My guest today is Sebastian Mejia, co-founder and president of Rappi. Founded in Bogota, Colombia in 2015, Rappi set out to create an on-demand convenience store and has expanded into nine countries and over 200 cities. In our conversation, Sebastian and I discuss what differentiates Rappi from US-based delivery apps, how the company evolved early by understanding their customers’ behavior, and how the business balances growth vs. unit economics. I loved hearing Sebastian’s views of the value of brands in an increasingly app-based world, the importance of being hyper-local for any delivery-based business, and how fungibility is a key characteristic of any rewards program. I hope you enjoy this great conversation with Sebastian Mejia.
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For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:02:54] - [First question] - What the Rappi is their current scale and user base
[00:05:30] - The early-stage problems they encountered when building their platform
[00:08:43] - Building the initial network dynamics and unit economics of couriers
[00:12:35] - Solving the data collection and integration needed to power Rappi
[00:15:22] - Defining what local means and the difference between units and zones
[00:17:33] - Other active companies that offer a similar service
[00:18:27] - Thoughts on making money in such a diversified supply chain
[00:22:57] - The moment they realized they were starting to feel scale effects for the first time
[00:25:11] - Questions they’re asking themselves as they continue to grow
[00:28:20] - Streaming consumer goods and how they’ll change consumer behavior
[00:31:45] - Impacts on brands Rappi might have with larger user adoption
[00:34:34] - Unique attributes and opportunities in Latin American markets today
[00:38:45] - Observations of early investors and questions investors as him often
[00:40:17] - The value unlock of having a subscription model akin to Amazon prime
[00:44:47] - How crypto and blockchain technology might benefit Rappi users
[00:47:16] - His perspective on crypto in Latin America today compared to the US
[00:48:09] - Their work in financial services
[00:47:30] - Possible reasons why Rappi might not succeed in the future
[00:50:30] - The kindest thing anyone has ever done for him