Delivery firm Rappi to enhance "super-app" with $1bn funding

Having raised the largest round ever seen in Latin America, the "delivery of everything" company plans further developments to its technology stack.

Colombian on-demand delivery company Rappi will supercharge its offering after raising $1 billion in capital in what is the largest ever funding round for a Latin American company.

The investment announced earlier this week was led by Silicon Valley investor SoftBank two months after its announcement of a new fund committed to spending billions on innovative tech enterprises in Central and South America.

Present in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and Peru, Rappi now plans to grow further, as well as into additional product and service areas.

The goal of the Colombian firm's founders is to provide a "super-app" to provide any product or service consumers may need, according to Rappi's co-founder and president, Sebastian Mejia.

"We will continue to focus on building innovations for couriers, restaurants, retailers and start-ups that translate into new sources of growth," he said.

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According to its new backer, Rappi has "an incredible long-term growth opportunity" and potential to "expand far beyond its current business and become one of the most important technology companies in Latin America."

"By creatively addressing the unique market dynamics of the region, Rappi is building a robust technology platform of products and services designed to revolutionize the way consumers shop and live their lives," said managing partner at SoftBank, Jeffrey Housenbold.

Rappi enables purchases of a variety of products and services from categories ranging from restaurants and supermarkets to hiring scooters. The firm has a virtual wallet that allows money transfers and payments in establishments. The company reached unicorn status last year.

The company's billion-dollar boost increases pressure on business and technology development on other Latin competitors such as food delivery iFood, one of the companies under Naspers-backed, Brazilian mobile conglomerate Movile.

iFood, which had become a unicorn back in 2017, announced a $500 million funding round last year, back then the largest investment in a Latin American startup.

The company is also working to develop a financial ecosystem of its own, and has announced a $20 million investment in artificial intelligence last month, with areas of focus including research in machine learning, deep learning, behavioral science and logistics efficiency.