Brazil-based food tech startup Olga Ri, specialized in healthy meals delivery (salads, bowls and soups), raised BRL 30 million in an investment round led by Kaszek (it’s the third time that the Latin American fund invests in the startup). The funding had the participation of some existing investors, such as the filmmaker and environmental activist Fernando Meirelles and the former vice president of Brazilian food industry Yoki, Gabriel Cherubini, as well as new investors such as the manager Chromo Invest and Endeavor’s Scale-Up Ventures.
With the new round, the startup intends to move forward with its national expansion plans, arriving in Rio de Janeiro, its second market after Sao Paulo, and opening physical units in both cities. Founded in 2016, Olga Ri operates through traditional delivery apps, such as iFood, but also has its own platform aiming to increase customer loyalty.
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Currently, Olga Ri has five dark kitchens spread across Sao Paulo, Latin America‘s biggest metropolis, and intends to triple that number in the following months. In addition to beefing up its delivery services, the startup also plans to open at least five brick-and-mortar restautants restaurantsy. “The opening of physical units strengthens our strategy of building a community of engaged customers who share our values. The stores have the potential to make our brand tangible and are quite complementary to our digital presence,” said Cristina Sindicic, co-founder and CMO of the company, in a press release.
“We want to continue to develop a sustainable supply chain and adapt our menu to each city in which we operate. McDonald’s has always prided itself on having the same sandwich in every city. We want almost the opposite: for each city to have specific ingredients and creations that value local ingredients and flavors,” added Beatriz Samara, another co-founder and COP of the startup, in a statement.
In an interview with LABS last Monday, Bruno Sindicic, the CEO and also co-founder of the food tech startup, had already said that Rio de Janeiro was the next big step for Olga Ri, and that this expansion would take place in 2022.
In the future, Olga Ri does not rule out testing other Latin American countries. “It’s a dream, but something that is still far away. There’s still a lot to be done in Brazil. We want to focus on our backyard, on what’s close to us at the moment, before thinking about it. But, sure, we see the potential to expand; it’s just not the right time. Our idea is to start with Latin America,” the CEO told LABS.
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Sindicic also stated that the company intends to make new hirings. “In addition to technology professionals, we want to hire people for marketing, operations, and so on. Another important topic is that we want to work on promoting the brand in these new territories, and also to build up our brand in the places where we already operate,” said the CEO.
With the expansion, Olga Ri expects to end 2022 with at least 10 units.