October 16 of 2020

Why We Invested in Chiper: Empowering the Digital Transformation of the Underserved Corner Store Market in Latin America

San Francisco, California
Brian Walsh and Bob Ma

At WIND Ventures, we are thrilled to announce our participation in Chiper’s $12M Series A investment to accelerate the company’s impressive growth. Chiper is a Colombia-based tech startup that is driving the digital transformation of one of Latin America’s largest and most important retail channels: corner stores. We invested alongside an outstanding group of co-investors, including Monashees and Kaszek Ventures, who have collectively backed some of the most recognizable unicorn startups in Latin America including Rappi, Nubank, and 99.

This investment aligns with our focus on investing in the companies that will define the next era of energy, retail, and mobility and our aim is very simple: to join CEO and Co-founder Jose Bonilla, and the entire Chiper team, on their mission to make Latin America’s important corner store channel efficient, equitable and enjoyable for owners, customers and suppliers alike.

Today, the Latin American corner store market is very large, generating over $330B in annual revenue, and an essential element of everyday life, especially for low-and-medium income consumers. Corner stores provide everything from groceries to personal care products to baby products. One metric that caught our attention very early was that over 65% of groceries in Latin America are purchased at corner stores. The problem, however, is that the entire sector is highly inefficient and delivers, generally, a very poor owner and customer experience. Each store is typically a separate owner, so this $330B in annual revenue is made up of independent stores, each making ~$30,000 annually.

To date, there has been very little opportunity for store owners to adopt technology for two reasons: 1) store economics generally do not allow for CAPEX investments; and 2) the lack of time. A typical corner store owner will wake up at 4 AM to stock the store, then meets with 20+ visiting vendors and does this with virtually with no data or business intelligence.

Chiper is solving these problems through technology and already has 3,000 active stores across Mexico and Colombia today. At the heart of Chiper’s solution is a digital platform that not only standardizes procurement, inventory management, distribution and other processes to drive efficiencies, but aggregates the demand across corner stores for better product prices. Driving much of this are proprietary machine learning algorithms that optimize every step of the process and improve the order-to-delivery time from many days (or weeks sometimes) to within 18 hours. Chiper also lends its brand to corner stores once certain metrics are achieved, building a widely recognizable brand for a superior customer experience.

Chiper, in effect, is digitizing the entire channel and with Latin American consumers highly urbanized and highly connected via smartphones, the timing for Chiper could not be better.

Chiper is led by a seasoned team of digital transformation experts and industry operators. CEO and co-founder Jose Bonilla previously served as CEO of Imaginamos, a Latin American digital transformation consulting and design firm that had incubated Rappi, the unicorn delivery startup. COO Oscar Sarria and CRO Carolina Garcia, also co-founders, bring extensive experience in sales and business development at top Latin American CPG companies.

We’re excited to work with Chiper to continue its impressive growth and positive impact in Latin America and to help investigate adjacency opportunities within the e-commerce and last-mile delivery trends currently exploding throughout the region.