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Portland Equity invests in Colombian online supermarket

Published:Friday | February 22, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Portland Private Equity led a round of funding for a combined US$14-million investment in Merqueo, a Colombian online supermarket and delivery service, but did not disclose the size of its participation.

The funding partners also include Endeavour, a non-profit outfit based in New York with operations in 33 countries.

Merqueo is described as one of the fastest growing start-ups in Latin America, achieving over US$1 million in sales in eight months, according to statements on the investment for which the funding round closed in January.

The US14 million builds on the US$5 million Merqueo raised two years ago in its first year of operation. The business was launched in February 2017 with the aim of simplifying grocery shopping. Its customer deliveries have since surpassed 300,000. Merqueo operates with four optimised warehouses from which it delivers the groceries in Bogotá and Medellín.

“This new capital will allow us to keep growing and revolutionise the market. Our goal is to always offer the best service at the best price. This is just the beginning!” said Miguel McAllister, CEO at Merqueo, in the release.

The online grocery operation was founded by a group of serial entrepreneurs best known for, a company with presence in some of the biggest cities of Latin America.

Portland Equity’s managing partner, Robert Almeida, directed the Financial Gleaner to the release for information on the Merqueo investment. The equity fund, chaired by Michael Lee-Chin, also holds investments in a food service company in Colombia, the IGA group.