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Nuvemshop – accelerating the digital transformation of MSMEs in Latin America

THE IDEA

Nuvemshop was founded in 2011 by a team of young software engineers with the vision to help entrepreneurs become active and successful participants in the new, digital economy. Nuvemshop helps micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Latin America accelerate their digital transformation by offering a one-stop shop of seamlessly integrated solutions that enable them to sell online. By enabling the setup, management, payments, logistics and promotion of their online store from any device, Nuvemshop helps these merchants expand their sales channels, efficiently acquire new customers and increase their revenues multifold. Nuvemshop was the first venture for Elevar that explored offerings for MSMEs beyond financial services.

Nuvemshop
Invested 2017

Nuvemshop allows micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Latin America to access new sale channels by enabling the setup, management, and promotion of their online business easily and from any device, thus increasing their productivity and sales.

MSMEs in Argentina and Brazil account for >99% of enterprises and >64% of employment, and are concentrated in the commerce and services sectors.

e.M CASE STUDY

Nuvemshop – accelerating the digital transformation of MSMEs in Latin America

FOUNDER DETAILS

Santiago Sosa, Co-Founder and CEO, brings 15+ years of experience in technology and e-commerce. Together with his co-founders, he has built a top-notch leadership team with expertise in software development and engineering, product and business development, sales, and customer service. In addition to strong execution, the team brings a thoughtful merchant-centric approach that has allowed Nuvemshop to intimately understand MSME pain points and build localized, cost-effective solutions to successfully address them. 

OUR APPROACH: WHY DID WE INVEST IN NUVEMSHOP?

Having worked closely with underserved communities in Latin America, Elevar had identified a massive financial and impact opportunity in addressing the pain points and productivity gaps faced by micro, small and medium enterprises. In Latin America, MSMEs account for 90% of the companies and 70% of the jobs, many employing low-income workers, but only ~25% of the GDP.  Yet, given their size and level of informality, these businesses operate in a constrained environment and lack access to capital, technology and efficient market linkages. Closing the productivity gap between MSMEs and large enterprises can have massive, positive implications for economic growth, employment, and poverty reduction.

When we spoke to small entrepreneurs and merchants who were the target customer base of Nuvemshop, we found that they were passionate about their products and customers but had limited avenues to sell offline and close to none to sell online.  The vast majority of these MSMEs were solo entrepreneurs who were selling to friends and family or had a small physical store.  For those trying to sell through online marketplaces, the time spent on managing the inventory, communication and shipping distracted them from what they did best – creating and selling quality products. Furthermore, many wanted to convey their own brand, image and voice to customers, which could only happen in an owned store.  When such merchants  joined Nuvemshop, the boost to the productivity and performance of their business was substantial.  Given the growth and potential of ecommerce in Latin America, Nuvemshop allowed them to participate in a massive opportunity.  In 2017, the year we invested, e-commerce sales in Latin America surpassed the $50 billion dollar mark.

This growth story has only been accelerated with Covid, and we expect a massive disruption around commerce in the next 15 years that will  lead to a majority of retail being tech-enabled in some way.

Today, the $85 billion e-commerce market in Latin America is growing rapidly, with projections of reaching $116.2 billion in 2023. Yet, in Latin America as a whole, e commerce penetration is somewhere between 5 and 10% compared to 21.3% in the US and 44.8% in China. More importantly, the density of MSMEs in most Latin American countries is higher as compared to the US – an indicator of the exponential impact that Nuvemshop can have on MSMEs and the region.  

By reducing the barriers of entrepreneurship and accelerating merchants’ digital transformation, Nuvemshop’s platform has enabled thousands of MSMEs across Latin America to succeed.

Nuvemshop’s proposition aligns well with our e.MTM framework and vision for companies that create and thrive on momentum.

LAhWSTM Proposition: 90% of Nuvemshop customers are MSMEs with less than 5 employees, and in a COVID influenced world, are earning almost 100% of their revenue online. This dynamic combined with the range of solutions Nuvemshop provides, means that it occupies a high share of the customers’ wallet and is extremely valuable as a partner. Furthermore, with pricing plans that can range from $5-90/month subscription fee and a low 0.5-2% sales take rate, Nuvemshop offers flexible and affordable options to its customers. This leads to a low ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), thereby making Nuvemshop customers fit the definition of LAhWS.

Customer Business Value: The range and depth of services that Nuvemshop provides is extremely attractive. Merchants have the ability to create their online store, manage inventory, promotions and orders, offer a range of payment options to their customers and streamline logistics. The company is creating its own white label logistics and payments solutions, cheaper than other options available to MSMEs in the market. With an MSME average sale of close to $1,000/month and an average cost of only $20/month, the value to cost ratio to the MSME is extremely attractive .

The Customer Business Value is further enhanced by Nuvemshop’s ecosystem of services and Nuvemshop’s APIs  that allow other service providers / app developers to integrate seamlessly onto the platform. Nuvemshop’s merchants can now easily access a range of curated and high quality logistics, marketing and accounting solutions, just to name a few.  

The e.M Twin Flywheels: Nuvemshop’s ecosystem of solution providers creates a positive feedback loop: as the platform’s value proposition improves with more service providers, it leads to better productivity and performance for sellers, leading to brand loyalty and attracting more sellers on the platform, which in turn attracts more providers, leading to economies of scale.

IMPACT AND PERFORMANCE

From the time Elevar invested in 2017, Nuvemshop has grown from serving and enabling 8,000 MSMEs to 70,000 in 2020. This positions Nuvemshop as one of the largest and most attractive platforms in terms of the number of enterprises served.  Their growth accelerated in 2020 as Covid pushed businesses to come online, and their GMV (Gross Merchandise Value) grew 194% YoY. For MSMEs, the average revenue increase within a year of joining Nuvemshop is 300%. In addition, in the last few months, Nuvemshop has added hundreds of service providers onto their platform. Today, Nuvemshop is outperforming the market and competition in terms of growth rate, especially in core geographies like Brazil.

ELEVAR QUOTES

“This was one of the first deals where we had a founding team which was young. But they had a great mix of vision, nimbleness, and execution orientation, combined with humility and maturity. Santiago addresses concerns in a clear, methodical and smart way, always keeping the customer in mind.  He has been able to attract a high caliber team that has delivered a strong track record. We see huge potential and impact for Nuvemshop in the region.”

Johanna Posada

“Nuvemshop occupies a sweet spot in terms of providing solutions to small merchants, while most other competitors focus on larger clients. They are building a complete commerce ecosystem for SMEs, and continuously adding value to the product while bringing costs down. As the ecosystem grows, so does the loyalty of merchants, thus strengthening the moat around the company.”

Matias Lanus

ENTREPRENEUR QUOTES

“My passion for technology started when I was a kid. At the age of 9, my father gave me an old desktop that got me fascinated with computers. By the time I was in high school, I was making websites and playing around with operating systems. When I went to university to study software engineering, I made friends who were equally passionate about technology and also met students from other streams, keen on starting ventures and entrepreneurship. My friends and I realized there was so much we could do to help them scale and succeed with technology. That idea formed the seed for Nuvemshop. ”

Santiago Sosa, Co-Founder and CEO, Nuvemshop

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