B2B marketplaces is one of the spaces Valor has been the most excited to invest in recently. The amount of pains currently being solved in this space cannot be understated and we believe Latin America is poised to see multiple companies generating a massive impact in retail. We see this transformation happening especially across sectors in which small merchants end up spending more time on activities such as sourcing and inventory management than in sales.
By improving the working experience for SMEs and offering not only products with consistent quality at low prices, but also credit and ancillary services to a once overlooked excerpt of the market, cost-saving solutions are emerging at a key moment, allowing merchants to focus on what really matters: selling more and with higher consistency.
Valor’s first investment in the space was in a then pre-seed company called DoLado in 2020; however, the story of this investment started 8 years before. When we first met the founder, Guilherme Freire – or Gui, as everyone calls him – in 2012, we were impressed by his entrepreneurial spirit and knew that he would eventually build something interesting. He went on to found and successfully exit LIVO, Brazil’s first DTC eyewear company, in which we were glad to help with fundraising. Later, Gui founded Ride, a ride-sharing scooter company, together with his current co-founder Marcelo Loureiro. At Ride, both founders learned what to do (and, most importantly, what not to do) to build a hyper growth company.
We have kept a close connection ever since, from long business brainstorming sessions to cycling sessions at 5:00am; we are very proud to say we have been backing DoLado since day 1!
We’d love to share what makes us believe DoLado is in a great position to become one of the leading players in the B2B retail space:
As already mentioned, Guilherme’s entrepreneurial spirit is unique. His experience as an entrepreneur with LIVO and Grow (former Ride) has proven to us his resilience as a founder capable of scaling a business in Brazil.
Marcelo Loureiro, who worked previously with Gui, also has deep experience with community building, having successfully founded and exited a company before joining Gui at DoLado.
Finally, Khalil Yassine, who used to work for the family’s retail business, founded 3 generations prior to his, gives the founding team a great complimentary vision on operations and on the market itself.
Huge, Fragmented and Unserved Market:
There are 13.5M small merchants that are neglected by traditional service providers and suppliers in Brazil. A highly fragmented side of the market makes it virtually impossible for individual merchants to attain good prices from suppliers. The whole chain is usually clogged with intermediaries and full of attritions. This makes it also almost impossible for SMEs to be granted fair conditions from credit providers, who lack the data to evaluate potential creditors properly.
DoLado is starting off tackling the electronic device accessories market, which alone is responsible for USD 14.3 Bn in yearly sales in Brazil. Most of these sales are made in large commercial centers, such as Galerias Pagé in the famous “25 de Março” Street, located in the center of São Paulo which is responsible for an estimated yearly GMV of USD 1.5BN. The company has made an impressive commercial effort by converting small merchants that source their goods in this commercial center into clients of DoLado’s B2B platform, purchasing its products in a much more seamless way.
“Buy Better, Sell Faster, Manage Wisely”
The huge and fragmented market we see on the side of small merchants is also seen with service providers for these SMBs. DoLado is consolidating a full suite of solutions and creating the “one-stop shop” for SMBs where they can:
- Manage Inventory;
- Improve sales with digital presence in a local marketplace;
- Source high-quality products with a B2B marketplace;
- Process payments;
- Gain access to credit.
Furthermore, the behavioral data collected through the company’s app usage will enable DoLado to create new products on top of the core solution. DoLado is truly on pace to building a fully fledged SMB digital ecosystem and we’re very excited about what will come ahead.
We are happy to say that we have led DoLado in its recent series A round. Investors such as Clocktower Ventures, Flourish Ventures, IDB Lab, GFC and Endeavor are also with us on this journey. DoLado has accomplished a lot in this small window of time, and we are confident that it will continue to show impressive growth while it delivers value to small merchants in Brazil, with high-quality products at fair prices.