Social commerce startup Elenas has raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding. The company will use the money to help more Latin American women sell online.
Over the last year, over 100,000 Colombian and Mexican women have sold over 2 million items and made millions of dollars on the network. Elenas, a Colombia-based social commerce firm, obtained $2 million in seed investment in 2020 and another $6 million in Series A cash in 2021 to accelerate that trajectory.
The company has now raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding. This brings the total funding received by the Elenas to more than $28 million.
Elenas estimates that 11 million Latin American women sell consumer goods through catalogs and door-to-door sales. It is digitizing that procedure so that people may sell from home more readily.
Zach Oschin, the firm’s founder and CEO, founded the company in 2018 (and competed in our Latin American Startup Battlefield that year) with the goal of bringing the conventional independent sales process online.
Entrepreneurs may explore a portfolio of hundreds of thousands of wholesale items in categories such as beauty, personal care, home goods, and technology, determine what to sell, how much to mark up the price, and then market the products on social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.Elenas is also responsible for product procurement, delivery, and payment collecting.
Alejandro Diez Barroso, managing partner at DILA Capital, said, “Elenas is redefining the direct-sales business by allowing millions of individuals across the area the ability to sell thousands of items through their digital catalog.”
This is despite the fact that other e-commerce firms have not performed as well, according to Oschin.For example, he adds that by beginning with lower-ticket products, such as grocery delivery, some firms were unable to achieve the necessary margin profile or build out infrastructure to the level required for profitability.
Oschin noted, “There was a big explosion of financially funded social commerce startups in 2021, but that also meant the growth of very unsuccessful social commerce models. Some attain unicorn status,and we are now seeing some of those models retreat, close down, or lay off employees.”
“He went on to explain that Elenas broke the trend by focusing on nonperishable things from the start,such as lifestyle products, home goods, fashion, and accessories, which resulted in more healthy profit margins and higher ticket prices.”
Another advantage was not having to create its own infrastructure. This methodology allowed the firm to spread across Colombia and Mexico, delivering to 600 communities, including rural places where this had never been done before.
In addition to more than doubling its income between the Series A and Series B rounds, the firm more than quadrupled its staff headcount to 230.
Elenas will then continue to build its seller network in both areas, with the goal of considerably expanding it over the next year so that it can invest in better goods and experiences for both sellers and providers.
It will also invest in engineering and product development to roll out more essential features such as seller business management tools such as customer relationship management, product suggestions, and financial services.
Oschin explained, “We want to grow into financial services that help them run their businesses.”