Gringo raises $34 million to monetize a 5 million user base made up of car and motorcycle owners

Launched in 2020, the app wants to be the drivers' best friend, the place to go for any car or motorcycle-related service in Brazil – and later this year, other Latin American countries too.

Juliano Dutra, Caique Carvalho and Rodrigo Colmonero, co-founders of automotive service app Gringo. Photo: Courtesy
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Brazilian startup Gringo, which has an app aimed at cars and motorcycles owners, announced on Thursday (17) a Series B investment of $34 million (about BRL 174 million) to accelerate its regional expansion and monetization strategies. The round was led by venture capital fund VEF and Píton Capital – both experienced firms and previous investors of other auto techs. Kaszek, GFC, and ONEVC, earlier investors of the startup, also participated in the round.

Unlike other auto tech startups – a segment that has attracted several rounds of investment in Latin America –, Gringo is aimed at the end-user and may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to recurrence. “We understand that the number of investments is due to several factors. The main one is the size of the market. Even though there is a movement of the younger generation not to seek a license, there are still more than 75 million drivers in Brazil alone (a figure that reaches 180 million in Latin America). In addition, the sector has not yet undergone strong digitalization, which makes room for solutions such as Gringo, which seeks to focus on the transactional nature of the segment and take care of the driver’s entire journey, being his best friend through a relational platform. We will help drivers with whatever they need on this journey. We will digitize this market,” said Rodrigo Colmonero, CEO of the startup and co-founder alongside Juliano Dutra and Caique Carvalho, to LABS.

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Launched in 2020, the app started as an aggregator of documents and debts consultation, bringing information from banks, dispatchers, and transit departments into the platform and allowing the payment of taxes and fines. Throughout 2021, it started to include new services, such as insurance and credit, attracting more users and seeing its revenue grow 25 times compared to 2020.

It is in these last two verticals that the startup is betting to scale this year. The company does not open revenue numbers but says it already has more than 5 million users. To Brazil Journal, the founder informed that today’s revenue comes from a small fee that Gringo charges when users pay fines through the app. With new services, new sources of income will also emerge.

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The startup started in São Paulo and, in recent months, has been expanding to other states in Brazil‘s South and Southeast (regions that concentrate 70% of the country’s drivers). The new funding will help not only in the expansion of services and partners but in the first steps of the startup towards internationalization. The app should be tested in one or more markets in Latin America in 2022. Colmonero did not want to reveal to LABS which countries are in the startup‘s sights, but if the focus is volume, the natural path would be Mexico.

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