New York-based Mundi, a financial tech platform aimed at facilitating U.S.-Mexico trade, announced Tuesday it raised $7.8 million in a seed round.
“COVID-19 has shown that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are carrying multiple financial risks when trading internationally, such as nonpayment, lack of working capital and currency exposure,” Pustilnick told FreightWaves. “We support Mexican exporters and freight forwarders by offering payment terms on their behalf, allowing them to focus on running their businesses and eliminating other risks.”
Other Latin America-focused freight and logistics-related startups that recently secured funding include Jüsto and Valoreo.
Mexico City-based Valoreo, which is an acquirer of e-commerce businesses, announced Tuesday that it has raised $50 million in a seed funding round. Mexican online grocery delivery app Jüsto said Feb. 10 it raised $65 million in Series A funding.
Founded in 2019, Mexico City-based Jüsto is an online grocery platform that keeps its own stock of goods, which it sends directly from its warehouses to customers’ homes.
Justo operates in Mexico City and the city of Queretaro, with plans to expand to other major Mexican cities. The company offers a broad range of products from both large consumer product companies and smaller local producers.
“Our mission at Jüsto is to become Latin America’s favorite supermarket within the next decade,” Ricardo Weder, Jüsto founder and CEO, said in a statement.
Valoreo is a technology-focused company that acquires and operates branded e-commerce businesses — operations that mainly sell and distribute their products on marketplace platforms like Amazon’s.
Valoreo said it will use its funding to acquire third-party merchants and build out their economies of scale.
“We seek to partner hand-in-hand with Mercado Libre, Amazon and other regional marketplaces, as without these platforms this opportunity would not exist,” Stefan Florea, Valoreo’s co-founder and co-CEO, said in a statement.
In 2020, the Latin American e-commerce market was one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world at 37% year-over-year growth, according to Valoreo.
Like e-commerce, Mundi officials said Mexico and Latin America is a huge potential market for financing B2B transactions in the cross-border marketplace.
Mexico exported more than $417 billion in 2020, according to Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI).
The U.S. is Mexico’s top export market, with almost 90% of its total exports consisting of new cars and tractor trucks, auto parts, electronic equipment, appliances and produce.
Paulina Aguilar, Mundi’s Mexico country director, said SMBs in developed countries represent between 35% and 60% in a country’s foreign trade, while in Mexico the percentage is closer to 10%.
Mundi wants to reduce the risks involved with many B2B transactions in the cross-border marketplace by financing Mexican exporters and freight forwarders through advancing payments for their cross-border transactions.
Mundi now finances Mexican exports selling to any location in the world.
“We have seen a lot of interest from companies exporting to other parts of the world,” Pustilnick said. “We have clients in all types of industries — food, chemicals, plastics, medical supplies, textiles, logistics, footwear, wood and others. We are still focused on smaller clients but have grown as well with medium-sized exporters of up to $20 million a year in exports.”
Pustilnick also said Mundi will use the $7.8 million in funding to hire more employees and expand its features.
“We are doubling down on our core product to grow our customer base,” Pustilnick said. “This will be done by improving our current product, as well as launching new financial products that we hear interest [about] from current and prospective customers. We are growing the team from 30 to 70 people with the funding.”
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