Why We Invested: Cluvi

jun. 05 - 2023
Why We Invested: Cluvi

The COVID-19 pandemic has propelled the restaurant industry into a rapid digital transformation, creating a pressing need for innovative solutions. Latin America alone has over 3 million restaurants, constituting a $270 billion industry. These businesses face the challenge of adapting to changing consumer behavior and expectations. The switch to digital has become almost mandatory for eateries to survive, with tech-savvy consumers demanding personalized and seamless experiences.

Additionally, the lack of digitalization presents a significant drawback, as it restricts most restaurants from regular access to real-time consumer information or behavioral analytics. Furthermore, for many CPGs, available data is limited to their sell-in and some specific fractional analysis provided by third-party agencies with a partial view and no agility. Hence, they lack end-to-end traceability of marketing and promotion campaigns, consumer trends, or any data granularity. Collecting and analyzing deeper & realtime consumer information could help restaurants and CPG brands understand consumer behavior, manage and predict consumer trends, create loyalty, improve any future campaign approach, and boost sales while reducing costs.

After identifying the numerous challenges that plagued the restaurant industry, a group of five Colombian entrepreneurs founded Cluvi in 2021 with a clear mission to revolutionize digitalization in the sector. With the help of Cluvi, 4,000 restaurants across LatAm and the US have been digitalized, and 3 million monthly consumers use their platform, leading to a reported monthly growth of 28%.

We met Cluvi’s founders in 2021 through Cometa, one of our Fund of Funds partners. Cluvi is a SaaS company offering a cluster of digital solutions for restaurants in LatAm that are changing the ordering and payment experience at the table. From digital menus, online reservations, and seamless payment solutions to in-house ordering platforms, marketing campaigns, and behavioral analytics, Cluvi is the perfect ally for restaurants looking to digitalize their operations, boost sales and reduce costs. Moreover, these digital platforms become marketing machines and data aggregators for vendors or CPGs. The company's digital solutions enable real-time data collection and thus provide behavioral analytic insights valuable for both restaurants and CPGs.

Cluvi's founding team collectively shares 25+ years of experience in the food tech and restaurant industry. FEMSA Ventures felt drawn to the team due to its culture, chemistry, passion, and expertise. It is also worth highlighting the founding team's resilience and the ability to spot opportunities and pivot successfully. The five co-founders had previously worked together for 7+ years. Before founding Cluvi, they created Eventsite, a booking platform to maximize entertainment establishments' profitability and consumption. After the serious impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on this space, they decided to pivot to menu digitalization.

Digital solutions in the restaurant industry have recently been focused on optimizing the off-premise experience and disrupting supply chain operations such as inventory purchase, logistics, or delivery services. However, the next step in digitalizing and innovating the restaurant space is about improving the on-premise guest experience. And what better way to address this opportunity than through a 'onestop-shop' digital platform that not only creates value for restaurants but also for CPGs while disrupting the two main steps in the on-premise customer journey: ordering and payment.

In this respect, Cluvi is not focusing on affiliating businesses via hardware or trying to modify its supply chain. Instead, the company seeks to become a strategic ally by simplifying and optimizing its day-to-day operations through tech, which translates into quicker and wider adoption.

Moreover, as Cluvi can have a granular view of the restaurant's day-to-day operations, they are able to leverage consumer data that is valuable both for restaurants and CPGs. For example, how much are they selling? Which items are most popular? What goods are usually consumed together? How common are stockouts? Where are the highest volume clients? These are just some of the questions that can be readily answered from Cluvi's potential data generation capabilities. Ultimately, the opportunity to leverage this data and the inbound marketing efforts for products and services internally developed at FEMSA cannot be underrated.

Cluvi is en route to revolutionizing the restaurant industry with its unique and holistic value proposition, highly experienced team, clear product-market fit, and powerful go-to-market strategy that directly involves a critical market segment for FEMSA. We are thrilled to be partnering with Cometa in supporting Cluvi and look forward to working together in the mission of revolutionizing the restaurant industry.