3 Reasons Why NFX Is Investing in Jupiter

by Pete Flint (@PeteFlint). Pete is a General Partner at NFX, a seed-stage venture firm based in San Francisco.

From left to right: Jupiter Co-Founder and CEO Chad Munroe, Co-Founder and COO Anuraag Nallapati, NFX Managing Partner Pete Flint, Co-Founder and CMO Anna Pinol, Co-Founder and CTO William Yin. Previously Talar, NFX worked with the team to rename them Jupiter.

Jupiter is an online grocery-delivery service that offers guaranteed delivery times and a machine learning algorithm that builds out your grocery list so you spend less time browsing and placing orders, and more time doing things you’d rather be doing. It’s groceries on auto-pilot.

NFX co-led Jupiter’s $2.8 million seed round last summer, with participation from Khosla Ventures. We are sharing this news now as Jupiter comes out of stealth mode ready to become leaders in the rapidly growing world of online grocery delivery.

In NFX tradition, we want the entire Founder community to benefit from funding announcements so we’re sharing the 3 biggest reasons we invested in Jupiter. As Founders ourselves who’ve started 10 venture-backed companies, we believe this level of transparency can shed greater light on how VCs see your startup during the pitch process.

Here’s what we saw in Jupiter…

1) A Passionate Team That Works Well Together

There are Founders who work well together, and then there are the Founders who are so in sync they take it to the next level. The Founders of Jupiter are the latter. When NFX first met the team in April 2019, they were graduate and undergraduate students at Stanford. Then they went through Y Combinator and they shared a home. During this time, we were struck by their backgrounds, their scrappiness, and their overall passion for this business.

The team is impressive and also very complementary. CEO Chad Munroe met co-Founders Anna Pinol and Anuraag Nallapati during their first year at GSB and worked on a business idea together. Anna had ecommerce and delivery experience from her time working at Amazon Prime. Chad had worked in product for SpaceX and Pratt & Whitney. Anuraag Nallapati is the former head of analytics at one of the largest logistics companies in India, and the fourth co-Founder, Will Yin worked as a Stanford machine learning researcher and engineer at Virtualitics. The co-Founders are excited to be building a company together, and are well aware that their biggest asset is speed. This helped them pivot their businesses model quickly earlier this year when the pandemic hit to contactless deliveries and sourcing their products from wholesalers.

2) An Enormous Market That’s Going Digital

The market size of supermarkets and grocery stores in the US this year is $682 billion. Groceries deliveries were moving online before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but the combination of sheltering-in-place and the continued need for groceries rapidly accelerated the trend. Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart grocery delivery services all experienced huge increases this Spring. Instacart alone saw an increase of about 450% in sales in April. And while some shoppers might revert back to in-store shopping, the longer term trends are clear and home grocery delivery is still in its infancy and transitioning to digital. Consumers today have discovered the convenience of having their weekly groceries delivered to their front door, and Jupiter will make it even easier for them.

3) An Opportunity for Innovation

We felt there was a lack of overall product innovation in the grocery industry and that there was a unique opportunity to build a new technology company in this space. Some of the first generation grocery delivery companies are a decade old and we believe this is an industry that’s in its infancy and has lots of room for innovation.

Jupiter offers its members guaranteed weekly delivery slots, and has automatic features designed to set your favorite items on automatic reorder. It’s algorithm drafts a grocery list for you to review, edit, and approve each week, all designed to save you time and more to come.

Jupiter.co is available today in San Francisco. You can read more about them in TechCrunch and sign-up here to get a 14-day free trial with the code: TRYJUPITER

Connect with Pete Flint

3 Reasons Why NFX Is Investing In La Haus

La Haus + NFX

La Haus + NFX

Company: La Haus
What they do: La Haus is a consumer-focused end-to-end residential real estate platform that facilitates traditional real estate transactions digitally in Latin America.
Industry: PropTech (real estate technology)
Funding: Total of $16M; $10M Series A
Co-Investors: Kaszek Ventures, Acrew Capital

At NFX, to make transparent to the founder community how VCs think, we like to make public our rationale for investing. We recently participated in a Series A round for La Haus. We also led the seed round and have known the team since they first launched in 2017. When La Haus Founder Jeronimo Uribe first cold emailed me, he was starting a business that grew out of a class project at Stanford about online real estate in South America. His sophistication was impressive and highly unusual for early founders. When we met the team, we were equally impressed with his co-founder and President Rodrigo Sanchez-Rios and CTO Santigo Garcia. The more we learned about La Haus, the more clear it became they were a perfect fit for NFX.

Here are 3 biggest reasons we decided to invest in La Haus.

1 – A World-Class Team with Local Expertise

The founding team is outstanding. They combine deep, local country knowledge and understanding of their specific geographical market – where they were born and live – with the best of Silicon Valley. They spent considerable time in the Valley as founders and as students. Jeronimo (Colombian) and Rodrigo (Mexican) both went to graduate school at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The strength of the founding team and their global network gives them the ability to bring on world-class talent. We also love their scrappiness. By the time we first invested at the pre-seed stage, La Haus already completed more than 100 transactions, an early sign that this is a team that can execute on a big opportunity.

2 – Deep Market and Industry Knowledge

The founding team had spent many years in the real estate industry – one that I know very well from my time at Trulia. Prior to launching La Haus, Jeronimo and Rodrigo founded a real estate investment and development company in Medellin, Colombia that generated over $350 million worth of projects in retail, industrial, and residential properties. They know the LatAm real estate market inside and out. La Haus estimates residential real estate in LatAm is worth $10 trillion with over 150 million urban residential units. When it achieves market parity with the U.S. in terms of efficiency, LatAM should drive over 5 million residential real estate transactions each year. This is a large addressable market that is highly fragmented and inefficient. From his time in Silicon Valley, Jeronimo understands how great proptech companies have been built in other parts of the world and he grasps the market opportunity to professionalize, modernize, and drive innovation in LatAm real estate.

3. Good Timing

I’ve written about why timing is everything for startups. And I believe the timing is perfect for La Haus and the market need they are addressing – residential real estate in one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. In my career, I have spent 10+ years studying and operating in the real estate industry, going back to my time as the CEO of Trulia. As a European, I’ve always been interested in learning from international models. I have studied similar online real estate businesses and how real estate markets are developing on every continent. The LatAm market remains highly fragmented. Information about real estate in LatAm is scarce. There is no equivalent of the Multiple Listing Service in the U.S. Even estimating market size is challenging. Inevitably, dominant marketplaces for buyers, sellers, and real estate agents form in every market. La Haus is positioned to be that dominant marketplace; it is a startup in the right market at the right time.

To learn more about La Haus, visit their website.