Investments

SoftBank Leads $140M Investment In eComm Company VTEX

SoftBank

VTEX, an eCommerce company that has helped companies like Walmart sell online, has raised $140 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Latin American fund, according to a report by TechCrunch.

The company helps businesses with eCommerce tools from beginning to end with services that include inventory management and customer service and experience.

Gávea Investimentos and Constellation Asset Management also participated in the funding round, and previous investors in the company include Naspers and Riverwood, who is still a backer. 

The company was founded by Geraldo Thomaz and CEO Mariano Gomide, who said they still retain more than half of the company. VTEX has worked with companies like Levi’s, Sony, L’Oréal and Motorola. The company has grown 43 percent a year for the past five years, and it processes $2.4 billion in gross merchandise value.

VTEX has been around since 1999, but it hasn’t had the need to raise a significant amount of capital thus far, mostly operating off of its own revenues. 

The funding round is significant because its one of SoftBank’s bigger investments with its Innovation Fund, which is targeted specifically to Latin American companies.

When the fund was announced, it had a cap of $2 billion, but that was recently expanded to $5 billion. The fund has also invested in delivery company Rappi, lending outfit Creditas and tech company QuintoAndar.

“VTEX has three attributes that we believe will fuel the company’s success: a strong team culture, a best-in-class product and entrepreneurs with profitability mindset,” said Paulo Passoni, managing investment partner at SoftBank’s Latin America fund. “Brands and retailers want reliability and the ability to test their own innovations. VTEX offers both, filling a gap in the market. With VTEX, companies get access to a proven, cloud-native platform with the flexibility to test add-ons in the same data layer.”

Gomide said VTEX needs to look beyond just serving its own region.

“At the end of the day, e-commerce software is a combination of knowledge. If you don’t have access to thousands of global cases you can’t imbue the software with knowledge,” Gomide said. “Companies that have been focused on one specific region are now realising that trade is a global thing. China has proven that, so a lot of companies are now coming to us because their existing providers of e-commerce tools can’t ‘do international.’ ” There are very few companies that can serve that global approach and that is why we are betting on being a global commerce platform, not just one focused on Latin America.”

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