The Brazilian startup Cayena, which develops solutions for the food sector, has raised a BRL 20 million Series A round led by European fund Picus Capital and followed by Chinese fund MSA Capital, Astella Investimentos, Coca-Cola Femsa, FJ Labs, which traditionally bets on marketplaces and has invested in companies like Airbnb and Uber, Noa Capital, Tap Development and Grão VC. Canary and the fund Norte Ventures completed the funding round.
Founded in the second half of 2019 by Gabriel Sendas, Pedro Carvalho, and Raymond Shayo, Cayena is a B2B marketplace that connects restaurants, pubs, hotels, dark kitchens – any establishment that serves meals – to suppliers, offering a fully online buying experience, with delivery within one day and free shipping. Through Cayena’s platform, available on a website or app, establishments can search the inventory of several suppliers and make the deal right there.
The market that Cayena targets combine two compelling factors for startups: it is poorly digitized and huge. In Brazil, there are more than 1.3 million establishments that produce meals. The sector’s demand for supplies resulted in sales of BRL 573 billion last year, according to data from the Brazilian Food Industry Association.
The B2B marketplace model has also proven to be a good choice. Data from the consultancy iBe TSD indicate that the format may handle $3.6 trillion in 2024, globally.
“We see B2B marketplaces with a lot of optimism, in a global trend. It is a complex model. In B2B, average ticket and recurrence are much more attractive. In addition, the higher level of customer demand in B2B creates opportunities for services and monetization that go far beyond fees on transacted volumes,” explained Julian Roeoes, partner at Picus Capital.
“We believe in this B2B marketplace model as a way to improve the most essential market in the world: food. We can align the interests of the parties involved by optimizing the operation of suppliers and making good restaurants good businesses,” said Carvalho.
According to the startup, the platform has about 2,000 client restaurants and intermediates the buying of supplies equivalent to more than 500,000 meals per month. In 2020, during the pandemic, it grew 30 times. The goal now is to exceed BRL 100 million in sales next year.
The newly raised capital will be used to boost the team, especially the technology team, to improve the product and the user experience. “We realized that food service does not need more trucks or warehouses, but more technology,” said Carvalho. The startup plans to hire 100 new professionals in twelve months.