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    Brazilian online grocery delivery company Diferente raises $3 million to increase customers’ access to healthier foods todaybusinessupdates.com

    If you live very far away from a grocery store, we’re talking about an hour, and you may have to take multiple buses or a shared ride, it can be difficult to make the weekly commute in. differentwhich touts itself as “Brazil’s largest food tech subscription for fresh organic produce.”

    Former James Delivery founder Eduardo Petrelli teamed up with Saulo Marti and Paulo Monçores to launch Diferente in early 2022 with a mission to make healthy food accessible and reduce the 30% of imperfect products typically thrown away by supermarkets.

    To do this, the company sources directly from organic farmers and is able to offer prices that are 40% lower than what you would find in the supermarket. Customers choose weekly or bi-monthly delivery times and Diferente’s proprietary algorithm predicts the ideal basket of fruits, vegetables and leaves, allowing customers to adjust quantities.

    The algorithm takes into account their preferences and the availability, seasonality and recurrence of the item and tailors future boxes accordingly. There is also some intelligence built in for the farmers to help plan their crops based on what is popular with customers.

    “Brazilians are extremely price sensitive when they shop, so if you charge a little more than the normal price, they’ll buy in the offline module,” Petrelli told todaybusinessupdates.com.

    He noted that Diferente can gain traction with low acquisition costs, as more than 80% of Brazilian families cook at home, compared to the United States, where it is just under 40%.

    “Customers here like very fresh food and need it on a weekly basis,” added Petrelli. “That’s part of why we think we have the unique business model for Latin America.”

    However, the company does not take the direct delivery approach that competitors such as JOKR do. Instead, it focuses on Brazil’s density and recognizes that families are more dispersed outside major cities, allowing Diferente to go after other types of customers who order larger carts every week.

    That approach seems to work. Petrelli said Diferente, which operates in 12 cities in São Paulo state, is already profitable per order. In addition, co-founder Saulo Marti said that over the past 10 months, average order volume has increased from 13.8% to 17.2%, and customers order an average of two boxes per month at a rate of $15 per box.

    Those numbers indicate not only good margins and good retention, but also Diferente’s ability to expand in a more efficient manner, Petrelli said. Since launching in 2022, the company has grown sevenfold in revenue and is starting 2023 with a “positive contribution margin” as Petrelli expects to end 2024 with more than $30 million in revenue. It has also already “saved” 300,000 kilos of food.

    Last year, the company raised $4.4 million in seed funding and is adding $3 million in a round led by Caravela Capital that also included Collaborative Fund and two new funds, South Ventures and Valor Siren Ventures. This gives Diferente $7.4 million in total funding since inception.

    The new funding will help the company get its app launched, introduce new categories and SKUs, and kick off the second phase of AI-powered customization this year. It will take some hiring to add 20% to 30% more employees this year to work with the current roster of 75 people.

    Diferente also has plans to expand its delivery radius. Petrelli estimates that there are 50 million potential customers within the company’s current territory. Meanwhile, the company offers an average of 50 Stock Keeping Units (SKU) and has up to 170 SKUs available depending on the season, Marti added.

    “Sixty-two percent of our customers are middle class and they’re not attacked for buying online as much as the upper class, so that’s a unique opportunity for us to go to cities where nobody goes,” Petrelli said. “We have already predicted 36 cities that we can visit around São Paulo, and we are now planning how many to buy.”

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