Posted on Monday, Apr 20th 2015
According to a recent eMarketer report, total retail sales in Brazil are estimated to grow 7.3% in 2015 to $460.06 billion. Total retail sales in the country are projected to grow to $545.33 billion by the year 2018. E-commerce is expected to continue to see double digit growth through 2018. Retail e-commerce is expected to grow 15.5% in 2015 to $18.8 billion and continue to grow to $26.2 billion by 2018. Here is the story of Dafiti, Brazil’s representative to the Billion Dollar Unicorn club.
Sao Paulo-based Dafiti was founded by four partners Malte Horeyseck, Malte Huffmann, Thibaud Lecuyer, and Philipp Povel—all newcomers to the country. Back in 2010, the partners rented a 20 square feet office and spent two months calling large national shoe manufacturers to set up an online shoe store called Dafiti. Within a year, the four foreigners had mastered both the Portuguese language and built a business that was reporting strong growth. Their initial success attracted Berlin-based Rocket Internet’s attention, and they invested in them to help maintain growth. It was a wise investment decision for Rocket as Dafiti is among its more successful ventures.
With the fresh influx of funds, Dafiti expanded to other products ranging from shoes, clothes, accessories, beauty product, and home products to even sports paraphernalia. They set up five sites to sell products in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico besides Brazil. They have now become the largest e-commerce fashion and lifestyle site in Latin America. They have a portfolio of more than 70,000 products from over a thousand brands, accessed by over 50 million monthly unique visitors.
Early last month, the company also opened their first brick-and-mortar store. The Brazilian store is expected to help them improve their customer order experience. The store will allow customers to shop through tablets or smartphones and will also let them search for products in the store even after the store has been closed.
Dafiti keeps their financials confidential. According to market reports, back in 2012, they had recorded net revenues of €92.7 million (~121.4 million). Analysts estimate that their revenues had increased to $200 million by 2013. More recent revenues or profitability figures are not available.
Dafiti is venture funded so far with $249.3 million in funding received from investors including International Finance Corporation, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Summit Partners, Investment AB Kinnevik, Quadrant Capital Advisors, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., and Rocket Internet. They received their last round of funding in January 2014 when they raised €15 million (~$16.1 million) from International Finance Corporation (IFC) at an undisclosed valuation. The IFC has been investing in startups in emerging markets to help boost the economies of these countries. The company’s valuation may be unknown, but they appear to be a strong contender for the Billion Dollar Unicorn club.
More investigation and analysis of Unicorn companies can be found in my latest Entrepreneur Journeys book, Billion Dollar Unicorns. Unicorns will also be discussed with some special guests during our 1M/1M Roundtable programs over the next few weeks. To be a part of the conversation, please register here. The term Unicorn was coined in a TechCrunch article by Aileen Lee of Cowboy Ventures.
This segment is a part in the series : Billion Dollar Unicorns
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