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A brand new Brazilian unicorn: Olist raises $186 million eyeing aggressive portfolio expansion

The e-commerce platform said it plans to expand its business into financial services, buy companies and expand operations in Mexico

Tiago Dalvi, CEO at Olist.
Tiago Dalvi, CEO at Olist. Photo: Olist
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E-commerce platform Olist said on Wednesday it raised $186 million in a Series E round led by Wellington Management, becoming the newest Brazilian unicorn. Softbank, Goldman Sachs, and Valor Capital also participated in the round. Olist said it plans to expand its business into financial services, buy companies and expand operations in Mexico.

The new round comes eight months after the closing of its Series D, also led by SoftBank and Goldman Sachs. Olist has tripled its size in 2021 and closed four acquisitions since last year. But, according to the CEO and founder of Olist, Tiago Dalvi, the company is just getting started.

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“M&A (Mergers and acquisitions) is a way to accelerate a business thesis, and ours is to deliver a complete ecosystem for merchants. We continue to grow organically at a very accelerated pace, but we also seek out opportunities beyond what we are doing. We have a very aggressive pipeline; [we’re] talking to multiple companies,” says Dalvi.

The latest additions to Brazil’s brand new unicorn’s portfolio were: social commerce platform Clickspace, in November last year; the logistics startup PAX, in December last year; Tiny, an online management system for SMBs; and the e-commerce platform Vnda (those last ones in last October);

Dalvi says Olist doesn’t have a number in mind for acquisitions after the new round, but the company keeps an eye for logistics, financial services, and e-commerce startups.

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Our goal is to build an whole ecosystem of integrated solutions, whether developed in-house or by merging with already relevant products from the market

Tiago Dalvi, CEO of Olist.

All eyes on Mexico

With over 45,000 merchants and marketplaces as clients, Olist plans on crossing the 100,000 mark by the end of 2022, and the expansion in Latin America will be key in the process.

As the Brazilian unicorn looks to extend its footprint across Latin America and become the top e-commerce solutions provider for the region, Mexico is the first stop in this journey.

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Dalvi explains that the company evaluated more than a dozen countries in different locations (even beyond Latin America) and understood that the market conditions in Mexico were ideal to prove its concept outside of Brazil.

“It’s only the first step. We want to understand what are the pain points for Mexican retailers the product that best suits local needs. It’s not just about replicating what we did in Brazil. We have multiple solutions that are [already] live in Mexico and are unique.”

In Mexico, Olist’s solution is already connected to Mercado Libre, Walmart, and the list should grow even further in the months to come. In the country, the startup has a team of 30 professionals.

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