Today, as Merama announces the largest Series B ever in Latin America ($225M of equity led by Softbank and Advent), we reflect on why MAYA invested in Merama’s very first round of funding. In a nutshell, Merama has assembled an extraordinary team dedicated to fixing the inefficiencies in the vibrant, growing eCommerce market that still faces several challenges.
Extraordinary Team: Merama was co-founded by CEO Sujay Tyle, who formerly co-founded and led Frontier Car Group (sold to Naspers for ~$700M USD), Felipe Delgado (former CEO of Beetmann Energy), Olivier Scialom (former co-founder of Petsy, an e-commerce that sold to Maskota); and Renato Andrade (formerly, McKinsey Brazil) and Guilherme Nosralla (formerly, Wildlife Studios).
Having known Sujay and Felipe for almost five years, funding whatever they decided to build next was a no-brainer decision for us. After Monica studied with them at HBS, we followed Sujay’s success at FCG as well as Felipe’s at Beetmann in Mexico. The combination of two successful 2nd-time founders and a Mexican expert made this an impressive team we wanted to bet on. Eventually, we also met Renato Frade and Guilherme Nosralla and noticed that their expertise in retail and their network in Brazil was the missing puzzle piece to create the strongest e-commerce rollup team in Latin America (this is the reason why we introduced the teams that ended up deciding to work together).
Huge, growing market with many inefficiencies to be solved: Online sales in Latin America have grown quickly at ~24% CAGR in the past 5 years (with Brazil and Mexico leading the pack in Latin America, and globally as the 2nd and 5th fastest growing eCommerce markets worldwide). This growing e-commerce penetration paves the way for creative solutions that increase top sellers’ results. The growth has brought sellers from the offline to the online and has enabled digitally native brands to quickly gain customers’ attention. Nevertheless, these sellers still face many challenges, such as: i) growing their top line, regulating product selection, and optimizing pricing strategy, and ii) gaining efficiencies in procurement, logistics, customer support, and other back-office activities to reduce costs. Many sellers could unlock (and capture) significant value creation should they partner with e-commerce experts that could also provide them with capital to fund growth.
Merama is the partner of choice for top sellers across Latin America: Merama gets it – the strongest team will lead the market. Unlike other aggregators executing a roll-up strategy, Merama cherry-picks few sellers to partner with. These are usually the category leaders and top brand merchants across Latin America. It then offers a toolkit that includes e-commerce expertise, operational capabilities, and low-cost capital to speed up sales and profits growth. Somewhat similar models abroad have seen significant success, such as Thras.io in the USA (raised ~$1.7B USD in funding) and The Hut Group (publicly traded British company, with a valuation around $9B USD). And now, MAYA believes Merama is best positioned to win the Latin American market!
If you are or know a leading category seller or top brand, please reach out to MAYA or the Merama team. Let’s partner up!
Now, if you wonder what the Merama team thinks about the partnership with MAYA, we’ve asked the founders:
"Many investors simply talk about it, but MAYA's team truly feel like colleagues and partners rather than just investors with their own agendas. While they are extremely connected and have several high profile portfolio companies to look after, they still manage to be ultra responsive and helpful at the most granular of levels: from reaching out to dozens of potential candidates, thinking through strategy, and shaping up future funding rounds", said SujayTyle, CEO and Co-Founder of Merama.
“The MAYA team has been a great partner for Merama since day one. Every week we are in contact to discuss business, ask for advice, and explore the excellent networking of the MAYA team. It has been a great pleasure to grow Merama with the support of MAYA”, said Renato Andrade Co-founder and CEO of Merama Brazil.
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