Naspers backing R5.8-billion iFood funding round

In what is being billed as part of the largest technology venture funding ever in Latin America, Naspers and Innova Capital have agreed to invest US$400-million (about R5.8-billion) in iFood, a food delivery platform controlled by mobile marketplace Movile.

Naspers and Innova will invest the money into Movile to use for further investment in iFood, the leading online food delivery platform in Latin America, of which Movile is a majority shareholder.

Movile and a company called Just Eat have already invested $100-million in iFood, earlier in 2018. “iFood’s extraordinary growth and the vast market opportunity in Brazil, and more broadly in Latin America, has driven the increased investment commitment,” Naspers said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

“iFood is just at the beginning of its journey and the opportunity for continued explosive growth is immense,” it said. “The increased investment commitment from Naspers, Innova and Movile will accelerate that growth, speed up product development and innovation, and fuel geographical expansion for iFood across the region.”

Naspers said iFood will use artificial intelligence to gain a “more profound” knowledge of consumers — to personalise the food delivery experience so that people eat better and higher-quality food, and at a reduced price because of improved logistics.

“iFood has established itself as a technology leader in Latin America and its success stacks up with some of the most innovative food companies that are leading regions in North America, Europe and Asia,” said Naspers Ventures CEO Larry Illg in the statement. “We have been impressed by their execution in Brazil and remain committed to backing the company on its path to transform the entire food chain to better serve consumers.”

iFood reached 390 000 orders per day in Brazil in the last week of October, compared to 183 000 in October 2017.  — © 2018 NewsCentral Media