Washington, D.C., June 10, 2014—IFC,
member of the World Bank Group, is investing along with other firms in
Scanntech, a Uruguay-based firm that is revolutionizing the way independent
and traditional retail sectors in emerging markets professionalize and
integrate with providers. The company's technology platform connects independent
stores with global consumer products companies, financial and telecommunications
firms, and government services.
IFC’s investment will help fuel the roll-out of Scanntech’s technology
across emerging and developing markets, which has the potential to professionalize
traditional retail sectors by making information more accessible and transparent
along the entire supply chain.
Scanntech’s platform drives growth of small mom-and-pop and independent
stores by connecting them directly to large consumer products companies
and allowing them to access the same promotions as large retail chains.
The company has developed an innovative point-of-sale system that helps
stores manage their transactions, optimize inventory levels, and view professional
reports on store performance, giving owners more clarity and assertiveness
in their operations.
Through integration with services companies, stores also have access to
a variety of value-added products (e.g., card payments, mobile top up,
social assistance benefits) to end-consumers which drive foot traffic and
promote financial inclusion.
To partners from the consumer products and services industries – including
the telecommunications, banking, payments, government / social assistance,
and transportation sectors – the Scanntech system offers an unparalleled
understanding of real-time stock-keeping unit (SKU) information and integration
into the traditional store channel, which drives more than 60-70% of retail
sales in emerging markets, and which without the platform is extremely
fragmented and difficult to reach.
Scanntech is present in 5 countries with more than 35 million monthly transactions
and is in the process of expanding to new countries, including Brazil,
Peru, and Colombia.
Raul Polakof, co-founder and CEO of Scanntech, said, “this investment
is a major step along Scanntech’s path toward a global presence, and we
are proud to have the IFC join our vision of integrating independent and
traditional retailers across the emerging world with providers into a single
Scanntech will also be able to leverage IFC’s vast experience in the financial
technology (FinTech) and electronic payment sectors. IFC has a dedicated
team focusing on the industry and has a portfolio of 16 investments worldwide,
making IFC one of the institutional investors with the deepest expertise
in these areas.
“IFC’s support is recognition of Scanntech’s innovative business model
and our commitment to help small retailers succeed through the use of new
technologies and working in cooperation with consumer products companies.
I believe that with IFC’s deep experience in key expansion markets,
we will be able to have a large impact together,” said Polakof.
Irene Arias, IFC’s director for Latin America and the Caribbean, said
that through this investment “we expect to help Scanntech expand its business
model to other markets, with the end goal of raising the productive capacity
of the region.”
“We look forward to our partnership with Scanntech and to using our industry
expertise to support its regional expansion,” Arias said.
Sequoia Capital, which made its first investment in Latin America with
Scanntech in the previous round, and other undisclosed investors have also
participated in the round.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. Working with private
enterprises in more than 100 countries, we use our capital, expertise,
and influence to help eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity.
In FY13, our investments climbed to an all-time high of nearly $25 billion,
leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs and tackle the
world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit