In 2019, executives Diego Libanio and Guilherme Bonifácio, respectively co-founders of the iconic startups Zé Delivery and iFood, were the heads behind the project called Mercê do Bairro: a marketplace aimed at small markets.

Now, the startup has announced the investment of R$ 53 million in an investment round.

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Today, Mercê operates in the city of São Paulo. With the contribution, the company aims to expand its operations to other metropolitan areas in the state of São Paulo, as well as Belo Horizonte (MG) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ). In addition, the forecast is to inject part of the value into the development of the platform as well and strengthen the team in the technology and product areas.

Image represents a growth curve of a business in the market
Brazilian food retail is worth more than R$550 billion, according to the Brazilian Association of Supermarkets. Image: Miha Creative/Shutterstock

Food retail is worth billions in Brazil

According to the survey of Brazilian Association of Supermarkets, food retail in Brazil is already worth more than R$550 billion. The country's more than 400 grocery stores represent 35% of this total.

“We are talking about a huge audience that is currently very underserved. These entrepreneurs do not have access to management, sales and credit tools, and they do not have bargaining power to negotiate prices and services”, emphasizes Libanio.

The executive comments that the idea is that the neighborhood markets can also enjoy the same benefits of the big chains, making them “more competitive”. 

“Our long-term vision is to create a revolution, allowing the market to operate better, with more technology on all its fronts, providing a better experience for the end customer”, adds Bonifácio.

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How does Mercê do Bairro work?

Mercê's platform offers an application that connects neighborhood grocery stores with suppliers and helps manage product purchases and sales.

In this way, the owner of the market lists the products he needs and Mercê is responsible for making wholesale purchases and delivering them to the establishment's door within a period of up to one business day.

The startup also works with supply partners, distributors, manufacturers, in addition to monitoring prices so that small entrepreneurs have access to the best deals.

They modus operandi follows a business model known as retail integrated, which is already used in other countries such as China.

Access to credit

The application is very intuitive and, according to the creators, does not require training or too much time to adapt.

The biggest impact caused so far for entrepreneurs has been the time savings in this process, which can reach 70% with the use of the startup's app.

Credit is offered in two ways: in the first, a period ranging from 7 to 28 days is given for the market to pay for purchases; in another, Mercê helps to obtain loans, connecting the markets to partners that offer the service. 

The startup's billing is obtained on a commission charged from suppliers, who pay a percentage for the sales made.

Main Image Credits: Anna Lurye/Shutterstock

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