SpoonRocket, the on-demand meal delivery startup that shut down in the U.S. in March, is relaunching in Brazil under its parent company, iFood.Read more
ChatClub is a chatbot platform for Messenger that takes 5 minutes to set up. No need to hire a slew of developers, AI experts or UI designers.Read more
Bots and specifically AI chatbots are a buzzword that seems to have infected the tech industry in the last year and are starting to make their way into the mainstream consciousness.Read more
The Brazilian-based mobile application and services developer Movile is continuing its push to dominate the Latin American market with the expansion of its on demand delivery and distribution service, Rappido into the Mexican market.Read more
When searching for the next big startup, the time has come to look beyond Silicon Valley!Read more
The mobile market opportunity is massive: more than 100 million people in Brazil are already online today, and there are nearly another 100 million more to go.Read more
A recent report noted that 39 percent of all mobile users in the U.S. had made a mobile payment in 2015. This is up from 14 percent in 2014 and by my estimations will in the 70 percent range by 2017.Read more
The on-demand delivery market has now raised more money in the first four months of 2015 than it did in all of 2014, and the latest beneficiary is the Brazilian mobile application and content developer Movile.Read more
The company has received a $40 million commitment from the South African technology investor and media company, Naspers (whose other investments include global technology giants like China’s Tencent, India’s Flipkart, Russia’s Mail.ru, and Latin America’s OLX).
Movile’s latest $40 million financing, which brings the company’s total commitments to nearly $100 million, is just about keeping pace with its competitors globally. A ridiculous amount of money has been invested into delivery companies of all stripes this year, with totals reaching $1.28 billion so far this year, according to data from CrunchBase.
Technology companies like Rocket Internet (Germany’s “startup factory”) have made some of the biggest bets, but venture capital firms have also been taking big swings on the delivery space. Investments in companies like Instacart, which raised $210 million at the end of last year, and Postmates, which just raised $35 million in financing, show that investors think this is an industry that can deliver returns.
“We believe this is a billion dollar opportunity,” says Fabricio Bloisi, Movile’s chief executive. “Everyone will start to use the mobile phone to supply what they want within 30 minutes to an hour.”
In addition to all of the venture money pouring in, Bloisi points to the delivery services launched by the largest technology companies like Alibaba, Amazon, and Google.
Over the past several years, Movile, which still operates a successful content distribution business (mainly educational and entertainment apps and content for children), has made ten acquisitions to bolt on delivery services. Bloisi and his investors see the trend of online-to-offline commerce as the future of the business.
“Movile is focused on local commerce and content,” he says. “We raised this round from Naspers and we expect to double our investments in [online-to-offline services].”
Currently Movile offers food and ticket delivery services, through its iFood and Cinepapaya subsidiaries, as well as delivery logistics and online reviews through a suite of acquisitions made over the last two years. And in some ways, its expansion mirrors that of its German rival, Rocket Internet.
“We want to expand from cinema to other verticals and we want to go to Latin America,” says Bloisi. “The big thing for us is we see the synergy of local commerce. once we sell the user food we can also sell tickets or they can also buy grocery delivery. We have 65% of sales on food through mobile.
And, while the focus now is on consolidating in Brazil and moving into the rest of Latin America, Movile definitely sees their strategy in global terms.
“Probably you saw we have a food war running in the world,” says Bloisi. “There are other players including German players who are trying to beat us in the world.”
While these big competitors indubitably create obstacles in certain markets, it’s a big world, and Movile’s investors think there are still pockets of opportunity.
It is a global opportunity and we look very carefully at where we go. When we look at these opportunities we look to see what is worth buying and what is worth growing internally,” says Veronica Serra, a partner with Innova Capital. “In general you look at size and scale and what’s least penetrated in the market. It’s a touchy subject where we’re looking because we don’t want to call attention to where we looked at because of competition.Close
PlayKids, the video subscription service that focuses on kids under five, launched the iOS version of its app in China Thursday. PlayKids wants to win over Chinese consumers with local kids titles like Mumu Tribe, Our Friend Xiong Xiaomi and Dinobob.Read more
PlayKids head of international expansion Eduardo Henrique told me during a recent interview that the company decided to focus on iOS in part because the Chinese Android market is more fragmented, but also because that’s where the company has seen more traction across its other 26 markets. “Most of our revenues are from the iOS platform,” he said.
PlayKids has seen more than eight million downloads of its app, and PlayKids users have played more than 500 million videos through the app. The service is owned and operated by Latin America’s mobile app specialist Movile. Henrique told me the company focused entirely on international expansion in 2014, but it may add a version for kids over five in 2015.Close
Brazilian internet conglomerate Movile is pushing deeper into consumer investments in Latin America through a $2 million investment in mobile movie ticketing company, CinePapaya.Read more
The company says it will use the funds to enter new markets, hire new staff, and increase product innovation as part of the Movile network of companies.
The Peruvian-based company has expanded to Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Ecuador and works with theaters like Cinemark.
The company’s services include searching and buying tickets, with additional features that allow users to find films based on their personal availability.
CinePapaya is working with Chilevision and ATV, and its app is available on iOS, Android, and Windows Phones.
According to a recent survey, global box office revenues from 2013 increased by four percent from the previous year, creating an industry worth $35.9 billion. The Latin American box office saw sales increase seven percent, centered around Mexico which rose sixteen percent, and Argentina, which rose eight percent. The numbers, provided by Movile, show a market that’s ripe for new players.
“We’re building a comprehensive suite of apps that will encompass key consumer verticals.” said Fabricio Bloisi, Movile’s founder and chief executive. “It’s exciting to be building the next generation of apps that will define how millions of Latin Americans get the goods and services they want through their phone.”
Overall, Movile’s smartphone and tablet applications for content and commerce along with its push into online-to-offline commerce have meant an expanding headcount. The company now employs 400 staffers and connects to 40 carriers with 700 million subscribers. The company’s been backed by the South African tech company, Naspers, since 2008.Close