Latin American on-demand delivery startup Rappi announced it is raising an investment of up to $1 billion from SoftBank Group (SBG) and SoftBank Vision Fund. This investment would mark the largest technology financing to date in a Latin America-based company.
And upon transfer to SoftBank’s Innovation Fund — which is a technology fund focused exclusively on the Latin American market and was announced in March — it will be the first investment by the Innovation Fund. Both SBG and the Vision Fund will be investing up to $500 million in Rappi.
“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. It is time for a technology-driven Latin America, and SoftBank’s support is essential to lead this transformation,” said Rappi co-founder and CEO Simon Borrero in a statement.
Rappi essentially built an all-purpose delivery app that is aiming to become a personal assistant for users. Rappi offers products across several categories such as restaurants, groceries, digital payments services, and drug store medications. The Rappi app also has a virtual wallet feature called RappiPay where users can make transfers and make payments in establishments. Currently, Rappi is available in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and Peru.
Rappi launched in 2015 and it quickly became the leading service app in the Latin American region. In 2016, Rappi participated in the Y Combinator startup accelerator program and the company became a unicorn startup last year. Some of Rappi’s previous investors include DST Global, Delivery Hero, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and Y Combinator.
“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,” added SoftBank Group’s COO, CEO of SoftBank Group International, and CEO of Innovation Fund Marcelo Claure.
With the investment, it will enhance Rappi’s presence in existing markets and accelerate growth into additional markets throughout the Latin American region as well as additional product and service areas.
“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,” explained Rappi co-founder and president Sebastian Mejia.
Last year, Rappi expanded on the number of products delivered by about seven times. And the company registered a monthly growth of 20% in the seven countries in which it operates.
“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,” commented SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Jeffrey Housenbold — who is joining Rappi’s board in conjunction with this funding round.