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E-commerce platform Nuvemshop becomes Brazil’s latest unicorn

Originally appeared in Reuters on August 17, 2021

Having raised $500 million in its latest funding round, Brazilian e-commerce platform Nuvemshop has become the latest unicorn startup in Brazil, the company said on Tuesday.

The funding arrives just five months after Nuvemshop received an investment of 500 million reais ($95.2 million), bringing its 10-month total to $620 million and highlighting how Latin America’s fast-growing e-commerce segment has caught the eye of international investors.

Founded in 2010, Nuvemshop has a network that includes close to 90,000 merchants across Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. With the latest investment, the company plans to expand into Colombia, Chile and Peru.

Unlike e-commerce giants like Inc and Mercadolibre Inc, which develop and use in-house logistics networks and financial services to operate, Nuvemshop allows its merchants to choose their own delivery and payment partners.

According to Nuvemshop, which goes by Tiendanube in Spanish-speaking countries, the latest investment values the company at 16 billion reais ($3.04 billion). The funding round was led by Insight Partners and Tiger Global.

“We hadn’t planned on doing this so early, but this investment will help us gain visibility in the market and prepare us for moments of low activity,” Santiago Sosa, president and co-founder of Nuvemshop, said to Reuters.

The announcement underscores the growth of e-commerce in Latin America, where the digital retail market is expected to quadruple in the coming years and possibly reach penetration levels seen in China, where online shopping makes up almost half of all total sales.

Last week, Mercadolibre said it hoped to use part of its expected 2021 funding of 10 billion reais to complete construction of eight distribution centers in Brazil by the year’s end, with plans to build another in 2022.

Meanwhile, Brazilian retailer Magazine Luiza SA said it plans to double its logistics infrastructure to 2 million square feet, a size that would cover 450 distribution centers and 341 new stores by 2023.