Brazilian online food delivery app iFood has raised US$500 million in what is described as the largest fundraising in Latin American technology market to date.
European private equity firm Innova Capital and Naspers have reportedly agreed to invest US$400 million, along with Just Eat and Movile, which is already the majority shareholder in the Brazilian startup, contributing the remaining US$100 million.
The proceeds, iFood says, will be used to streamline business operations with new technologies and expand the company’s footprints in Latin America.
iFood has partnered with 50,000 restaurants and 120,000 couriers across the region, mainly in Brazil. In a statement, the startup said that it was ‘just at the beginning of its journey’ and that it was foreseeing a strong growth.
iFood seems very much eager to harness artificial intelligence (AI), as it believes the technology will help it improve customer services in addition to reducing costs related to logistics.
Analysts say iFood is growing twice as fast as its American competitors, such as Grubhub. In October this year, the Brazilian firm received 390,000 orders, more than twice the number of (183,000) orders it received during the same month in 2017.
“We have been impressed by their execution in Brazil and remain committed to backing the company on its path to transform the entire food chain to better serve consumers,” said Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures.
“….with an increased investment commitment of this size, we will be able to build out our state- of-the- art technology platform, and increase our courier and restaurant partners to even better serve our current and future customers in Latin America,” said Carlos Moyses, iFood’s CEO.