Bogotá based Rappi, an on-demand delivery startup operating in Latin America, has announced an investment of up to $1 billion USD from Japanese tech giant SoftBank Group Corp and SoftBank Vision Fund. The investment marks the largest technology financing to date in a Latin America-based company and, upon transfer to the Innovation Fund upon the fund’s establishment, will be the first investment by the Innovation Fund, which launched in March 2019 and is the largest-ever technology fund focused exclusively on the fast-growing Latin American market. SBG and the Vision Fund will each invest up to $500 million in Rappi.
Founded in 2015, Rappi has emerged as the leading service app in the Latin American region, primarily offering on-demand shopping and home delivery of restaurant orders and products, including groceries across a range of categories, including medications and digital payment services. The investment will enhance Rappi’s presence in existing markets such as its home base of Colombia where it is ubiquitous in practically all urban areas and accelerate growth into additional markets throughout the Latin America, as well as into additional product and service areas.
“This is the result of very hard work by all members of our team which is absolutely committed to transforming the quality of life of Latin Americans. We will continue to invest in market-creating innovations to provide opportunities for millions in the region said Rappi co-founder and CEO Simon Borrero. “It is time for a technology-driven Latin America, and SoftBank’s support is essential to lead this transformation.”
Bolivian born Marcelo Claure, SoftBank Group’s Chief Operating Officer, CEO of SoftBank Group International and CEO of Innovation Fund, said, “Rappi’s founders have a bold vision to create the premiere multi-service ‘super-app’ for Latin America, improving the lives of millions in the region. In less than four years Rappi has become one of the fastest growing start-ups in Latin America. This rapid growth demonstrates the immense opportunity in the Latin American region. We are excited to be investing in this passionate team of entrepreneurs and believe Rappi will benefit from being a part of the greater SoftBank ecosystem.”
In 2018, Rappi expanded the number of products delivered by 700% and achieved 20% monthly growth in the seven countries where it operates. Additionally, Rappi was supported by Y Combinator in 2016 and reached unicorn status last year.
“SoftBank’s vision of accelerating the technology revolution deeply resonated with our mission of improving how people live through digital payments and a super-app for everything consumers need. We will continue to focus on building innovations for couriers, restaurants, retailers and start-ups that translate into new sources of growth,” said Sebastian Mejia, Co-Founder and President of Rappi.
In connection with the agreement, Jeffrey Housenbold will join the Rappi Board of Directors. SBG and the Vision Fund join existing Rappi investors DST Global, Delivery Hero, Sequoia Capital, Andreesen Horowitz and Y Combinator.
“We are investing ahead of an incredible long-term growth opportunity for Rappi. This rapidly-scaling company has the potential to expand far beyond its current business and become one of the most important technology companies in Latin America. By creatively addressing the unique market dynamics of the region, Rappi is building a robust technology platform of products and services designed to revolutionize the way consumers shop and live their lives, said Jeffrey Housenbold, managing partner at Softbank Investment Advisers.