We often take for granted how food gets to the grocery store, but the process isn’t always straightforward.
That’s where Loads wants to come in. The Chilean company was founded in September 2022 by Larry Gil to bolster the food supplier network across Latin America while also expanding its customer base in Asia and the United States.
Gil’s family used to be in the importer business and he saw firsthand how inefficient it was, Gil told TechCrunch.
“A huge part of the industry was still analog and not optimized,” he added. “I decided to leave my previous job and see if I could make a product that provided access to food in a better way and financial accessibility for importers.”
What Gil, CEO, came up with was a way to streamline the importer process so that food products are supplied easily. Importers can then shop for items just as easily. The technology stack includes monitoring of year-round availability of products, real-time order tracking, transparent pricing, access to market data and financial products.
Now a year later, Loads is working with more than 700 importers and 300 suppliers. It has exported products to countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, India, Canada, Holland, Dubai and Taiwan. It also has Chile, Peru, Argentina, Poland, Portugal, Spain and China as providers.
The company offers over 15 products, including apples, grapes and kiwi, of which the varieties give Loads more than 70 SKUs. Gil expects to market 1.4 million kilograms of food monthly through Loads’ platform by the first quarter of 2024.
“We started from zero, so we’ve had astronomical growth,” Gil said. “Right now, we have over $300,000 in gross merchandise volume monthly, and we are close to profitability, but we don’t want to stop there. We want to grow and achieve new geographies and continue our 27% month over month growth to finish out 2023.”
Investors like it, too. Nazca led a round of $2.05 million into the company recently and was joined by Canary, Alaya Capital and a group of angel investors.
Gil intends to use the new funding to expand in its current markets, including Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, while also expanding its customer base in Asia, Europe and the United States. Loads is also working on technology development, including making the platform easier to use for customers.
“We are tackling an industry where this way of doing things is unusual, and we want to change the purchase habits of suppliers,” Gil said. “We also wanted to grow our embedded fintech capabilities through partnerships to help clients get funding to continue their own growth.”