Startup emerged from a need identified during a strategic negotiation in the consumer goods industry
GrowinCo, the largest global platform for product outsourcing and an ecosystem of co-manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and packaging providers, announced that it has received a $735.000 (R$ 3.6 million) investment co-led by GVAngels, an angel investor network formed by FGV alumni, and Harvard Angels, a network of brazilian alumni from the Ivy League university. Urca Angels also participated in the investment.
Founded in 2019 by two former executives of Mondelez, GrowinCo originated from a need identified during a strategic negotiation in the consumer goods industry. The founders, who held senior management positions at the time, recognized the challenges that suppliers faced in proposing innovative solutions, as well as the difficulties in finding co-manufacturers for production outsourcing.
“We identified two major problems in the industry: a lack of efficient communication between suppliers and decision-makers, and the challenge of finding production outsourcing partners,” commented Raphael Tratcoski, CEO and Founder of GrowinCo, who seized this situation as an entrepreneurial opportunity. “We decided to create a solution to address these pain points and presented the project to Mondelez executives, but it wasn’t approved. That’s when we realized we were facing a promising business opportunity and embarked on the GrowinCo project.”
Raphael’s intuition proved correct. The startup swiftly became a market leader, boasting over 100,000 suppliers in its network. The platform connects CPG companies, such as Natura, Kelloggs, Mondelez, NotCo, Cargill, Kraft Heinz, and Danone, to top-tier suppliers, enabling quicker market entry for new products.
Operating in over 10 countries with 70% of its revenue sourced from international clients, GrowinCo is recognized as the “Airbnb of industries.” Additionally, the company is developing Artificial Intelligence to swiftly match projects with the most suitable suppliers from its extensive network in a matter of seconds—all aimed at simplifying tasks and offering optimal solutions.
Expansion in North America and Supplier Network
The investment will primarily be used to fuel the growth of GrowinCo’s validated supplier ecosystem, along with expanding sales and marketing efforts, particularly in North America where the company has experienced significant demand growth.
“This investment is of paramount importance for us at this juncture. After four years of managing the company via bootstrapping, we’ve learned to be resource-efficient. Now, with a validated product and a solid financial foundation, the investment will allow us to accelerate our growth up to three times the current pace, by investing in the acquisition channels we have already validated,” explains Raphael.
GrowinCo plans to utilize this investment round as preparation for its next funding round, Series A, while positioning itself as a key player in the consumer goods production outsourcing market. According to Raphael, by 2025, GrowinCo envisions assuming the role of the world’s largest and premier platform for co-manufacturing and co-packing. The consumer goods outsourcing market accounts for approximately 5% of its total production, generating around $1 trillion in annual revenue through the outsourcing of food, beverage, cosmetics, oral care, home care, and petcare production, with the US as the largest market.
“GrowinCo has a brilliant team with over 15 years of experience in the consumer goods market and has developed a solution to address some of the most significant problems in the segment. Approval came quickly, with major companies joining their platform and contributing to its development. As a result, input and packaging suppliers also followed their lead, creating an essential marketplace for those operating in the sector. They are ready and well-structured for rapid expansion,” noted Edson, an investor from GVAngels.
Antonio Rocha, angel investor from Urca Angels, highlights that the company is already intelligently serving industries in 43 countries, rapidly and efficiently, with a highly experienced team. “GrowinCo is one of the most disruptive solutions for the consumer goods industry, reducing production idleness and optimizing product development through the creation of a marketplace for idle production and packaging capabilities. We at UrcaAngels are thrilled to invest in this project!” emphasized Antonio Rocha, angel investor from Urca Angels.
Ranked as one of the world’s most relevant angel investor networks in 2022 by CBInsights, GVAngels is a group formed by FGV alumni. Since its founding in April 2017, the network of 350 FGV alumni has invested over R$45 million in around 50 startups with high growth and scalability potential, both in Brazil, Europe, and North America. In addition to financial backing, invested companies receive access to Smart Money and Networking, provided by C-Level executives and successful entrepreneurs who are members of the GVAngels investor group. The group has made investments across various sectors, such as martech, fintech, agtech, healthtech, and startups from various other industries, all of which significantly contribute to modernizing Brazil’s economy. The group is known for having one of the quickest startup selection and evaluation processes in the ecosystem, without compromising the high quality of analysis for the participating startups. After startup presentation forums, the selected startups are informed of the members’ interest in investing. The due diligence process, contract issuance, and release of financial investment take approximately 45 days.