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The cat’s out of the bag! Petlove raises US$48 million with SoftBank

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

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Contxto – There’s probably a lot of tail-wagging going on at e-commerce startup, Petlove. Yesterday (7) the announcement that it raised a R$250 million (about US$48 million) investment with SoftBank was made. The money will be drawn from the venture capital (VC) firm’s Latin America fund and will be closed within the next few weeks.

Petlove will use these funds to boost its growth as the demand for its products has surged due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. Moreover, through its platform it’s also helping small pet shops survive, according to Marcio Waldman, the startup’s founder and CEO.

“The crisis in the Brazilian market brought about by social isolation has led to our technology not only providing supplies for pet owners, but also supporting local pet stores and veterinary clinics,” said Waldman.

Sources report that SoftBank will also assist the Brazilian startup in making acquisitions in the future.

More ground to cover for Petlove and SoftBank

At first sight it might seem odd that the Japanese VC is interested in the pet industry of consumer goods. But upon closer inspection, the numbers tell a very (potentially profitable) story.

Euromonitor, a market research firm from the UK, states that Brazil is one of the top five pet care markets in the world and it’s experienced impressive growth despite the economic hiccups it’s faced before. Euromonitor also cites the rise of Brazil’s pet population as another driver for the industry.

Despite the growth of the country’s canine and feline inhabitants, access to pet goods is still limited to local shops. SoftBank Paulo Passoni reportedly cited data from Euromonitor wherein online sales represent 3.8 percent of pet supplies sales in Brazil. Meanwhile, in the United States it’s over 18 percent.

This all implies that there’s a large and untapped market just prime for the e-commerce picking.

Undoubtedly, many local businesses are forced to embrace digital platforms. Those that already did may have improved their chances of being the cat’s meow.

But (as usual) we’ll have to wait and see what the coronavirus and recession fallout bring.

Wanna hear more? We recommend you listen to the following podcast episode: Las oportunidades se multiplican a medida que se aprovechan. You can find the time stamp available in the description.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Brazil!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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