QED Investors led a USD20m Series A for Melonn, a Colombian e-commerce fulfillment platform, with participation from GFC and Alter Global, and follow-on from Wollef, NFX and PearVC. Melonn just raised a USD4.5m seed round from Wollef, Somma Capital, PearVC and NFX in January.
(Press Release) – -Melonn has announced the closing of its US$20M Series A round led by QED Investors. Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Alter Global also joined the round, together with existing investors including VC funds NFX, Pear, Wollef (formerly Jaguar Ventures) and high-profile angel investors including top VC partners and Latam startups´ founders. In less than a year, Melonn has raised around US$24 million.
Melonn is intending to become the #1 ally of small and medium e-commerce businesses in LatAm, helping them solve the most challenging part of the ecommerce of the future: the backend. The company offers an end-to-end same or next-day fulfillment solution coupled with an easy-to-use e-commerce backend technology platform fully developed in-house. With Melonn, any e-commerce business will be able to sell its products across multiple channels, from Amazon to Instagram, and deliver them almost anywhere in the region.
Melonn’s proprietary tech platform guides sellers through a simple and highly automated onboarding process, then seamlessly connects their different ecommerce channels. Next, sellers ship their inventory to urban fulfillment centers, near their end-consumers. Melonn quickly takes care of the picking, packing and delivery, so that end-consumers receive their orders on the same or next day, also taking care of returns. Additionally, Melonn works with a range of transportation providers, both incumbents (like FedEx or DHL) and last-mile startups, to reduce shipping times and costs. Finally, sellers can manage and monitor the entire process from Melonn’s platform from wherever they are, accessing data analytics tools to make better operational and sales and marketing decisions.
Speaking on the fundraise, Andres Gómez, CEO and Co-Founder, commented, “Melonn is solving a massive pain point for the huge, fast-growing and highly underserved market of e-commerce SMBs. We’ve been able to build a diverse and synergic team of extremely talented individuals with deep expertise in e-commerce, logistics and tech, which has enabled us to build a winning product with strong market fit. And we’ve been very fortunate to have support from some of the best seed-stage funds in the world, and we’re now extremely grateful to add two of the best Series A+ funds such as QED and GFC. They not only add vast expertise in key topics like e-commerce enablement and fintech, but they’re great partners and mentors that will help us scale successfully and that we really look forward working with.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the world-class team at Melonn as the company builds out the e-commerce infrastructure for small and medium sellers across Latin America,” added QED Investors Partner Mike Packer. “The recent explosion of the market only reinforces the need. Melonn makes scaling easier for its clients, solving very real constraints across channels and fulfillment. As Melonn continues to expand the platform, the company will enable the next generation of LatAm e-commerce businesses.”
Until a few years ago, LatAm was considered a late-adopter of e-commerce. But in the past three-to-five years and, more recently with the impact of COVID-19, things have change dramatically. Today, LatAm is the region with the fastest-growing e-commerce market estimated at more than US$100B, expected to double by 2025 and to be close to a trillion-dollar market in the next couple of decades. More than 80 percent of the market is comprised of small and medium businesses/sellers.
In this landscape, and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Melonn was founded in November 2020 to disrupt the way e-commerce is made in LatAm. A group of six friends with vast experience in logistics, ecommerce, tech and data science: Andrés Gomez (CEO), Alejandro Celis (CPO), Andrés Archila (COO), Felipe Jaramillo (CTO), Sebastián Román (Director of Data Science) and Daniel Castrillón (Director of Software Engineering & DevOps). In only one year, the company has launched five distribution centers in three cities across Colombia and one more in Mexico City, while employing more than 180 people total.
Melonn aims to use the new funding in growing the tech and product teams to continue to strengthen the platform and develop adjacent products including embedded fintech. The company is also planning to scale up commercial capabilities and increase its network of urban fulfillment centers to be able to offer efficient same/next day fulfillment across more and more cities in the region.