Founded in 2018 by two former 99 (Brazil’s first tech unicorn) executives, São Paulo-based Kovi rents vehicles to on-demand drivers who work for ride-hailing companies such as Uber, Didi and Lyft.
Also, via its model, drivers don’t have to worry about damage or theft to vehicles since they don’t have “to buy and leave expensive shared cars parked on the street,” the company says.
It also plans to invest in developing technology aimed at improving “the driver experience while increasing fleet security,” said João Costa, Kovi’s CTO and co-founder.
To Neto, having an investor such as Global Founders Capital (which has previously backed the likes of LinkedIn and Facebook) validates its business model.
I hopped on the phone with Fabricio Pettena, who heads up GFC’s Latin American office in São Paulo, and he noted that this isn’t the first time his firm has put money in Kovi.
Kovi, he said, addresses the problem that there are “basically thousands of gig economy drivers in Latin America and a majority of them have trouble owning and maintaining the asset they need to work.”
Between Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American countries, there are more than 1 million people for whom driving ride-hailing vehicles is their primary earning method.
Global Founders Capital established its Latin American presence by opening an office in Brazil in 2016, according to Pettena.
Pedro Sorrentino, founder of OneVC (which we profiled in this piece last month), said his firm looks to partner with category-defining companies in large markets.
Latin America and other emerging markets are prime opportunities for companies like Kovi, he said.