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SoftBank leads US$46.65 million round for Brazilian e-commerce solution, Olist

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

Contxto – What better way to start off a Wednesday morning than to showcase yet another SoftBank investment in Brazil, this time with Olist

The Japanese megabank recently led a R$190 million (over US$46.65 million) Series C for the marketplace integrator as part of its US$5 billion Innovation Fund for Latin American startups launched in March. 

“Latin America is in the process of becoming one of the most vital economic regions in the world, and we see significant growth in the decades ahead,” said Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank.

Past investors Redpoint eventures and Valor Capital also accompanied SoftBank in the series. This is reportedly Olist‘s third financing round, the last one being worth US$5 million in April 2018. 

Moving forward, plans include growing the number of sellers from 7,000 to 100,000 over the next two years, according to CEO and founder Tiago Dalvi.

“Our purpose is to boost trade from small entrepreneurs to large brands,” said Dalvi in a recent press release. “To offer the best possible platform, we have created a complete ecosystem that adds value to consumers, merchants and markets. Now we are taking this model to the next level.”

Financial products may be gradually incorporated into the platform. On top of this, the company is reportedly seeking partnerships with other SoftBank companies such as Rappi and Loggi. 

Marketplace of markets

Through various sales channels, Olist is a Brazilian startup connecting merchants with wider marketplaces since 2015. As an e-commerce marketing solution based in Curitiba, its purpose is to fortify trade and competitiveness for partners by increasing their chances to land sales in Brazil.

Source: Olist Facebook

To accomplish this, it provides logistics and collaborates with “brick-and-mortars” (traditional street-side stores) to give them an online presence. In turn, shopkeepers use Olist‘s SaaS to virtually offer goods and services to larger marketplaces. 

As of today, the company has 7,000 partners using the software. Common clients are offline shopkeepers who want to sell online, shopkeepers already selling online but seeking better product placements, tenants looking for new sales channels or customers, end consumers, as well as importers and distributors.

Over this program, users can register their products for sale at major retail locations across Brazil. At the same time, Olist also aggregates products for other major online market places. Some of these include Amazon and Via Varejo.

Regarding exposure, what Olist partners receive through the platform is comparable to being part of Brazil’s largest department stores.

With its program, sellers receive an operational dashboard for single-screen control, on top of numerous Enterprise Resource Planning features. Moreover, it offers automatic categorization of items via AI as well as market price comparisons. 

For consumers, Olist also offers comprehensive support during shopping experiences with highly competitive offers.

“The products offered in our stores are shipped directly from retailers located throughout the country,” said Dalvi. “It is a lightweight model of assets with great potential to scale.”

New jobs

This past September, Olist hired 32 new employees. More recently, it also released 100 new job openings in Curitiba, Sao Paulo, as well as remote opportunities. Whether you’re a Data Engineer or Python Developer, you can check out the postings here

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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