Restorando, the “OpenTable of Latin America,” has raised $13.3 million to expand across South America and deepen its presence in established cities.
Restorando is currently active in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bogotá, Columbia; Chile, and six cities in Brazil. You choose filters for type of food you are looking for, the location in the city, and price range as well as tags like “romantic,” “out with friends,” “healthy eating,” or “labor food” (which I imagine is an off translation), and the engine generates relevant matches, with ratings and reviews. You select the time you’d like to visit, and voilà, a reservation. The site also offers discounts.
A recent survey conducted by Deloitte and the National Venture Capital Association found that investor sentiment toward emerging markets is fading. Latin America’s Internet population grew faster than any other global region in the past year. Internet penetration has hit the mainstream and its users are active on social media and online commerce. However, the markets are still volatile — investors expressed trepidation in the survey about the global economy, government policies, and the availability of capital. Brazil, which is Latin America’s biggest market, is in the midst of civil unrest as citizens protest the government’s extravagant spending on the upcoming World Cup and Olympics instead of focusing on areas like health and education.
The Latin American companies that attract hefty amounts of funding tend to be “fast follow companies.” These companies take proven business models and adapt them to emerging markets, which mitigates some of the risk. Rocket Internet is a well-known proponent of this model. Its online delivery platform Foodpanda raised $20 million in May. Another example of this is Hotel Urbano, an online hotel booking site that announced closing $20 million last week. Zappos clone Dafiti has raised more than $180 million in the past two years.
Restorando takes a similar approach. It was founded in 2011 and now has thousands of restaurants and more than 2 million people on the platform. New investor Flybridge Capital Partners led this round. with participation from Emergence Capital Partners, Kaszek Ventures, Atomico, and Storm Ventures. This brings its total capital raised to $17 million. Restorando is based in Buenos Aires.