Cisneros plans to invest up to US$20 million in the startup, the first US$10 million coming now. It will have the option to double its funding within the year and could back other Rocket Internet companies in Brazil as well (CupoNation, anyone?).
Founded in 2011, Mobly is a leading Brazilian e-commerce platform for housewares, furniture, lighting and decorations. Headed by Victor Noda, Marcelo Marques and Mario Fernandes, the company drives US$8 million in sales each month and brought in US$89.5 million in revenues last year alone.
Mobly has previously received investments from Rocket Internet, of course. It has also been backed by J.P. Morgan and Kinnevik. With this latest round of funding, the company will look towards expanding into other Latin American markets.
Adriana Cisneros de Griffin, Vice Chairman of the Board and Director of Strategy at the Cisneros Group, discussed the organization’s investment decision:
This acquisition is part of our commitment to diversify and strengthen our network of digital businesses in the areas of e-commerce and digital advertising. Mobly is ready to break into the traditional market sales of furniture and home decor and extend its dominance in Latin America because it has the best selection of high quality goods and customer service and delivery that is known for its excellence.
It is worth noting that the Cisneros Group has traditionally been a media-focused entity (behind, for example, RedMas). This move into non-media territory is quite new for the company, which has already tested the waters in backing startups like Cuponidad and Idea.me as well as Tropicalia. Victor Kong, Chief Digital Officer of the Cisneros Group, credited Cisneros de Griffith’s leadership in such new ventures.
This Mobly investment marks yet another case of Rocket Internet’s funding success. Rocket’s Brazilian companies have been bringing in the bucks this year. CupoNation garnered a figure in the seven-digit realm from Holtzbrinck Ventures in March, just months after its Brazilian launch. And Linio, the so-called Amazon of Latin America, has racked up various investments as well.