The founders of Cayena, Pedro Carvalho, Gabriel Sendacz and Raymond Shayo.
The founders of Cayena, Pedro Carvalho, Gabriel Sendacz and Raymond Shayo. Photo: Tiago Queiroz/Cayena courtesy

Brazil's Cayena completes a $17.5 million Series A with an eye on national expansion

The round was led by New York-based Vine Ventures and joined by several previous investors in the startup that connects suppliers to bars and restaurants, hotels, and bakeries across Sao Paulo state.

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A marketplace that connects bars, restaurants, hotels, and bakeries, among other food services, to suppliers in general, Cayena has just concluded a $17.5 million Series A round (about BRL 88 million), led by New York-based Vine Ventures and followed by MSA Capital, Canaan Partners, Picus Capital, FJ Labs, Clocktower Ventures, Coca Cola Femsa Ventures, Gilgamesh, Astella, Endeavor, Grão VC, among others.

The new funding arrives less than six months after Cayena’s last round, and it will be used for the marketplace’s expansion across Brazil. The startup, which currently operates in 50 cities in the state of Sao Paulo, also intends to significantly increase the size of its team, doubling it to 120 employees by the end of the year, with a particular focus on technology and data positions. Putting together the startup‘s initial round with Canary and the last two, Cayena has already raised more than $21 million.

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Founded by Gabriel Sendacz, Pedro Carvalho, and Raymond Shayo in 2019, Cayena is a B2B marketplace focused on the wholesale food replacement industry – an industry that is just beginning its digital transformation. Through the platform (website or app), restaurants (and dark kitchens dedicated to the delivery segment) can replenish stocks with dozens of pre-qualified suppliers – there are more than 30,000 items available. Products are delivered the next day and free of charge.

Cayena customers can also use the fintech’s recently launched Buy Now Pay Later solution, called Cayena Pay, which, in the end, gives them access to a different kind of working capital. “Whoever sells through Cayena, in turn, gets a recurring, instantaneous, and credit risk-free incremental demand – something absolutely innovative by current industry standards,” said Carvalho in a press statement.

Cayena has around 2,000 customers and has already brokered the sale of BRL 100 million worth of goods to them. The startup expects that by the end of the first half of 2022 its entire customer base will be using Cayena Pay as the main payment method for their orders.

Cayena operates on a 100% asset-light model, in which suppliers are responsible for the logistics operations. From a certain minimum order, suppliers carry out deliveries without charging any additional fee for this. “We believe that the deficiency in the foodservice market is not the lack of trucks, warehouses, or suppliers, but the lack of technology. That’s why we let our partners focus on what they do best (storage operations and logistics) while we focus on what technology does best: organizing data and simplifying processes,” Carvalho told LABS.

When asked about Cayena’s remuneration model, Carvalho explained that the suppliers pay for the startup’s services without detailing precisely the size of the commission that the marketplace receives. He pointed out that there is no fixed cost or implementation fee for a new vendor to connect to the platform.

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Shayo told TechCrunch that the marketplace will be focused on Brazil for the next one to three years, but that other Latin American countries are already within the startup’s growth roadmap.

“Supply chain inefficiencies for SMEs are huge in all emerging markets. As we invest globally through the lens of China in supply chain digitization, we monitor the evolution of restaurant shopping players in all major regions. Cayena is positioned to be the winner in Latin America due to its team’s ability to execute and constantly iterate the product. We are excited to strengthen our partnership with Cayena to convey best practices derived from China and other emerging markets.” said Ben Harburg, managing partner of MSA Capital, a global VC that has already invested in fintechs such as Nubank and Klarna, as well as in other companies that follow the thesis of B2B marketplaces in the Middle East and Asia, and participated in this round.