Praso, a B2B platform connecting businesses with restaurants, bars, bakeries, and cafes, has raised $9.5 million in a Series A funding round.
The Brazil-based startup’s new investment round was led by Valor Capital Group and NFX, alongside Base Partners, Formus Capital (Alarko and Sabanci), Iporanga Ventures, and Endeavor Scale-Up. The round had been anticipated by Bloomberg Línea.
Praso used the capital injection to acquire the intellectual property of Floki, a food technology company specialising in automated solutions for bar and restaurant procurement.
The intention behind this purchase is to expand Praso’s product portfolio over the next year. Praso’s multi-category e-commerce platform offers a wide range of supplies and supermarket products, spanning categories such as spices, flour, grains, cereals, dairy products, oils, olives, beverages, and everyday consumables. This expansion is expected to improve the B2B shopping experience.
Praso, a Brazilian startup, has a geographical focus on the Northeast region of Brazil. The company serves approximately 8,000 small retailers in the region, along with just over 100 suppliers. Praso has 165 staff members working in the states of Pernambuco, Paraíba, Alagoas, and Ceará, and it intends to expand the team and invest more in the product.
The founder of Praso, who has a family history of entrepreneurship, saw the need to create a better experience for small retailers while meeting the industry’s demand for greater reach. This inspiration led to the creation of Praso, which initially started as a purchasing and inventory platform. The company’s plan was to spare restaurant owners the trip to buy food items like fruits and vegetables, but it quickly evolved to encompass financial services. Praso now offers credit to small retailers, allowing them to purchase inputs and products with greater flexibility.
Praso charges commissions on the products sold on the platform and also charges a fee for credit and working capital offers for small retailers. The company’s mission is to be the “best employee a retailer never had,” offering simple and effective solutions to allow them to focus on growing their businesses.
Praso’s CEO explained that the company’s focus remains on the Northeast, where there is still ample room for growth. The company aims to bring more suppliers to its platform, becoming a kind of one-stop-shop for restaurants and small business supplies.
The acquisition of Floki, an automated procurement solution for bars and restaurants, adds a new dimension to Praso’s business. The company is incorporating this technology into its platform to add more value to its customers, enabling them to make informed decisions about purchases and inventory. The integration with Floki also raises the question of how Praso intends to position itself in the market in relation to other startups with similar business models, such as Inventa and Zak.
When asked about expansion plans, Praso’s CEO emphasized that the focus remains on the Northeast. The company intends to expand its logistics network with two distribution centers and bring more suppliers to its platform, becoming a one-stop-shop for restaurants and small business supplies.
In Latin American countries, small businesses face many difficulties in obtaining credit and managing their operations, which has resulted in market volatility. Praso’s platform offers a solution to these issues and has attracted investment from Valor Capital Group and NFX. The Brazilian food services startup has raised $9.5 million in a Series A round led by these investors.
Praso’s expansion and innovation in the fintech industry show the potential for entrepreneurship and growth in Latin America. The company’s success in providing financial services to small businesses in the Northeast region of Brazil demonstrates the need for innovation in the credit and debt market for small businesses.
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