99minutos, a logistics services company for e-commerce sellers across Latin America, is moving fast to attract funding. It today announced an $82 million Series C funding, led by Oak HC/FT, with participation from existing investors Kaszek and Prosus Ventures.
The latest round follows a $40 million Series B investment last May from Prosus and Kaszek and brings the company’s total funding to approximately $128.7 million. That’s when we discovered the origins of the Mexico City-based company, founded by CEO Alexis Patjane, who ran a food truck manufacturing business in Mexico.
Patjane told TechCrunch that he is not immediately seeking additional capital after the Series B closes and in fact intends to start raising again this year. However, opportunities with new clients presented themselves, the company was growing, and there was a ton of interest from venture capitalists.
“This interest hasn’t happened before,” he added. “It was a life-changing round. We contacted 77 funds, and three said ‘yes’, and the rest said ‘no’. It was depressing to hear all the ‘no’s. Now that we’ve positioned the brand and the company, getting the other party interested is flattering and helps get things done faster. »
He was particularly interested in speaking with Oak HC/FT because of its global presence and approach of bringing together its portfolio companies around tips and advice for founders. Patjane did not divulge 99minutos’ assessment, but said the company is now afraid of being a unicorn and in the next round it will be able to announce something bigger.
Since e-commerce and logistics companies, like Amazon, arrived in Mexico, a lot of infrastructure has been created around this industry, Patjane said. Traditional companies, like FedEx and DHL, were there before, as were country-specific delivery companies, but the service was expensive, not available every day, and not tied to technology.
With the retail e-commerce market in Latin America poised to reach $160 million by 2025 from around $85 billion in 2021, Patjane believes 99minutos must be the first tech company to build the logistics infrastructure needed to scale, have a fast delivery experience – receive packages tomorrow instead of 10 days from now – and offer specialized services.
When we last reported on the company in 2021, it was operating in 40 markets and is now present in 60 markets across Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru, with a target of opening in two more countries, yet to be determine this year. Patjane plans to be at 95% penetration in all its current markets before connecting its services to other countries.
At the same time, the company processes more than 15 million parcels per year, with the aim of delivering them in less than 99 minutes, the same day or the next day via its fleet of electric vehicles.
Patjane intends to invest the new funding in scaling new business models, expanding into new geographies with Latin America, and new sustainability initiatives in line with the low-emissions goals of company’s carbon footprint to increase its use of electric vehicles.
Some of its new offerings since the last increase include Punto 99, a pickup and drop-off network that handles the entire fulfillment and returns process. The company has opened more than 500 stations, including label printing stations, where people can pick up or drop off their packages. Patjane plans to increase the number of these “hubs” to 8,000 in Mexico by the end of the year.
It also has a SaaS customer route tracking and optimization tool called Routa 99 that determines the best way to get a package to its destination and in what type of vehicle.
Meanwhile, 99minutos has 5,000 employees working in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru, and Patjane aims to reach between 8,000 and 10,000 by the end of the year. It also works with over 120,000 clients, mostly business-to-business. Revenue increased three times year over year.
Allen Miller, director of Oak HC/FT, said in a written statement that the growth of the e-commerce industry in Latin America in recent years has facilitated the need for better technology in order for orders to reach their final destination.
“99minutos addresses this need and has expanded impressively beyond its core last mile offering to become the leading logistics and technology fulfillment company in the region,” added Miller. “We look forward to supporting the team as the company continues to grow and expand in Latin America.”