is the leading company in Peru that we acquired. in the segment. An important part of this is going to be used to develop technology, infrastructure, artificial intelligence and data science and this type of issues in order to generate value”, he declares.
In 2021, the company had a five times higher revenue growth compared to 2020. In that year, it started operations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and later acquired Freshmart, the leading online supermarket in Peru. For Weber, the strategy is the tropicalization of the local proposal, for which they use data that allows them to know the users and the products that stand out in each country, as well as the consumption habits, such as the frequency of purchases.
In Peru, with the purchase of Freshmart, the company positioned itself as the market leader, and now the second step will be to open a hybrid store in the coming days, that is, it will be a physical store with infrastructure to serve online orders. The manager did not say if they have plans to export this store concept in Mexico and Brazil, while paving the way to debut in Chile and Colombia.
New investors such as Tarsadia Capital, Citius, Arago Capital, Foundation Capital and Quiet Capital also participated in the round. For Jüsto, the self-service industry in Latin America represents a 600 billion dollar opportunity.