LATAM's super app

Hi there! I'm Jose E. Ruano, the writer of The New Gazette. You are receiving this email because you signed up for it, a weekly newsletter about all things digital. Thank you for being here. If this email was forwarded to you, subscribe by clicking the button below.

Hello again 👋🏼,

Happy Friday! 

Have you noticed lately that every single app we use is trying to become a “super app”?

A place where you could get every service or product you want in a matter of seconds.

Think WeChat in China or whatever Facebook is trying to do in the US

In short, a super app is a marketplace of services and offerings, delivered via in-house technology and through 3rd party integrations.

This week’s story is closer to home as I will focus on a company that's since their founding is challenging the startup world in Latin America, a company that over the years have added thousands of services to make our very own super app.

With them you could get your groceries, restaurants takeouts, pay for some products digitally or see some live events all right inside the same place

I’m talking about Rappi

Let’s get into it


Rappi was founded in 2015 by Felipe Villamarin, Sebastián Mejía, and Simón Borrero, three Colombian entrepreneurs with an initial investment of $2,000,000

Rappi entered Y-Combinator's Winter 2016 batch, generating additional investment to continue expanding. In August 2018, the company raised another $200 million in funding. SoftBank became a major stakeholder in Rappi in April 2019 with a $1 billion dollar investment (which was one of the biggest signs of Latin America becoming a new hub for tech in the world)

In January 2019, Rappi signed a partnership with Avon Products to distribute the company's beauty and personal care products through its platform.

In February 2019, Simon Borrero (current CEO) was awarded the "Empresario del año" (Businessman of the year) award from the Colombian President for helping transform society. 

As of August 2020, Rappi had more than 200,000 independent couriers actively connecting to the app in Latin America, and worked along with over 250,000 different businesses including groceries shops, pharmacies, kiosks, and office supply stores

In 2019, Rappi partnered with Visa Inc to offer prepaid cards in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, together with a QR-Code-based digital wallet called RappiPay. Rappi's Country Manager in Brazil said it was the first of many financial services the company planned to expand beyond delivery.

 In June 2020 Rappi announced a partnership in Mexico with Banorte to revolutionalize digital banking services.

The success of the company has been boosted by the Venezuelan refugee crisis, with more than 1.3 million Venezuelans have fled to Colombia as of July 2019. As many new migrants struggle to find regular jobs, apps like Rappi allow quick access to first moderate revenue.

The company currently works in 9 countries mostly in South America

How does it work?

Same as other delivery apps, you go inside and according to what you want at the moment you will get it

To compare it is like UberEats but created 100% in Latin America

According to Mejía, Rappi's customers can:

Order almost anything they want with a super app concept that will deliver it to them in 30 minutes in exchange for a buck.

Think you need some food from the grocery store, instead of getting there, you just go to the app and a driver will get it for you

If you visit Colombia or Latam someday, these drivers are going to be one of the things you will see the most, a bike with an orange box behind.

Photo was taken from

The company generates revenue by taking an average of 17% from each retail transaction.


Rappi offers different solutions for their customers, I will show you 5 main areas but soon it will be more.

  1. Restaurants: It’s the company's strongest delivery vertical and they have a variety of options including vegetarian and specialized restaurants, and large chains, among others.  It has world-class allies in each of the markets where it is present recently launched its haute cuisine service where renowned chefs join the delivery

  2. RappiMall: It is a relatively new vertical within the application, where users can find a wide range of products and consumer goods of all types of brands with international recognition. Fashion, accessories, beauty, sports, toys, and household items are just some of the divisions in this category.

  3. Supermarkets and convenience Stores: It is the vertical that showed more growth globally during COVID. They have large supermarket chains and in Colombia, they have the exclusivity of Grupo Éxito. The largest in the country. For large purchases, they have fleets of carts that are suitable for moving large volumes and have the option of shoppers within the supermarkets that are responsible for selecting the products.

  4. RappiPay: A digital platform allowing customers to pay using their phone instead of a credit card, like Apple Pay, which is not available completely in this part of the world

  5. Rappi Entertainment: In June 2020 and due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin American countries, Rappi announced that live events could be held in the application in three 3 categories such as live sales, games, and music.


The company is valued at $3.5 billion dollars, which makes it one of the biggest startups in Latam.

Here this company is well-known but in other countries maybe it’s not recognized, as it should be, Rappi is helping build new infrastructure to a mess like delivery and digital services in all these countries.

The company is planning a lot of exciting things, opening up more areas to operate, adding more services, and creating new partnerships to create a better and more suitable app for all, giving superpowers to our phone in a single tap.

What is expected for this company is more growth, to continue improving their services to help more people in different areas.

To finish this story, I will give you an advice:

Be open to the future of innovation from Latam, I live here and let me tell you, very exciting things are coming

as Rappi is just one example of what is going on in the startup world in this part of the world

Until next week,


Is there a topic or brand you think I should cover? Or a funny ad I can dissect? I’d love to hear from you! You can email me at, respond to this email, or drop it in the comments ⬇

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The New Gazette Presents

Here are some other things I found interesting

  • Watch this cool ad from Apple, the mix between the music and the dancer is really good, plus the effects on the sound.

  • I set up my Calendly, if you want to talk you can schedule a 15-minute chat with me to discuss whatever you want and I could be helpful for you. here’s the link

  • Andrea Hernández should be your go-to person if you want to learn about food and beverage trends. She has done amazing work with his newsletter called Snaxshot. Plus She’s from Central America as well as me.

Some of the links included in this newsletter are part of an affiliate/referral program, just to be clear with you.