Morado, a two-month-old Colombian startup aiming to digitize beauty salons in Latin America, has raised $5 million in a pre-seed round from a bevy of global investors.
Tiger Global Management and H20 Capital Innovation co-led the round, which also included participation from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), QED, Latitud and Village Global (which is backed by Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates). In fact, Morado is part of a16z’s new START program. A group of angel investors also put money in the round, including Simon Borrero, founder of Colombian on-demand delivery unicorn Rappi; Frubana founder Fabian Gomez; Tul’s Enrique Villamarin; and founders from Truora and Chiper, among others.
Morado’s goal is straightforward: to reinvent the current supply chain through vertical software technology and next day-deliveries. Notably, founder Angela Maria Acosta was an early Rappi employee. She spent four years at the company in a variety of roles, launching grocery for the company and serving as head of business development of Rappi Pay.
Now, she wants to take that experience and apply it to growing Morado, which offers same-day delivery, access to credit and what Acosta describes as “the biggest portfolio of products in LatAm” on its B2B marketplace.
“We are the everything store for beauty shops,” Acosta, who also serves as the company’s CEO, told TechCrunch. “At Morado, beauty shops can find everything they need to operate, from hair products to uniforms and cleaning products.”
The demand is there, in her view.
“There are more than 700,000 beauty salons in Latin America, and the industry supply chain hasn’t changed for over 40 years,” she said. “Eight-five percent of beauty salons have still not adopted any kind of digital tool. The industry lacks technology in every aspect.”
In its first 30 days of operation, Morado says it “already has national coverage for deliveries in Colombia.” It also has more than 60 employees, 72% of which it says are women.
The startup plans to use its new capital to accelerate growth in its home country of Colombia and to position the brand in Mexico, where it intends to move during 2022.
Daniel Lloreda, co-founder and general partner at H20 Capital Innovation, said his firm believes in taking a verticalized approach to digitizing offline to online industries “with a clear financial operating system roadmap.”
“We met Angie months before Morado was founded and were driven by her curiosity and desire to tackle an unsexy market ripe for disruption,” he told TechCrunch.
H20 Capital Innovation is a cross-border early-stage venture capital fund with operations in the U.S. and Latin America. Its headquarters are located in Miami.