Inventa co-founders.
Fernando Carrasco, Marcos Salama and Laura Camargo, the co-founders of Inventa. Photo: Courtesy.

New categories and a second Latin American market: Series B speeds up Inventa's plans for 2022

The Brazilian marketplace that connects small retailers and suppliers attracted the Greylock Partners fund, an investor in companies such as Airbnb and Facebook, as the leader of its third round.

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Operating for a year, Inventa announced this Wednesday (27) the third round of its history, three months only after the Series A. Led by the North American fund Greylock Partners, an investor in companies such as Airbnb and Facebook, accompanied by Previous investors such as Greenoaks, a16z, monashees, and Tiger Global, among others, the $55 million Series B arrives to accelerate the startup‘s plans. With the new funding, the marketplace that connects small shopkeepers to suppliers wants to add four new product categories and debut in a second Latin American market (Mexico or Colombia) by the end of 2022.

“The new investment only attests to the potential of our product and the good performance of the company so far. There was a lot of focus too, timing, I would say, with these investors looking at us and deciding to fund us [at this moment]. But we continue talking little and work a lot,” said Inventa’s co-founder Marcos Salama. Before creating Inventa alongside Fernando Carrasco (former BCG) and Laura Camargo (former General Atlantic, Pátria, and Gympass), Salama led the unit groceries unit at Rappi.

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Since January, Inventa has “doubled in size,” seeing its shopkeepers’ base rise from 20,000 to more than 40,000 and its supplier network jump from 400 to more than 800, mainly in Brazil‘s Southeast and South regions.

Inventa’s primary goal remains to close 2022 with 100,000 retail customers and more than 4,000 suppliers. However, given the approximately 5 million small entrepreneurs in Brazil, this goal, Salama pointed out, only scratches the surface of the company’s addressable market.

To accelerate its growth, Inventa intends to add four new product categories to its platform in the coming months: accessories, jewelry, pets, and stationery. Inventa already offers beauty & wellness, home & decor, and grocery products. “The new categories are categories that our clients and our clients’ colleagues have been looking for. So it’s a demand that already exists,” highlighted Salama.

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Inventa’s product mix, by the way, is made considering not only the demands that the shopkeepers themselves bring, based on the wishes of their customers, but also looking at nearby competitors, suppliers of similar products that may have lower prices, and other data that, as the platform grows, gets more and more robust.

The platform has more than 6,000 products in its supplier catalog, including popular brands in Brazil like Davene, Lovme, and Ruby Rose in the cosmetics category and Ki-Suco, Bio2, Bombay, Glup, Promix, and Tivva, in the groceries category.

More than simply connecting two ends – entrepreneurs and suppliers – Inventa helps them to assemble the ideal mix of products based on data and access credit at zero cost. Inventa’s remuneration is a 15% commission on sales, which enters into the equation of negotiation with suppliers.

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On average, shopkeepers have pre-approved loans of BRL1,500, BRL 2,000 within the platform. They do not pay interest on these operations and have 30 to 90 days to pay it back in installments. Inventa also has a referral program where brands can recommend retail customers to the platform. These customers can earn BRL 250 in discounts and incentives when making their first inventory purchase via Inventa. The initiative has been scaling very quickly, making brands increasingly see value in Inventa as a B2B partner.

The startup‘s internationalization, which was already on the horizon in January, became a certainty for 2022 with the Series B. Mexico or Colombia will be Inventar’s second market in Latin America, Salama told LABS. “The technology will be the same everywhere. But it’s only natural that we have local commercial teams capable of giving the operation some local flavor.”