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Today (1) the dark store grocery delivery startup announced its bridge round for US$12 million. That means investors from its previous seed investment (like Mountain Nazca, FEMSA Ventures, Foundation Capital, among others) contributed.
Consequently, Jüsto intends to grow its operations within Mexico and launch into Colombia.
Why it’s a big deal: Buying groceries online and shopping via dark stores has increased thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. But even then, the startup believes that it’s only the beginning of the industry’s penetration in Latin America.
It’s just the beginning, says Jüsto
As contagion fears slowly subside and quarantine measures are relaxed, will online grocery shopping subside? Maybe. Or maybe not.
“That means there’s an enormous opportunity—and all the right conditions—to disrupt the grocery industry in Latin America.”
But to ensure that users stick to its platform beyond the pandemic, Jüsto says it’s got a few aces up its sleeve.
For one, as a dark store, its ingredients are reportedly fresher because its fill rates are higher and produce doesn’t waste away. That’s opposed to a “normal” supermarket where fruits and veggies might be left out sitting.
Jüsto and competitive advantage
Jüsto also argues that its prices are competitive with those of brick and mortar stores. Add in the convenience of not having to leave home, and the startup is confident that it can attract and keep its users.
In any case, it must compete with retailers like Walmart offering their own delivery service. Likewise, there are also logistics platforms like Cornershop who go into supermarkets and do the purchasing for users.
Something to keep in mind: People are just getting a taste of online grocery shopping. But the platforms that manage to handle their needs and juggle hikes in demand volume will be the best poised to outlive the pandemic and prosper.
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