Vine Ventures led a USD17.5m Series A for Cayena, a Brazilian food and cleaning products wholesale marketplace for restaurants, with participation from Astella Investimentos, Clocktower Ventures, FJ Labs, Gilgamesh, Endeavor Catalyst, Femsa Ventures, GraoVC, Canaan Partners and MSA Capital, and follow-on from Picus Capital. Picus Capital led a USD3.5m round in September 2021.
(Press Release) – Making procurement simple in Latin America: that is the purpose of
Cayena, the B2B marketplace that has just completed its Series A investment round of $17.5
million, led by Vine Ventures. The round also included participation from MSA Capital, Picus
Capital, Canaan Partners, Clocktower Ventures, FJ Labs, Femsa Ventures, Gilgamesh, Astella,
Endeavor, GraoVC, among other.
Founded by Gabriel Sendacz, Pedro Carvalho and Raymond Shayo, Cayena is a B2B
marketplace for the $100b+ wholesale food industry in Latin America. The company allows
restaurants, bars, bakeries, hotels, and dark kitchens to procure their inventory from multiple
suppliers with next day delivery and a comprehensive suite of add-on services.
While the B2C market has been digitized very rapidly, the B2B market remains analog, opaque
and with low technology adoption. The food procurement market in LatAm is gigantic, ranging
from local restaurants, bars, hotels, schools, business cafeterias, catering companies, industrial
and dark kitchens; and is extremely fragmented: 90% of them are independent, small, and
family-owned. Every one of these food-preparation facilities relies on relationships with several
local distributors and wholesalers to get their necessary ingredients and most of these
relationships are managed manually and on paper. Most still order via phone or WhatsApp and
pay with paper checks.
What’s missing that Cayena solves: an online, real-time marketplace platform that hosts a
catalog of products from all suppliers, with updated availability, pricing, inventory, next-day
delivery and a recently launched Buy Now Pay Later solution to help customers with their
working capital dynamics.
“With Cayena, restaurant owners can browse through the inventory of the best suppliers, which
are pre-qualified by Cayena, without having to contact each one of them individually and having
access to over 30,000 items in a single place.” Says Pedro Carvalho. “We offer a greater
assortment of products, free shipping, faster and more reliable fulfillment through an asset-light
logistics network, and very competitive prices from a more streamlined supply chain. Those who
sell through Cayena, in turn, get an incremental and recurring demand instantly.”
Apart from the inventory problem, Cayena is now able to leverage its relationships and market
knowledge to offer a Pay-Later solution to restaurants. With many small business owners being
limited by their access to traditional banking services and relying on daily cash flow income, the
company believes that providing the option to pay later for their supplies could be a gamechanger.
“We launched with the mission of empowering small neighborhood restaurants and food outlets
with technology to address their largest cost line and increase their profits, which has become
critical during pandemic times. We take a long-term approach to solve the underlying problems
of procurement for traditional businesses by investing in technology and data-enabled credit
offering,” says Raymond Shayo.
Cayena reached R$100 million in annualized transaction volume, which triggered this new round
only 5 months after the startup raised $3.5 million from Picus Capital, MSA Capital, FJ Labs,
Femsa Ventures, Astella, Canary and Norte Ventures.
“SME supply chain inefficiencies are massive throughout emerging markets. Investing globally
through a China lens in supply chain digitization, we have monitored restaurant procurement
players evolving across all major regions. Cayena is poised to be Latam’s breakout winner due
to its team’s ability to execute and constantly iterate on the product. We are excited to partner
with Cayena to impart best practices derived from China and other emerging markets.” said Ben
Harburg, Managing Partners at MSA Capital, a global VC that has invested in fintechs like
Nubank and Klarna as well as in several B2B marketplaces across the Middle East and Asia.
Cayena will invest its proceeds in growing its presence across Brazil, expanding its BNPL
offering and most importantly, hiring. Cayena aims to significantly increase its team size by more
than doubling the current workforce of 60 employees until year end, with a special focus on tech
positions. Additionally, the goal is to invest in user experience and make the product even more
intuitive for Cayena’s current customers and all other players in the sector, which are still far from
“The new fundraise reflects the long-term transformative value creation potential that Cayena
offers for Brazilian SMBs, who are major job creators and form the backbone of the economy”
said Daniel Povitsky, Co-founder at Vine Ventures. “Participation of existing and new global
investors in this financing highlights the increasing recognition of the unique nature of the
market, and the opportunity it offers.”
The significant traction generated strong visibility with restaurants, suppliers and CPGs. “We
see B2B marketplace dynamics providing great innovation potential globally and believe the
B2B food delivery space is still ripe for technology enhancement & disruption. It’s a complex
model to establish and scale, but we are very impressed with Cayena’s execution to date”, says
Julian Roeoes, Partner and Head of Americas at Picus Capital. “In B2B marketplaces the higher
average transaction values & order frequency are highly attractive, and we see a number of
natural complementary services & monetization opportunities that go far beyond commissions
on transaction volumes.”
The market that Cayena targets combine two compelling factors for startups: it is poorly digitized
and huge. In Brazil alone, there are more than 1.3 million food preparation facilities and in 2020,
procurement for food supplies totaled R$573 billion, according to ABIA (Brazilian Association of
the Food Industry)
Cayena founders Gabriel Sendacz, Pedro Carvalho and Raymond Shayo have been friends for
over a decade. The trio met during college in Brazil and combine multiple years of experience in
the financial industry working for large Private Equity and Investment Banking firms like
JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch, Brookfield’s Private Equity Buyout Group and Neo Investments, where
they were involved in hundreds of M&A and capital market transactions and participating in the
management and committees of invested companies. In addition, Pedro brings-in a background
of more than a decade following the family business, which owns the largest Japanese food
delivery chain in Salvador, Bahia.