Business

Argentine direct-to-consumer foodtech Frizata raises $5 million to expand in Latin America

The funding led by SP Ventures, with participation from Marcos Galperin, founder of Mercado Libre, Latin America’s largest e-commerce and payments ecosystem, will propel the brand’s global expansion

Adolfo Rouillon and José Robledo, Frizata's co-founders. Photo: Courtesy
  • Founded by entrepreneurs from the Endeavor Network, the new fundraising had the participation of Mercado Libre’s founder, Marcos Galperin;
  • With operations in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and soon in the U.S., Frizata takes the first step to continue expanding and plans to close its Series B by the end of the year.

Argentine Frizata, a direct-to-consumer flexitarian frozen foodtech company, announced the closing of a $5 million Series A investment round led by SP Ventures, Brazilian venture capital focused on Agri-Foodtech in Latin America.

Frizata currently operates in Argentina, Chile, and Brazil and generated more than $15 million in sales since launching in 2019. This October, it will make its U.S. debut in Oakland, Calif., with products available throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, delivered by Frizata employees in the company’s own temperature-controlled vans. 

Other investors in the Series A round include Marcos Galperin (Mercado Libre), Jaime Soler Bottinelli (former global CEO of Cencosud), Gonzalo Ramírez Martiarena (former global CEO of Louis Dreyfus, CEO of Swiss Pampa and sustainable food investor), Brazil‘s Norte Ventures and Glocal AgriFood Tech.

Created by two Argentine entrepreneurs, Adolfo Rouillon and José Robledo, Frizata was born out of a deep understanding of both the tech and frozen food industries. Business partners for over 25 years, Rouillon and Robledo previously founded the successful software development company Amtec (acquired by Neoris), and Congelados del Sur, a frozen foods development company for large food businesses and supermarket chains.

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As members of the NYC-based Endeavor network, Rouillon and Robledo saw an inefficiency in the food supply chain and decided to address it by creating a company that offers a transparent approach to distribution and delivery. This Series A marks the first step in Rouillon and Robledo’s vision of creating a global food brand, and bringing Frizata to more than 200 cities around the world. 

What is Frizata? 

Frizata is a vertically-integrated frozen food tech company that has a portfolio of over 70 products that includes frozen fruits, vegetables, appetizers and a proprietary line of meatless items such as its “Friburger”, “FriNuggets” and “FriChick’n Empanadas,” the brand is targeted at flexitarians–those who are looking to cut down on, but not completely eliminate, meat from their diets. The breadth of its meatless product offerings gives Frizata customers more options than other popular alternative meat companies do. 

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All of Frizata’s products are created without the use of preservatives or artificial ingredients: “Our best preservative is the process of freezing,” said co-founder Adolfo Rouillon.

Argentina‘s answer to Brazilian foodtech Liv Up, Frizata is a Digitally Native Vertical Brand (DNVB) fully responsible for the development, production, e-commerce and distribution of its frozen food products.

The company says this business model allows it to eliminate intermediaries along the supply chain and innovate in the product “co-creation”. “By using data to analyze customer opinions, patterns and consumption habits, the Frizata team is able to quickly design foods tailored to their preferences. Every touchpoint, from sales to deliveries and social media, turns into feedback for the realignment of strategy and processes, improving each product version like a software update and generating more variety,” it says.

Frizata also says that its product development and iteration is markedly faster compared to traditional CPGs, allowing the company to grow its product portfolio by 180% in two years.

READ ALSO: Colombia’s SoftBank-backed Frubana raises $65 million to expand in Latin America

By not having to stock up or sell through products in hundreds of retailers, they can refine and release items on their own terms. For example, during the pandemic, customers asked for pre-cut vegetable preparations, so Frizata developed Huerta Frizata, an entirely new line of cut and peeled vegetables in less than five months. 

“Conventional frozen food companies tend to use low quality ingredients to keep costs down. By cutting out the intermediary, Frizata is able to invest in high-quality ingredients and innovation, while offering their products at an affordable price and passing savings along to the consumer,” says the firm.

The company also said that frozen foods have a significantly longer shelf life than fresh ingredients, which allows consumers to reduce food waste. Frizata is also plastic neutral certified with rePurpose Global, which calculates the plastic equivalent of Frizata’s annual footprint and uses the amount to finance innovative recycling and waste management programs in Latin America. Additionally, Frizata’s products are delivered without ice packs or unnecessary waste, including the use of cardboard boxes rather than styrofoam. 

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“We are building a global platform to bring a new generation of innovative foods to millions of consumers eager to rethink the way they eat every day, with a simple experience, affordable prices and caring for the environment. Our purpose is to create better food for more people, it’s that simple,” said Rouillon, in a press statement.  

READ ALSO: Former Red Bull president takes over as CEO of the Brazilian foodtech Future Farm in the US

To continue the global expansion, the company expects to raise Series B funding by the end of this year. Frizata’s next location will be Singapore–a destination selected as a platform for Southeast Asia–followed by London, Madrid, and Mexico City. 

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