Colombian food delivery startup Rappi to receive $1bn investment: 'It is time for a technology-driven Latin America'

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / John Vizcaino
©GettyImages / John Vizcaino

Related tags Colombia startups food delivery Technology

Rappi, an on-demand food delivery service, has received an investment of "up to $1bn" from SoftBank and its 'Vision Fund', marking the largest technology investment made for a Latin America-based company to date.

It will also be the first investment for SoftBank Vision Fund, a tech fund launched by SoftBank Group Corp. (SBG) in 2019. SBG and the Vision Fund will each invest up to $500 million in Rappi. 

“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," said Marcelo Claure, SoftBank Group’s chief operating officer, CEO of SoftBank Group International, and CEO of Innovation Fund.

“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,"​ added Jeffrey Housenbold, managing partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Rappi to grow network in Latin America

Founded in Colombia in 2015, Rappi has become the major on-demand delivery service in Latin America registering 20% monthly growth in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Perú, and Uruguay. In 2016, the startup raised $200m in funding from entering the Y-Combinator venture capital competition. 

“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 Simon Borrero, co-founder and CEO of Rappi. 

Rappi co-founders

The $1bn investment will enhance Rappi’s presence in existing markets and accelerate growth into additional markets throughout the Latin American region, as well as into additional product and service areas. In 2018, Rappi expanded the number of products it delivers by seven times including groceries, restaurant orders, drugstore medications, and ATM cash withdrawals made by Rappi courier. The company's mobile app features digital shelves where users can swipe items into their virtual basket and pay debit or credit cards. 

“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 Rappi co-founder Sebastian Mejia. 

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