The Brazilian online store for baby and maternal products Baby.com.br has closed a $16.7m Series B financing round, the New York Times’ DealBook reports. The round is led by Accel Partners, with a follow-up participation from Tiger Global.
This hefty investment confirms that the e-commerce segment is heating up in Brazil, especially when it comes to baby-related retail. As you may remember, Baby’s competitor Bebê Store closed a new round led by Atomico a few weeks ago. While the exact amount wasn’t disclosed, it was its second round in only 6 months.
As for Baby, its latest round also includes participations from the Valor Capital Group, Menlo Ventures, Greenoaks Capital Management and Chamath Palihapitiya. If you are wondering how a Brazilian startup managed to get so much attention in the Valley, the answer is simple: Baby’s founders are American.
As a matter of fact, the company was founded last year by Brazil-based US MBA graduates Davis Smith and Kimball Thomas, who were keen to tap this growing market. According to Smith, who recently participated in F.ounders’ first event in New York, “Brazil is an exciting place.”
Its founders may be foreigners, but Baby is very well grounded in the Brazilian culture. In addition to the fact that it now employs 104 Brazilian workers, it also has a famous godmother: the TV presenter and singer Angélica, whose support helped the startup get into the mainstream.
Quality baby products are notoriously expensive and hard to find in Brazil, leading members of the upper class to buy strollers and the like in Miami. However, this isn’t necessarily an option for the middle class – a fast-growing segment which Baby intends to tap.
Yet, the company itself has been facing bureaucratic and logistical difficulties; DealBook reports that “because it has not yet obtained a particular license for some products, it still has one 50,000-square-foot warehouse empty,” though it is due to start operating very soon. More generally, the company is determined to disrupt this market, while benefiting from the ongoing e-commerce boom in Brazil.
Image credit: Baby.com.br