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Nilus

Lowering the cost of healthy food & groceries for low-income people

Follow Nilus to be notified if they later decide to raise funding.

Highlights

1
💪🏼19M meals delivered, +415.000 low income people served & over 24% in savings to our clients.
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🥳 More than 7X growth in Community Group Buying in 2022!
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🤑 Billing almost USD300k per month & positive operating margin.
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🤯 Incubated at the Harvard Innovation Labs.
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🎉 Selected as one of the 100 most promising impact startups in the world by Norrsken Foundation.
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🎖️ CEO awarded as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the the World Economic Forum.
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🚀Recently admitted to the United Nations World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator.
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đź“ŁRockstar team of investors including Plug and Play Ventures and Hall of Fame Manu Ginobili.

Our Team

"We are effectively building a business that at the same time reduces food insecurity. We have proven we can do it in Argentina and Mexico, and now we are getting ready to scale in partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme. Join us and help us get there faster!"

Pitch

Poverty Should not be more expensive - But it is.

We live in a world where over 2 billion people are affected by food insecurity.

There are two levels of food insecurity. The most acute one is called hunger, and it affects over 800M people in the world who may have gone for days without eating. There is a more moderate level of food insecurity that affects over 1.2 billion people, when they lack the resources to access a healthy meal every day. And because their diet is very poor in quality, they are predominantly affected by what we know as malnutrition. 

According to UNICEF, malnutrition is associated with severely negative effects, particularly on children, including poorer performance in school, both because malnutrition affects brain development and also because malnourished children are more likely to get sick and miss school. More in general, malnutrition is a major cause of overweight and obesity, which can lead to serious illnesses like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  

Yet, incredibly enough, being poor is more expensive than being rich. Yes: despite needing access to healthy food more than anyone, everyday low income people overpay for healthy food and groceries at lest 25%.

Healthy food products are more expensive in low income communities than in middle and higher income ones due to two main reasons: one is the poor state of the infrastructure, which forces drivers to take longer to deliver. The second reasons is that local convenience stores usually don't have access to credit because they are informal. This forces them to go to supermarkets to buy their products and then resell them to their clients. For all those reasons, being poor is at least 25-50% more expensive than being rich.

This forces people to buy low quality food that is cheaper, thus perpetuating the cycle of malnutrition.



This is not only the one mother of all injustices, it is also a scalable, financially sound market opportunity as low-income people spend between 40-60% of their income buying food and groceries.



A VIABLE SOLUTION


Community group buying
is a technology-enabled logistics system designed to serve logistically suboptimal areas, too small and remote to serve efficiently. This concept has already been established in China and has led to the creation of three “unicorn” companies that are taking on this challenge.

At Nilus we are effectively solving this problem by lowering the cost of access to healthy food and groceries for low income people.

Our technology combines the orders of different members of a community into one wholesale order that allows us to buy directly from the producers and bypass the supermarkets and the distributors, thus accessing volume-based discounts.

In addition, we offer employment opportunities to Community Leaders, who are largely stay-at-home moms looking for both supplemental income and the opportunity to make a difference in their communities. We organize the last mile logistics using our Leaders' home as pick-up point for end-clients, thus allowing us to save on the last-mile logistic cost as well.

By accessing wholesale prices and leveraging centralized distribution hubs, we can pass along savings of 20-30% to consumers on food and groceries.

This also gives large brands such as Nestle or Alsea the opportunity to reach deeper into markets that they can’t always penetrate as much as they would like to.

Also, we buy directly from producers, fruits and vegetables perfectly suitable for consumption that would have been discarded for aesthetic reasons. This way, we make food systems more efficient, reducing their carbon footprint.

We keep growing…

With operations in Mexico and Argentina, Nilus grew over 700% its direct-to-consumer channel last year, billing almost 300k per month, reaching positive numbers in its operating margin, and serving over 110,000 low-income people.


We process more than 8,000 orders per month, and we have already delivered over 19 million quality, nutritious meals, and generated over 25% in savings on average to our clients.



We were recently admitted to the United Nations World Food Programme’s Innovation Accelerator to scale our solution globally.

Also, our Founder & CEO has been awarded as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship at World Economic Forum. 🚀

A WORLD-CLASS TEAM

Ady has been committed to social justice and humanitarian work for a long time. He worked for three years in the reconstruction of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. There, he was able to witness firsthand how food prices are disproportionately expensive for the poor, giving birth to Nilus’s central idea.

In 2020 Leo Lujan, who an MBA student at Harvard, met Ady at joined the team. He changed the company forever, providing the analytical acumen needed to develop a sophisticated logistical operation.

A year later, Ruben a Co-founder of PedidosYa — a Uruguayan unicorn in the e-grocery space — joined as CTO and explained: “it’s important for people to understand that this is the kind of company that is worth building; one that resolves a problem that is worth resolving, and is genuinely good for the world”.

Behind Ruben came the rest of the gang of former PedidosYa employees who now make the pillar of our tech team today.

Next steps -

We believe that we have just scratched the surface in our first two markets.

We will continue to focus on improving our business model and distribution through streamlined operations and greater volume, and accelerating our path to profitability.

We think this business can scale quickly across Mexico and Latin America, and thanks to the partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme, we are planning to expand next in Peru and Colombia, which have enormous potential. 


So…


In the context of our Series A - were we secured 4M .
We wanted to leave some space to invite people who love what we do and don't have the means to write large tickets, to join us. We will use the capital to reach more people and improve lives in Mexico and Argentina, as well as to accelerate our path to profitability.

Invest today to join us on our mission to fight hunger, not only because we think that is a good market opportunity, but also because we strongly believe that we offer a viable solution to one of the world's biggest problems.


Learn more about us:

https://medium.com/@nilus1/outstanding-social-innovator-of-the-year-2023-8de9dfa7a01f

https://ronlevin.substack.com/p/nilus

https://medium.com/@adybeitler/5-lessons-from-6-years-building-nilus-92f75dc7eacb


https://medium.com/@rumbo.ventures/nilus-tackling-the-social-and-environmental-costs-of-food-waste-3...

Overview