Jüsto, an online supermarket based in Mexico City, announced Tuesday it has raised $65 million in a Series A round led by General Atlantic.
The amount is sizable for a Series A in general, but supersized for a LatAm startup. In fact, according to PitchBook data cited by General Atlantic, the round represents the largest Series A raised in Latin America in the past decade.
Existing backers also participated in the round, including Foundation Capital and Mountain Nazca.
Ricardo Weder, former president of Cabify (a large ridesharing company operating in Latin America, Spain and Portugal) founded Jüsto in 2019 with a mission to “disrupt the Latin American grocery industry.” It claims to be the first supermarket in Mexico with no physical store. Customers can buy their groceries directly from the website or via the app and Jüsto delivers the order to the customer’s location of choice.
The concept is clearly resonating with consumers as Jüsto saw impressive growth in 2020 with a 16-fold increase in revenue.
“What COVID did was accelerate the adoption curves,” Weder told TechCrunch. “Over the summer of 2020, in only a few months, penetration rates tripled in the region.”
Jüsto prides itself on working directly with fresh produce suppliers so that it can offer “the freshest” fruits, vegetables, meats and fish in the market. It also offers a variety of products such as pantry staples, personal hygiene and beauty, home and cleaning, drinks and pet-related items.
The startup only sells items from local suppliers, with whom it prides itself on developing fair trade agreements (“Jüsto” means fair in Spanish). It also uses artificial intelligence to forecast demand and to try to reduce food waste at its micro-fulfillment centers. The company’s approach results in “competitive prices, lower transaction costs, and improved convenience to consumers by eliminating intermediaries in the supply chain,” according to the company.
Looking ahead, Jüsto plans to use its new capital to expand across Mexico and Latin America as a whole, enhancing its last-mile logistics infrastructure and marketing initiatives. The company currently has 425 employees, 40% of which are female.
Luis Cervantes, managing director and head of Mexico City for General Atlantic, believes Mexico is at an inflection point in its transition to a digital economy.
“We are seeing that Mexico is at a pivotal point in its transition to a digital ecosystem given decreasing data costs and an increase of internet penetration, which has propelled digital engagement at the same time that the legacy grocery market is ripe for disruption,” he told TechCrunch. “Jüsto stands out given its focus on creating an innovative solution that better serves both consumers and suppliers, leveraging technology and a seamless purchasing platform.
Jüsto marks General Atlantic’s fifth investment in Mexico since 2014. Since then, the firm has invested nearly $1 billion in what it describes as “high-growth” Mexican companies. It’s also invested about $4 billion in Latin American startups over the past two decades.
The financing brings Jüsto’s total raised to over $100 million. Other investors include FEMSA Ventures, S7V, Elevar Equity, Bimbo Ventures, Quiet Capital, Sweet Capital, H2O Capital and SV LatAm Capital, among others.
This story was updated post-publication with additional comments from Jüsto and General Atlantic