Mexican Kavak walks away with $ 700m in new funding, doubling valuation to $ 8.7bn
Kavak, a Mexico City-based startup that taps a used car market in Latin America, today announced it has raised $ 700 million in a Series E funding round, more than doubling the valuation of the company at $ 8.7 billion.
This news is notable for several reasons. On the one hand, that’s a staggering sum for any startup, let alone one based in Latin America. Moreover, news of the increase comes just five months after Kavak raised $ 485 million in a Series D at a valuation of $ 4 billion. The investment also marks the second time this year that Kavak has doubled its valuation. (The company only got unicorn status last October.) And finally, the cycle makes Kavak the second most valued startup in all of Latin America – the first being Brazilian fintech Nubank, which earlier this year was valued at $ 30 billion.
General Catalyst, based in Cambridge, Mass., Led Kavak’s Series E, bringing the company’s total raised to more than $ 1.5 billion since its inception in 2016. Tiger Global, Spruce House, D1 , SEA, Founders Fund, Ribbit Capital, SoftBank and others also participated in the latest funding.
Simply put, Kavak is an online marketplace that aims to bring transparency, security and access to finance to the used car market. He promises to ensuring “reliable” transactions that mitigate fraud and aims to raise the standards of used cars from a mechanical and safety point of view by using artificial intelligence and data technology.
The company also offers its own financing through its fintech arm, Kavak Capital, which it launched about 18 months ago.
“I like to describe it as if Spotify, Amazon, Toyota and Citibank had a child, then something like Kavak would be born,” Kavak co-founder and CEO Carlos García Ottati said in an interview with TechCrunch.
Obviously, the company’s business model seems to be working. Kavak doubled his income every three to five months, according to García Ottati. And over the past 14 months, it’s no surprise – given the increase in its valuation and all the capital it has raised – that Kavak has grown exponentially – from 300 to over 5,000. employees in Latin America, to meet this García Ottati describes as high demand. The startup currently has 40 logistics and reconditioning hubs in Mexico, Brazil and Argentina. This compares to more than 2,500 employees and 20 logistics and reconditioning hubs in Mexico and Argentina during its last increase in April. Over the years he has served “hundreds of thousands” of clients.
“What excites me about this increase is a reflection of Kavak’s ambition that we have and what we want to build, and less of the need,” he said. “More importantly, it will allow us to think long term and build a true generational business. “
Financial inclusion is a big part of Kavak’s mission besides wanting to make it easier for people to own cars, and thus improve their professional and personal lives, added García Ottati, who was inspired to start the company afterwards. his own challenges in selling a car. in Colombia and try to buy one in Mexico.
“If we do our job well, in the next 20 years the middle class is expected to grow by 30% in emerging markets simply by providing financing products to a huge number of excluded people today, giving them a tool that can definitely improve their lives, ”he said. “We also want to bethe super app, or ecosystem of services, that enhances mobility and financial health and does more than just help people buy and sell cars. “
Going forward, Kavak plans to use its new capital in part to expand in Latin America, with plans to start operating in several other markets over the next 12 months. Longer term, he envisions expansion into “other emerging markets” globally. He also plans to continue hiring, especially engineers and product specialists, as well as doubling product development.
García Ottati is also excited about the impact of Kavak’s rise on the Latin American startup scene as a whole.
“It’s wonderful to bring new funds that had not yet invested in the region to see what LatAm looks and works like and works,” he said. “They can see that we are tackling deep and important issues.”
General Catalyst chief executive Adam Valkin believes the startup has established itself as “the undisputed leader” in the used car market in Latin America.
“The company has developed a manual for delivering a transformational customer experience with a compelling and effective business model,” he said in a written statement. “We are delighted that Kavak is expanding into other emerging markets where a similar opportunity exists to foster financial inclusion and empower the middle class through access to car ownership.”