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Mexico City’s Jüsto raises a $12 million bridge round for its delivery-only grocery stores

Jüsto, the Mexico City-based, delivery-only grocery store chain, has raised another $12 million in financing as it looks to expand its now pandemically relevant business of “dark stores” across the country.

The COVID-19 pandemic is changing consumer habits and increasing the use of delivery services across the world, and consumers in Mexico are no different.

A recent Nielsen study cited by the company found that 11 percent of respondents had purchased fresh food online for the first time in 2020, as lockdowns in cities across the world restricted movement for everyone but essential workers — with 70 percent of those surveyed saying they’d do it again within the year.

“Despite Covid-19 dramatically accelerating the curve of adoption of e-commerce, the penetration rate of e-grocers is still less than 1 percent,” in Latin America, according to Jüsto founder and chief executive, Ricardo Weder, in a statement. “That means there’s an enormous opportunity—and all the right conditions—to disrupt the grocery industry in Latin America.”

With the new bridge round, Jüsto’s financing has hit just over $20 million in less than a year. Part of that can be attributed to the pedigree of the company’s founder.

Weder was instrumental in Cabify’s growth in Latin America, according to Rodolfo Gonzalez, a partner at Foundation Capital, which led the firm’s investments into Jüsto. Gonzalez also saw the opportunity in the company’s business model.

“We’ve seen that type of model of warehouse and D2C for groceries be very successful in other geographies,” Gonzalez told Crunchbase, when Jüsto announced its previous $10 million seed round. “But that model didn’t quite exist in Mexico yet.”

Other investors in Jüsto’s round include Mountain NazcaFEMSA VenturesQuiet Capital, and 500 Startups.

The Mexican company prides itself on selling both local and international brands in categories, including fresh produce, dry goods, personal hygiene and beauty care, home and cleaning goods, beverages, organic food, and pet supplies.

“We have these darkstores and hold the delivery,” says Manolo Fernandez, a spokesperson and member of Jüsto’s founding team. “At traditional supermarkets the fill rates are lower and the product is less fresh. One of our core tenets is to reduce waste. We don’t have fruits and vegetables sitting outside in the store.”

Jüsto also claims that its prices come in at roughly equivalent to those of a regular supermarket. The company has delivery options ranging from express delivery, same day, and next day delivery.

The company isn’t the first startup to look at unused real estate and internet shopping habits and see an opportunity.

Darkstore is a company that has raised nearly $30 million to convert empty space into third-party fulfillment centers. Istanbul’s Getir, which recently raised $25 million from Sequoia’s Michael Moritz, is doing the same thing. And Samokat has adopted a similar strategy in Russia, promising over 3,000 SKUs and an under-45-minute delivery time fulfilled via their urban darkstores.

These companies are focused on being third-party logistics players for delivery rather than creating their own brands, but Jüsto shows that there’s an opportunity for purpose built direct to consumer grocery businesses to use the same infrastructure and create actual brand loyalty.

We have the technology, talent, and infrastructure to scale our expansion to more cities in Mexico and begin our international expansion, beginning with Colombiam” Weder said. 

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Nielsen explains how COVID-19 could impact media usage across the U.S.

With U.S. consumers asked to refrain from social gatherings and shelter-in-place at home due to COVID-19, media consumption is prepared to boom. Based on Nielsen data from prior major crises in recent U.S. history that forced consumers to stay home, total TV usage increased by nearly 60%. We’re …

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Streaming accounts for nearly one-fifth of total U.S. TV watching, according to Nielsen

Streaming eats up a big chunk of viewers’ time, though it’s still outweighed by traditional linear TV.

That’s according to the latest Total Audience Report from Nielsen — its first Total Audience Report to use smart TV data from Gracenote, and one that’s particularly focused on “the flash point of the ‘streaming wars’” (as Senior Vice President of Audience Insights Peter Katsingris puts it in his introduction).

The firm reports that among U.S. homes that are capable over-the-top streaming, 19% of their TV time was spent on streaming during fourth quarter of 2019. Within that streaming time, Netflix accounted for 31%, compared to 21% for YouTube, 12% for Hulu, 8% for Amazon and 28% for other services.

The Gracenote data also allows Nielsen to analyze the full universe of content available to U.S. viewers — yes, there’s a lot of content out there. The firm concludes that through December 2019, viewers had access 646,152 unique program titles, up 10% from 2018. And among those titles, 9% were available exclusively on subscription video on demand services like Netflix.

Nielsen Total Audience Report

The report also looks at the streaming audio world, finding that streaming audio on smartphones reached 64% of U.S. adults in Q3 2018 (compared to 45% the year before), while streaming audio on tablets reached 25% (up from 13%). In contrast, radio and satellite were steady at 92% and 13%, respectively.

The report also includes the results of a consumer survey of 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by Nielsen last fall, which found that 91% of all respondents (and 96% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34) currently subscribe to a paid streaming video service, with 30% of respondents (and 47% of 18-to-34 year olds) saying that they subscribe to three or more.

Meanwhile, on the audio side, 63% of respondents said they pay for at least one streaming subscription, while 53% paid for two.

Added together, Nielsen said U.S. consumers now spend “nearly 12 hours [per day] across TV, TV-connected devices, radio, computers, smartphones and tablets.” The report continues:

That’s 1 hour and 24 minutes of additional media exposure across all platforms from third-quarter 2018, which was driven by smartphone usage. That is a great amount of the waking day for consumer connectivity, so this amount of time is especially eye-opening. Marketers and content creators have literally every waking hour of a consumers’ day to put forth their best messages.

Source: TechCrunch