AGUNSA LAUNCHES NEW CORPORATE VENTURE CAPITAL AREA AND BETS FOR STARTUP INSTANCE LATAM AS FIRST INVESTMENT
The company, founded in Valparaíso, with more than 60 years of experience in the maritime business, advances in the world of innovation development through AGUNSA Labs. The national startup Instance Latam, specialized in e-commerce accelerator -which allows small, medium and large companies to accelerate sales in online channels, in charge of the entire process- was AGUNSA’s first bet.
For the Chilean company, present on three continents and in more than 20 countries, which provides logistics solutions through storage infrastructure, seaports and airports, it has been a year full of changes. One of these changes was the initiative born in AGUNSA Labs: starting its own Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) and looking for startups with a similar value to the different business units it already has. All this to contribute, learn and face new challenges in terms of technology.
“AGUNSA Labs is a CVC created this year to invest in startups that focus on logistics, with the aim of becoming familiar with new market trends and developing new businesses. It has a totally strategic focus rather than a financial one,” said Maximiliano Urenda, Chief Development & Commercial Officer AGUNSA. He adds that, in this way, startups “have the opportunity to take advantage of AGUNSA’s network in more than 20 countries, present throughout the logistics chain, to provide comprehensive solutions to their customers. Likewise, the company provides contacts and capabilities to develop new businesses, and thus contribute to the expansion and growth of the startups it invests in. The goal is to develop a joint venture with the startup and add more value to the operation.”
After a thorough evaluation, AGUNSA decided to bet on the national startup Instance Latam, with an investment of 200 thousand USD, kicking off the new CVC area of the company.
“Instance has grown in Latin America and has an ambitious goal of continuing to grow in other countries. The most important thing for us is that we can do business together. They want to move up and we have the capabilities in terms of warehouses and presence in more than 20 countries, therefore we can make a match. We see that we could manage the entire logistics operation for Instance and its customers, so we mainly see an opportunity for growth, development and business,” stated Andrés Schultz, Development Manager of AGUNSA, who emphasizes the great work of analysis they had before making this first investment decision.
Since late 2019, Instance Latam has been dedicated to delivering complete solutions for small, medium and large companies to accelerate their sales in the world of electronic commerce, in charge of the entire process: from the catalogue to be published on their website, marketplace or different online sales channels, to storage, picking, packing and last mile. In 30 months, it is already present in four countries (Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico), it has more than 150 online sites and has sustained two capital raisings, achieving an annual sale of 12.4 million USD.
This recent investment is very attractive for the national startup because it means an opportunity for growth for them. “There are many synergies that can be generated because we are like a warehouse Airbnb and they are a quite relevant player in many countries in terms of warehouses. On the other hand, we are exploring the world of cross border, that is, cross-border sales to bring manufacturers or importers to sell from the US to Latin America (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil), and they have a very relevant operation in United States and Europe,” said Miguel Angel Vergara, CEO and Cofounder of Instance Latam.
“For a startup like Instance, we are proud that a leading company like AGUNSA bets on us. We definitely see that it will be a virtuous relationship, due to the human quality of its professionals, and because we believe that they can become a strategic partner for our growth,” stated Roberto Ibáñez, Cofounder of Instance Latam.
For Maximiliano Urenda, vice president of business development for the USA of Grupo Empresas Navieras, “the idea of establishing with our office in Brickell Miami is to be able to be connected not only to the company’s usual businesses but also to the opportunities of the startup ecosystem that are related to logistics and services in Miami are fundamental because it has become the hub of entrepreneurship for all of Latin America.”
Caption: The first team work meeting between AGUNSA and Instance Latam was held in Miami, United States. From left to right: Miguel de Orbegoso (SVP AGUNSA North & Central America), Josefina Necker (AGUNSA’s startups analyst); María Jesús Arriagada, (KAM Instance Latam); Martín de la Cuadra (Business analytics and studies manager AGUNSA); Maximiliano Urenda (Chief Development & Commercial Officer AGUNSA) and Miguel Ángel Vergara (CEO and Cofounder Instance Latam)