- Neta’s focus is the mom and pop shop retailers in Mexico, bridging brick-and-mortar and online stores through social commerce;
- Less than four months after launch, Neta says it had already beaten all the 12- month goals the startup had originally set.
The Mexican social e-commerce platform Neta received a $4.9 million Seed round led by Latin America‘s venture capital firm Kaszek with Founders Fund, Next Play Ventures, Picus Capital, Graph Ventures, Alter Global, and a few angels.
Research by eMarketer/Insider Intelligence shows that sales through social media, the so-called social commerce, may achieve a great social buyer penetration this year, with 38.7% and 30.9% penetration rate in Brazil and Mexico, respectively.
The Stanford-incubated startup was founded in March this year by Pablo Lagos, with early support from the executive chairman at LinkedIn Jeff Weiner, who wrote Neta’s first check and whom Lagos met in a class at Stanford.
Neta’s focus is the mom and pop shop retailers in Mexico, the informal ones that account for 20 people for every shop in the country, according to the startup.
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The company says that these shops serve as its initial entry point to a steady base of nearly 50-100 weekly clients. “The mom & pop shop channel is inherently trust-based”, said Lagos. “Shop owners personally know their clients. They have them on WhatsApp and even lend to them informally. We tap into these pre-existing social networks to reach these non-digital populations,” explains Neta’s founder.
The e-commerce firm uses a Pinduoduo-inspired gamification feature to drive further virality among consumers.
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The brick-and-mortar shops also function as a pick-up point for the deliveries themselves. Instead of delivering to each client individually, Neta fulfills those 50-100 weekly client orders in one single drop to each shop.
Less than four months after launch, Lagos says the company had already beaten all the 12- month goals it had originally set, with Neta getting “north of hundreds of thousands of weekly views” on its platform and serving “thousands of clients each week.”
With the most recent cash injection, the company plans to scale its operations and team in Mexico City, and is eyeing a potential expansion into other cities in the country, before rolling out more broadly in Latin America.
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“For us, it is really about democratization and inclusion. Up until now, e-commerce in Latin America had been limited to the very top of the socioeconomic pyramid. But with Neta, you no longer need high-speed internet access nor a bank account to shop. E-commerce can be as easy as swinging by your local neighborhood store”, said Lagos, in a press statement.