MEXICO CITY : Mexican e-commerce startup Zubale, which pairs gig workers with storefronts or warehouses to complete packaging or deliveries, is eyeing an expansion to Brazil and Chile as a part of a $40 million Series A funding round, announced this week.
The round, led by venture capital group QED Investors which also backed Mexico's Konfio last year, follows a series of pre-seed funds totaling $8 million.
A play on words for the Spanish "subale," meaning "hop on" or "raise up," the name Zubale comes from the startup's mission to "(empower) people who have a smartphone to connect to our marketplace," founder Allison Campbell told Reuters.
The company instantly matches temporary workers with businesses needing labor for storage, packing and delivering orders for supermarkets, retailers or restaurants.
In a market that analysts say could be worth $200 billion by 2025, "retailers are under pressure," Campbell said. Customers in Latin America now expect an "incredible experience in their digital channel offered by applications," she said.
Zubale started out of Mexico in 2019 and is looking to rapidly grow in Latin America, where it already has operations in Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru. It says it plans to launch in Brazil and Chile in the first half of 2022.
Campbell says the advantage of Zubale for storefronts over its competitors is brand recognition - customers will not have to use a third-party app like Rappi or Cornershop to order.
Zubale is hoping to triple its sales in 2022, it said in a statement.