With social isolation, Rappi grows six months in one in Brazil

The president of Rappi in Brazil Sergio Saraiva told Neofeed that the app grew more than 300% in the last half of March alone

Rappi raises over $500 million in a round led by T.Rowe Price, lifts valuation to $5.2 billion
Colombian app Rappi. Photo: Shutterstock

Since the beginning of this year, a lot has changed at Rappi, the delivery app that was born in Colombia and wants to conquer all the main markets in Latin America. In January, in the wake of Softbank’s $1 billion contribution, the company made payroll cuts to seek greater efficiency.

Now, with the pandemic, the president of Rappi in Brazil Sergio Saraiva told Neofeed that the company already has more employees than it had before the layoffs at the beginning of the year. The interview was published on May 5th.

The company does not disclose how many people it has in its staff. According to Neofeed, the estimate before the cuts was that Rappi had more than 5,000 employees in Latin America. Saraiva told the website that the new professionals were hired to work internally, serving restaurants and supermarkets in positions such as account managers and analysts.

Rappi delivery partner
Rappi’s couriers. Photo: Shutterstock

He also said that, due to social isolation and the COVID-19 pandemic, the delivery app grew more than 300% in the last half of March alone, compared to the beginning of the same month. In the first half of March, as the company informed LABS at the time, the app saw its sales rise 40%. In April, according to Saraiva, there was a new leap. But the executive did not reveal the exact numbers to Neofeed.

READ ALSO: Amazon, iFood and Wish gain ground among Brazilians’ favorite apps

Another area that Rappi is betting on is dark kitchens, set up just to serve customers who order via app. Last December, Rappi’s Head of Dark Kitchens and Growth in Brazil, Walter Rodrigues, talked to LABS about the new operation.

Rappi began testing dark kitchens in its Colombian backyard about two years ago, both in the individual model and the hub model, with the structure for multiple kitchens. After a trial period, the startup opted for the coworking kitchen model, bringing it to Brazil unofficially in late 2018, in addition to Mexico, Chile, and Argentina.

READ ALSO: Online grocery: the next frontier for delivery apps

At the time, Rodrigues told LABS that Rappi does not want to make money from the new operation. The startup’s gain would come indirectly, with increased supply per region, improved delivery times (better-located hubs mean less time spent delivering orders), and, as a result, growth in the number of orders.

Saraiva also told Neofeed that new financial services will be added to the application soon. Today, the startup has Rappi Pay, which is a digital wallet.

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