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Contxto – Certainly startups in e-commerce are among the big winners of the coronavirus pandemic. Reliance on digital means to either buy or sell products meshed well with the circumstances of self-isolation.
Brazilian VTEX, an e-commerce software developer, knows it’s at a critical time to grow and strengthen its foothold in the sector.
To that end, it announced the acquisition of two startups, Biggy and dLieve. The former is a logistics startup and Biggy develops artificial intelligence (AI) tech.
The value of these transactions wasn’t disclosed. However, VTEX did state that it’s now eyeing a larger expansion into the United States.
Biggy and dLieve, the full e-commerce experience
VTEX really wants to bolster the end-to-end experience for the retailers and their customers through its recent acquisitions.
On the one hand, Biggy will improve the online shopping experience by using machine learning to predict the types of items a user will search for on a site, as opposed to keywords.
Meanwhile, dLieve is part of VTEX’s venture into logistics services. The platform will use dLieve’s software to offer its retailers and their shoppers a tool to follow up on deliveries in real-time.
VTEX, grow big or go home
Certainly not a young-blood, entrepreneurs Geraldo Thomaz and Mariano Gomide de Faria launched VTEX in 1999. In 2012, it brought on Naspers as an investor who then sold its 27.7 percent stake to Riverwood Capital in 2015. All the while, the startup became profitable in 2014.
The business has been growing at a steady clip and reportedly made 10 acquisitions since its founding. Then in November of last year, it announced a US$140 million round led by SoftBank. Though it remains dodgy as to its valuation.
At the time, VTEX stated funds would be used for its international expansion, as well as to develop AI technology. So its recent acquisition of startup Biggy was a step in that direction. Next stop: the world.
While it has a pretty good grip in the Latin American market and wants to grow regionally, it’s also been eyeing a larger stake in the United States.
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