Macai raises $3M Pre-seed round, the largest ever in the Italian market, to build a full grocer in the q-commerce space

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Macai, a Milan-based grocery delivery company, recently closed a $3M Pre-seed round, the largest ever in the Italian market and an important milestone for the local and European ecosystem.

Macai defines itself as a “full grocer in the q-commerce space”, envisioning a completely digital supermarket, its main focus being on offer rather than speed. Their aim is to be able to dispatch up to 7,500 product types to its customers in just a few minutes thanks to a network of dark stores strategically positioned within urban centres. This is a completely new value proposition in the q-commerce space, which has thus far focused mainly on speed and not on offer.

Lumen Ventures, a newly born venture capital firm founded by Italian entrepreneurs, led the round, having identified Macai as its first investment. Alongside Lumen, Plug and Play Ventures, an early-stage investor from Silicon Valley and first check investor.

I met Giovanni very early in the company’s history and I was extremely impressed by his drive, ambition and knowledge of the market; I am convinced that he will build an incredibly successful company.

comments Saeed Amidi, CEO and Founder at Plug and Play Ventures.

Cats.VC – an Eastern European fund managed by retail industry experts – and other undisclosed institutional and private investors participated in the round, mainly from Europe.

This Pre-seed round will allow us to build a great team, launch the first dark stores in Italy and start developing the technological infrastructure that will enable us to truly innovate the pain point of this industry: the supply chain.

We know it’s all about the team and the culture, this is why we’re building an A-star team of executives with different backgrounds and skills with previous experiences in leading tech companies, such as Amazon, Rocket Internet, Delivery Hero, Glovo, Foodpanda; we are also building a breakthrough technology that will enable us to scale operations aggressively.

Giovanni Cavallo, Macai’s CEO and Co-founder

Previously, Giovanni Cavallo made an exit in February 2021 with the startup MyMenu, the largest Italian food delivery company specialized in high-end restaurants and food providers.

In the next few months, Macai will be rapidly expanding into main Italian cities. The long-term goal is to become the main player in Southern and Central Europe, a market worth – on a continental level – around $2.5 trillion, where the online commerce/grocery penetration will keep growing in the next few years at a CAGR higher than 30%.

Retail prices and an eco-friendly delivery in just a few minutes are some of the ingredients of this Italian startup, with a long term goal to completely reshape the grocery shopping experience.

Macai is now operating in Milan and Turin, in the next weeks, the company will launch more dark stores mainly in Northern Italy while the goal is to start the process of internationalization before mid-2022, while approaching the closing of the Seed round, already in motion, that will enable the company to keep building a great team and infrastructure.