Quinio jumps into world of e-commerce aggregators with $20M seed

The aggregator model has proved to be very successful in Latin America as the e-commerce market explodes in the region. …

A new company is entering the crowded e-commerce aggregator space to acquire and scale high-performing Latin American brands selling on MercadoLibre, Shopify or Amazon.

Quinio, a Mexico-based company, announced today it secured $20 million in a debt-and-equity round that will be used to add more than 30 brands to its portfolio.

The company was founded last year by Juan Gavito, Iker Garay and Gavito’s brother, Santiago Gavito. CEO Juan Gavito, who was previously in digital advertising, and Garay have backgrounds in private equity and venture capital, while Santiago Gavito was scaling startups.

“Iker introduced us to Thrasio’s business model and we got excited,” Juan Gavito told TechCrunch. “We thought this is the way to capture value, so we started working on everything from creating the pipeline, team, tools and understanding the specifics of doing the acquisition.”

Quinio isn’t focused on any certain categories, but is going after medium-sized brands that bring in between $100,000 and $20 million in annual revenue. After acquisition, the Quinio team focuses on increasing sales, operations efficiency and optimizing cost structures.

The company will kick off the new year with 10 brands representing $10 million revenue run rate. That has enabled Quinio to realize double-digit growth each month so far. And although the company is initially looking at acquiring 30 brands, Gavito estimates there are 100,000 sellers across Latin America that fit its strategy among a market worth $105 billion.

The seed round was led by Cometa, which was joined by AlleyCorp, DILA Capital, Western Technology Investment, GBM Ventures, Bridge Partners and a group of entrepreneurs, including Adalberto Flores, founder and CEO of Kueski.

Juan Gavito expects to use over 80% of the new capital on acquiring companies, with a plan of one per month. The company will also expand its staff — at 33 people today — to over 100 by the end of next year as it begins looking for brands outside of Mexico in Chile, Colombia, Brazil and Argentina.

With the new funding, Quinio joins a long list of aggregators, also known as e-commerce roll-ups, around the world that have also attracted investor attention to purchase marketplace companies.

For example, Beijing-based Nebula Brands took in $50 million this week. Before them was Gravitiq, focused on healthcare brands, and Heyday’s $555 million Series C. The big name in aggregators, Thrasio, announced $1 billion in October, while Perch grabbed a large investment of $775 million in May.

Juan Gavito says the e-commerce aggregator model has proved to be very successful in Latin America, with a few initial players launching operations between January and August of this year, all in Mexico.

He notes this is due to the region being one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world, citing a gross merchandise value growth of over 60% in 2020, to $105 billion, which represents double the growth rate initially expected before the global pandemic hit. E-commerce is expected to grow another 30% this year, Juan Gavito said.

One of the ways Quinio is differentiating itself is by acquiring companies with locally sourced products, with plans to have more than 60% of its portfolio this way.

“This is a key differential in terms of lead times and working capital requirements, especially considering the problems that the current Asia supply chain is facing,” Juan Gavito said. “There are just a few players in such a large market, so there is opportunity for all of us to have successful companies and business models. For example, in the U.S., there are more than 20, and many are successful.”

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