Our Investment in Inventa
When we met Marcos, Fernando, and Laura in mid-2021, Inventa was only a Powerpoint presentation. The team’s energy and passion for the business were infectious and as mission-driven founders with exceptional track records, it did not take long for us to get excited about their ambitious vision to become the leading B2B marketplace for wholesale retail in Latin America. At the time of investment, we believed the team had the right tools to execute on the vision: focus, strategic thinking, great communication skills as well as an ability to attract top talent to the Company — all things we look for in an early stage startup.
A year after our seed investment in Inventa, the Company has grown exponentially reaching more than 40,000 retailers and nearly 1,000 suppliers from a variety of categories. The founders’ speed of execution and impeccable operational skills caught the attention of top Silicon Valley funds as the company closed its Series A and B rounds with investors including Greylock, a16z, Greenoaks, and Tiger.
Inventa, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, is a two-sided B2B marketplace and wholesale platform that helps retailers find and buy unique wholesale merchandise for their stores whilst simultaneously making it easy for brands and suppliers to reach a wider scope of local retailers. Inventa is fueled by the ambition of simplifying the purchasing process for retailers, suppliers, and consumers through a win-win-win dynamic as well as state-of-the-art tech stack.
For retailers today, the process of finding supply is inefficient, expensive, slow and working capital intensive. The vast majority of small retailers are still relying on traditional manual and inefficient means for procuring supply, including messaging one-off relationships, hunters, brokers, trade shows, etc. resulting in a significant market opportunity to bring these retailers online and enhance their inventory purchasing process. For brands, Inventa enables them to access the long tail of independent retailers and gain scale in distribution, which is very difficult for them to achieve on their own today. Consumers also benefit by gaining greater access to high-selling products from their local, independent retailers with more selection.
The market for B2B wholesale retail in Latin America is massive and in the early innings of what we believe to be a multi-decade long trend in digitization. In Brazil alone, Inventa has an addressable market of approximately $300B+ with over 5M small retailers (i.e., <$1M annual sales) who make up 25%+ of the $1.3T retail industry in Brazil. Furthermore, B2B e-commerce market penetration in the region is negligible, with less than 1% of orders done online, compared to more developed countries such as Japan and the US, which have 30%+ and 15%+ penetration, respectively.
Inventa is exciting on many levels beyond just the core marketplace and has platform potential. There are many complementary value-add services that Inventa can also offer including credit and embedded financial services, as retailers are highly credit-constrained today in Latin America. Also, Inventa’s platform can provide enhanced underwriting as the number of transactions and data increases on the platform over time. In addition to take-rate on orders, credit, and payments revenue, Inventa can also capture value in the logistics supply chain, by serving as a platform integrator for numerous logistics carriers down the road. The complementary nature of the founding team is a great fit to execute on this strategy across retailer acquisition, data, and credit as Marcos possesses a deep understanding of the on-the-ground realities facing retailers today, Fernando brings advanced data and analytics experience, and Laura brings a strong understanding of payments and credit.
We could not be more excited with the next chapter ahead. The founding team and the 250+ team members are building an incredible business and we firmly believe Inventa is uniquely positioned to become the category leader in this multi-billion dollar market opportunity in the region. At NXTP, we are thrilled to continue supporting Inventa in the journey ahead. This is just the beginning!