Yooga, developing a Brazil-based restaurant operation management system, raised its first institutional funding of $2.3 million in seed capital. The round was led by SaaSholic with participation by Gilgamesh, Apex Partners and Backfuture.
Vinicius Melo, Victor Sortica and Cassiano Guerra Fernandes co-founded the company in 2017, and bootstrapped Yooga for three years before taking $300,000 in a friends-and-family round in 2020.
It was born out of Melo’s experience in college waiting tables. He wanted to build software to help restaurants automate their operation processes and at the same time offer a product that anyone could use regardless of their tech ability.
Melo even lived in a software house, à la the television show “Silicon Valley,” to learn how to develop it. A friend in the software house hooked Melo up with Sortica after he expressed a need for a developer.
Yooga provides software so that restaurants can manage orders, send orders to the kitchen, provide last-mile delivery and control inventory and cash flow. The vision is to help customers bring all of those processes under one platform. The company is able to bring customers on board within a week, and in as little as two months, customers are seeing results, Melo said in an interview.
The co-founders say Yooga aspires to be the “Toast of Latin America,” saying that Toast had paved much of the path the co-founders wanted to take.
“When we started to look around, we learned we were doing something similar to Toast, which was a good benchmark,” Sortica told TechCrunch.
Melo and Sortica don’t consider Toast competition because the market in Brazil is so fragmented, meaning there are hundreds of companies with hundreds of customers. And the legacy software was not evolving fast enough to create something that could cater to the restaurant of today, they said.
To put that in perspective, Yooga has over 6,000 clients and is growing, Melo said. Most of those clients were using paper and spreadsheets previously, with Sortica adding that 60% of restaurants in Brazil don’t utilize any software.
Much of the company’s revenue comes from monthly subscriptions that can start as low as $35 per month. Yooga is also working on adding new revenue streams from payments and other professional services.
Yooga handles $2 billion in transactions annually with more than 4 million orders flowing through its platform per month. It is currently growing in double digits monthly, the co-founders said. The new investment also values the company at $20 million post-money.
Melo and Sortica plan to deploy the capital into hiring additional staff and technology development. Two of the first new features coming out soon will be a “tap on phone” and PIX payment solutions. They expect these new revenue streams will put Yooga on track to double its average revenue per user.
“In the last three or four months, we have had positive EBITDA and want to grow faster now,” Sortica said. “As a company, we are doing great and didn’t need the funding — we aren’t burning a lot of cash — but we understand it is the timing. With less people raising, we wanted to drive forward. Our goal is to be the owner of this category.”