Pandas wants to give Latin American companies purchasing power in Asia – TechCrunch
Access to global supply chains can be difficult for small businesses in Latin America, but companies like it Measurewhich raised funding in March to receive and import goods between Mexico and China, and now more recently Pandasuse foreign relations and technology to make it easier.
In the case of Pandas, the company is doing something similar to Meru, but starting with Colombia, connecting small businesses directly with Asian manufacturers so they can reduce the high fees that often impose half a dozen importers and resellers, as well as logistical problems. Right now, all businesses are facing the fact that the inventory takes much more months than in the days before the pandemic.
Co-founders Rio Xin and Marcos Esterley launched Pandas just three months ago to provide inventory of Asian-origin micro-businesses in Latin America. Their collective experience includes careers at McKinsey and Treinta for Esterli, and McKinsey, more than seven years spent in China, in Xin, where he told TechCrunch that he has deployed a strong network in the region.
“The main problem we’ve seen is people who don’t understand Chinese or how Chinese manufacturers work, and then you add logistical problems,” Xin added. “We are able to overcome the breach while at the same time having our team in China to overcome all these logistics problems.”
Here’s how it works: Businesses order products in the Pandas market, advertising lower prices at which the company can shop in a few clicks. Pandas takes it from there, offering one-day delivery and customer support.
Esterley explained that people in Latin America use smartphones for their personal finances and other tasks, but this is not so quickly being transferred to business.
“A lot of customers have told us that Alibaba is something they wanted to use, but it was very difficult to understand,” he added. “We wanted to create a simple solution that would be very intuitive because business owners don’t have that time.”
Originally providing basic electronic products – headphones, accessories and cables – and with a new round of funding, $ 5.8 million in advance, Pandas will move into categories such as textiles and home accessories. The company advertises the investment to the founder as “the largest financial financier in the Spanish-speaking LatAme to date”.
Third-class venture capital led the round, which was joined by Acequia Capital, Picus Capital, Tekton Ventures, Partech, Liquid2 Ventures, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Gaingels and many individual investors, including Juan Carlos Narvaez of Tula, Jose Jairo’s Treper Mann Hay and Luis Cañadel, Pablo Viger of Belvo, Alfonso de los Rías of Nawports, Judge Tyle of Merama and Gonzalo Manrique of Ironhack.
So far on its young path, the company is growing 100% month by month and has amassed a network of suppliers of about 300 out of 5,000 in China, Xin said.
In addition to moving into these new inventory categories, the new capital will allow Pandas to scale its operations, technology and product development and hire new employees.
Xin expects to appear in most major markets in Latin America in the next three years. At the same time, new features that will appear in the next 12 months include a set of tools of technology and analytics, such as funding.