Business

Chiper raises $12 million to expand its e-commerce service in Mexico and Brazil

WIND Ventures, Monashees and Kaszek Ventures were the ones leading the infusion

Photo: Screenshot/Chiper
  • Chiper says it has built the largest branded network of digitized corner stores in Latin America;
  • According to Chiper, over 65% of groceries in Latin America are purchased at corner stores.

Chiper, an e-commerce platform for independent merchants, raised a $12 million Series A round led by WIND Ventures, Monashees and Kaszek Ventures. The startup said it will use the money to transform corner store retail throughout Latin America.

The company has ambitious plans: it aims to have 30,000 active stores (5% market penetration) by the end of next year. Chiper will invest in growth by broadening its geographical reach and expanding its active user base. With a current presence in Colombia and Mexico, it plans to launch in four new cities in Mexico, and eventually expand into Brazil

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Chiper says it has built the largest branded network of digitized convenience stores in Latin America. Through its demand-driven logistics platform, the startup provides customer experience to help stores make smart decisions to optimize their performance.

“At Chiper, we are dedicated to empowering a new generation of corner store owners through continuously striving for pairing an excellent customer experience with best prices and easy delivery, making them more competitive,” said Jose Jair Bonilla, CEO of Chiper, in a press statement.  Bonilla previously served as co-founder and CEO of Imaginamos, one of the most successful software studios in Latin America that incubated the unicorn Rappi.

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We currently have 3,000 active stores in Mexico and Colombia and that is just the beginning. This is an untapped market, where it’s estimated that less than 0.1% of transactions are currently done online. We are excited to partner with our new investors to expand to new markets and fulfill our mission to provide a competitive advantage to our users.

Jose Jair Bonilla, CEO of Chiper

The startup says that in Latin America, small corner stores generate over $330 billion in annual revenue and remain a vital retail channel across the region, especially for low-and-medium income consumers, providing everything from groceries to personal care products to baby products.

According to Chiper, over 65% of groceries in Latin America are purchased at corner stores, with this percentage exceeding 70% in several large markets including Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.

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However, each corner store is typically run by an independent entrepreneur owner, resulting in a very fragmented landscape, says the startup. “This has made it very difficult for new technology solutions to enter the market, creating one of the most overlooked segments of Latin America’s retail market.” 

This is the gap that Chiper aims to resolve: to drive the digital transformation for this market by providing technology to convenience store owners and their product suppliers.

“The Latin American corner store market is huge and remains a valued piece of Latin American culture, yet has been largely untouched by modern retail technology,” said Brian Walsh, head of WIND Ventures. “There is a huge opportunity to boost the growth of e-commerce in Latin America by harnessing fragmented trade and creating an efficient network to deliver products.  We look forward to partnering with Jose and the team to continue Chiper’s high growth trajectory towards its important and bold vision.”

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