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  • Yannick Oswald

Yes, still investing. Our latest addition: Buo

Updated: Jun 20

We recently led the seed financing of Buo, a Barcelona-based company. It is not often that we announce new seed investments, but in the current market, I figured it is essential to let the founders out there know that the world keeps spinning and that we continue to back exceptional people and tech teams.


As mentioned in one of my last posts, despite all the negative sentiment, now is actually a great time to build and back companies. Many of the most iconic companies were founded, and some of our best investments were made in these markets. Think Google, Skype, Amazon, Wix, Salesforce, Airbnb, etc. So, yes, we are still investing…



The mission of Buo is simple but so important, especially in the current inflation-driven context: 'Be the most affordable and social supermarket in Europe'. How does it work? Buo is an online supermarket where customers group together in order to unlock cheaper prices. It is a social commerce startup on a mission to disrupt the retail industry by drastically reducing grocery costs for the average consumer. The essence of their strategy is two-fold:



#1 Highest convenience: Buo is the anti-quick commerce startup. They have reinvented logistics by avoiding expensive last-mile costs but delivering incredible convenience at the same time. They leverage their dense 3rd party pick-up store network to deliver in 1-3 days to a store just a couple of minutes walking distance away from your home. Here is an early map of the pick-up stores in Barcelona. The network is expanding rapidly.



#2 Best prices: They aggregate consumer purchasing power through group purchases, where users get together to save up to 30% on their day-to-day shopping by purchasing directly from the supplier and cutting out any unnecessary middlemen.


More specifically, here is what got us excited about Buo:


Clear proxies: Social commerce has taken off in several markets around the world. The most notable names are Pinduoduo in China and Facily in Brazil. Both are part of the fastest-growing startups in their respective markets. It is time we bring the model to Europe.


Clear value proposition: There is a lot of fat in this industry. With inflation ramping, it is important to offer customers the best possible value and convenience by leveraging technology. Buo compares its prices openly on a daily basis with every single potential competitor and guarantees that all prices are between 10% and 80% cheaper.


A massive market: It is no secret that grocery shopping is moving online already. In fact, the entire supermarket industry is going through a massive platform shift. The European grocery market alone is a $2.2 trillion industry... And it is lagging behind nearly every other industry in terms of online adoption. ‘While e-commerce in Europe and the US averages 15-20% of total retail sales, for groceries, the share of online is 0.5-5% across EU markets and 3.5% in the US. The only exception is the UK at 10%.’ The top brands such as Carrefour, Aldi, etc. are some of the largest employers out there. Grocery is a key area of disposable income spend in any household budget.


Ramping inflation: The winners of the next months and potentially years will be the non-discretionary goods and services. These are the products that people cannot delay buying as they are essential. As a result, grocery store chains will do far better than special retailers, for example. Over the last week, we have seen multiple supermarket chains come out and tell the world how they have been hit by unexpected inflation. As result, prices have already and will continue to increase...


A great team and a unique partnership: The founders Borja, Carlos, and Ruben have built social commerce startups for a couple of years. They now felt ready to take their insights to the next stage and face the supermarket giants out there. They are surrounded and backed by some exceptional operators and friends of ours: Oscar, the founder of Glovo; Didac, the founder of Tradeinn; or Ines, the former Deliveroo CMO; among others... Buo also entered into a unique partnership with Glovo, one of the world’s quick commerce leaders. This partnership allows Buo to scale quicker and much more efficiently than any other player.


In the words of the founders: 'This is the opportunity of a lifetime to create one of this decade's most impactful companies...' Go Buo…!'


Life is awesome,

Yannick


Below is a picture of our latest Mangrove CEOs event. This time we were for a weekend on a boat in Greece. We gathered people from all over Europe and Israel. Some, like Rafi, the founder of Walkme, are leading Nasdaq listed companies; others just launched their products a couple of months ago and are getting ready to scale rapidly. Lots to share and to learn from each other. We discussed current views of the tech market, the startup challenges and opportunities for the year ahead, and much more. Nothing beats community...


Other content I found useful

- Our company Shipsta won the world procurement tech award. The last two years finally gave the logistics industry the long-awaited tech boost. We won’t recognize it a couple of years from now…


- Great listen by Aswath Damodaran on Invest Like the Best. Excellent and sometimes contrarian insights on the current market, inflation, ESG, and more.


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