Gonddo's team: Rodrigo Cruz, Bruno Passos, Julia Morais, Bruno Gomes, Viviane Tavares and Guilherme Cruz. Photo: Gonddo/Courtesy

Gonddo's strategy to bring small businesses to the digital purchase and supply management era

The Brazilian retail-tech startup debuted in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, just when the internet became the lifeline for millions of small businesses

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When Rodrigo Cruz talks about Gonddo, the startup he co-founded, he inevitably thinks about his parents. Both of them were sales representatives with a routine of weary trips and strenuous deadlines, dealing with bureaucratic payment and working capital processes. “I didn’t understand why there was so much progress in B2C businesses while B2B ones were stagnating. The Brazilian model is very painful for small businesses because they have limited access to brands and depend on sales representatives and trade fairs. They lose margin of profit dealing with logistics. It doesn’t make sense,” says Rodrigo. From this pain point emerged Gonddo, founded in January 2020 by Rodrigo and his partners Guilherme Cruz and Bruno Passos.

Focused on the B2B market, Gonddo wants to optimize stock procurement and management, digitizing small retailers and stimulating competition among them. The startup’s target customers are the small and medium-sized brands and retailers, with variable revenue between BRL 150,000 to BRL 5 million per year.

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Gonddo provides a proprietary technology platform that works as a retail marketplace: it offers a catalog of brands and products and intermediates stock purchases. Inside Gonddo, the retailer can choose products from various brands, select the quantity, and its preferred payment method – this is Gonddo’s ace in the hole.

“An efficient retailer is a retailer that can buy well. He needs to have access to various brands and good payment terms. But brands also need security in sales and a platform to offer their products. We noticed that most brands have a B2C website, but not a B2B one. Gonddo offers this ideal digital space for B2B e-commerce,” explains Rodrigo.

Through the platform, retailers can pay the stock directly to Gonddo and within 60 days, which allows them to sell the stocked products before settling the supplies purchase; wholesalers are paid by Gonddo within 30 days. The operation has no cost to retailers. The company’s earnings come from commissions for each sale made.

At the right time and place: Gonddo’s debut and the COVID-19 pandemic

There is nothing like right timing, as Gonddo can well prove. The Brazilian startup began its operations in January 2020, just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic put the world on its knees.

As a newcomer, Gonddo faced an ambiguous economic scenario: if, on the one hand, a B2B product that connects retail and wholesale, while optimizing the stock procurement process, was exactly what small and medium-sized businesses needed; on the other hand, they were the most affected by the economic crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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It was very challenging because the service we offer has never been more necessary. The small and medium-sized retailers needed to buy online, in an easier way, and with better payment terms. But many shopkeepers ended their operations or had to suspend activities temporarily

Rodrigo Cruz, CEO and Co-founder at Gonddo.

Still, e-commerce’s huge growth in Latin America last year has benefited Gonddo. Without disclosing absolute numbers, Cruz says that the startup saw its revenues grow 70% per month.

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In one year, Gonddo managed to build a catalog with more than 2,000 products, 60 brands, and 250 retail stores from all over the country, including small and distant cities. To expand its reach, Gonddo raised a Seed round at the end of 2020, led by Iporanga Investimentos and followed by Verve Capital and some angel investors such as Brian Requarth and Tiago Dalvi, Viva Real and Olist founders, respectively.

Without opening the exact amount, the startup says it is using the resources to expand its wholesaler catalog to attract more retailers to its platform. Gonddo, which started offering only cosmetic products, launched the food and beverage segment in January and plans, still in the first quarter, to work with clothes and pet products.