As consumers, it’s easy to take for granted how simple it has become to discover, engage, and buy from our favorite brands and retailers over the past decade. The broader ecosystem around online commerce, particularly over the last few years, has spread across B2C verticals and geographies. However, for B2B commerce, most industries continue to run on phone calls, trade shows, paper notebooks, and physical transactions. This is even truer in emerging markets like Brazil, where only 2% of B2B transactions have come online (vs 15% in the US).
And yet local retail is the lifeblood of Brazil. $145b in sales (20% of GDP) flow through 4.9m small retailers in Brazil. In their consumer lives, store owners can buy through marketplaces like Rappi and Mercado Libre – but in running their shops, they are left to comb through paper catalogs, travel to trade shows, pay a 25% markup to distributors, and eyeball order quantities. This gap is growing more stark as generational transition happens, and consumer expectations evolve accordingly. And the pain point is especially felt in highly fragmented markets with nascent credit and logistics infrastructure.
Enter Inventa, Brazil’s leading B2B marketplace to connect local retailers with suppliers across categories like beauty, wellness, home decor, and more. In the past year since launching, Inventa has grown rapidly to connect 40,000+ retailers with 800+ suppliers. Inventa extends credit terms to these retailers, and supports them in improving margins by optimizing inventory levels and selection – a capability most of these retailers never previously had access to. There is an elegant growth flywheel inherent to this model – brands refer their existing retailer relationships to Inventa, and retailers subsequently expand share within Inventa as more suppliers join the network.
While seeing these kinds of network effects materialize at such an early stage got us very excited, seeing the caliber of team form around this mission got us even more excited. I’ve known Marcos for the last decade and have watched him evolve as a real leader and talent magnet in the space – bringing on strong DNA from his experience as GM of the groceries business at Rappi.
After a decade of friendship and first investing at the Series A, I’m thrilled to announce Greylock is leading the Series B in Inventa, and I’ll be joining the board. B2B commerce is one of the key themes we’ve been excited about at Greylock, as we’ve partnered with founders across verticals like foodservice (Pepper) and raw materials (Novi), and now emerging geographies. If you’re interested in transforming the way local retail is built across LatAm, Inventa is hiring!