LATAM E-Commerce Unicorns Continue To Grow Amidst COVID-19

E-commerce continues to thrive in Latin America in part due to the impact of COVID-19. A new "unicorn" emerges and existing ones receive additional investment from companies like Tiger Global, Softbank and Goldman Sachs.

The boom in Latin American e-commerce prompts a second “unicorn” to emerge amidst the COVID-19 pandemic while others in the industry raise additional funding from well-known investors. Given such momentum, we focus on e-commerce growth in our highlights of Latin America (LATAM) business news this week. For additional details and other business articles relating to the region, subscribe to our regular newsletter, LATAM Weekly.

Brazilian E-Commerce Platform Raises $225 Million Becoming The Second Unicorn To Emerge From the Pandemic

VTEX, a Brazil cloud-based e-commerce platform, became the second unicorn to emerge during the pandemic after raising $225 million from investors such as Tiger Global, Lone Pine Capital, Constellation, SoftBank, and Endeavor Catalyst. It will use the investment to expand its team, improve its platform and accelerate its presence in the U.S., Europe, and APAC (Asia-Pacific). 

As one of many companies to benefit from Latin America’s e-commerce boom, VTEX added over 1,000 new customers to its platform over the past twelve months. To date, 2,500 global customers host products through the company’s e-commerce solutions. The company is currently valued at $1.7 billion.

Rappi, Colombia’s E-Commerce Unicorn Raises $300M+ in New Funding

Rappi, also reaping benefits of LATAM’s e-commerce boom, raised $300 million this week. This brings the Colombia-based unicorn’s total venture capital funding to $1.4 billion and its valuation to $3.5 billion.

This round includes funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., along with new and existing investors such as SoftBank, DST Global, Delivery Hero, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and Y Combinator.

Rappi will use the funds to support its growth model and actively contribute to the economic recovery in the LATAM region. Since the beginnings of COVID-19, Rappi led numerous initiatives to support healthcare workers, the event industry, and restaurants. These efforts are part of Rappi’s plans to become a “superapp” that integrates a variety of services in one platform (LatamList).

Goldman Sachs Extends One of Its Largest Loans To Grow Financial Services Division Of E-Commerce Platform

Goldman Sachs extended an approximate $72.61 million credit line to publicly-traded e-commerce giant Mercado Libre. The capital commitment will be used to grow Mercado Pago, its financial services division, which provides alternate financing to small and medium sized businesses in Latin America. Many of these SMBs have been hard hit by the economic impact of COVID-19. 

This credit line is one of the largest Goldman has provided to a financial startup in Brazil. 

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