Contxto – Salvadoran Hugo has been very busy throughout 2020. Last we wrote about the delivery startup, it closed its Series A and launched Hugo Ventures to invest in tech startups—particularly for those from the Central American region.
More recently, it’s been pilot testing drones to complement its logistics operations and it launched hugoMarket, an online grocery store.
The startup has ambitious plans with both these projects. Jointly, they suggest that the startup doesn’t want to be just one more “delivery platform.”
Hugo and delivery drones
Google isn’t the only tech company working with drones to complete deliveries amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last May, Hugo began piloting its delivery drones or “Hugobots” at a local hospital in San Salvador. The objective is of course to speed up the logistics process of moving food and medicine.
Although it’s worth noting that these vehicles won’t be bringing you your Burger King meal straight to your door (as cool as that sounds).
Rather they’ll offer delivery support at designated hubs in four residential areas and one at a healthcare facility. These drones will bring the order to a courier who then completes the request with the end-user.
Go grocery shopping with Hugo
Dark stores are steadily gaining ground in Latin America. Uruguayan PedidosYa opened a dark store in late May of this year. Meanwhile, Mexican Jüsto recently raised US$12 million to scale. Joining these startups in the e-commerce experience of groceries is Salvadoran Hugo.
Christened hugoMarket, this platform hosts over 2,000 products in its catalog and for the first phase of the product’s rollout, deliveries will reportedly be completed within 90 minutes. Eventually, a next-day delivery option will be made available.
The startup assures that it’s taking the necessary precautions to deter the spread of Covid-19 when handling orders.
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And Hugo has no intention of staying in its native El Salvador.
“The next priority for [our] 2020 regional expansion is Guatemala and by the end of this year possibly Honduras and Nicaragua,” said Enzo Infantozzi, hugoMarket’s regional director.
When it comes to delivery services, Hugo is a major contender in the market of Central America. It also launched operations into the Dominican Republic.
But one can’t help but wonder if it will leave its comfort zone to expand further into the Caribbean or enter Latam markets where the last-mile delivery competition is more contested.
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