The Mexican startup Kavak has reached a $1.15 billion evaluation, becoming the country’s first unicorn. The rarefied designation follows a successful September investment round and the used car startup has now raised more than $400 million since it was founded just four years ago.
Kavak is the latest Soft Bank investment to become a unicorn – a tech company valued at a billion dollars or more – in Latin America, following Colombia’s Rappi and the Brazilian companies Loggi and Gympass. The Japanese investor has promised to put $5 billion worth of capital into tech companies throughout the region.
“We’re very proud of what we have built,” said founder Carlos García in a press statement. “We know that this is an important milestone for us and for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but we also know that our story is just beginning and we have a long way to go and many clients still to satisfy. We are not going to stop until we transform the global automotive industry.”
Kavak’s online platform aims to make the car buying and selling experience more hassle-free by automating paperwork and financing.
The startup that employs more than 700 workers currently has a pair of reconditioning centers in the State of Mexico and Guadalajara on top of its headquarters in Buenos Aires, where Kavak moved into in August following a merger.
García told Reuters that the company will be expanding into Brazil at the beginning of next year where they plan to hire 500 more team members.
Michael has been a reporter covering Latin America since 2014. He has lived and worked in Costa Rica, Colombia and Mexico. His work from the region has appeared in The Guardian, The Associated Press and Vice.