Skift Take

Latin America's Rappi now offers business travel alongside things like takeaways, pet food and furniture. It doesn’t sound like a winning combination, but different parts of the world have different appetites for digitization.

Rappi, a Latin American superapp, has entered the online travel market after signing a strategic partnership with a technology platform. The superapp startup, reportedly valued at $3.5 billion, launched five years ago and is best known for its speedy delivery services, giving users access to buy from local restaurants, pharmacies, pet shops and furniture stores, among others. It also secured a $1 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank Group in April last year. Last month it launched a new division, Rappi Travel, following a tie-up with travel technology platform Netactica. Rappi users can now book hotels and flights, while the company also soft-launched a corporate travel platform, Rappi travel4Business, which has already signed up 250 companies.

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For now, Rappi Travel is available in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Guido Becher, the founder of Netactica, joined Rappi as its new head of travel following the partnership, which began last year. Netactica remains an independent company, but under the terms of the deal it provides the back-end technology to Rappi. In February this year, Sebastian Fonnegra joined Rappi from Frosch, to become a travel project manager, and will oversee the new corporate travel division. “During the pandemic, we invested a lot in product development, taking advantage of the fact we didn’t have passengers stranded abroad. We have great expectations,” Becher said. “Looking at the data, we could see what users wanted, in terms of travel product