Investor buys scooter company Grow, once-promising startup

(This March 11 story corrects to reflect that company says it was purchased by investor Felipe Henriquez, not venture firm Mountain Nazca, after Grow issued a corrected statement)

SAO PAULO/MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Investor Felipe Henriquez has acquired a controlling stake in unlisted Latin American scooter firm Grow Mobility, the parties said on Wednesday, without disclosing financial details.

Under terms of the deal, in which no cash was exchanged, Grow investors will retain about 20% of the company, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction.

As part of the change in its shareholding structure, Grow said mobility vice president Roberto Álvarez Cadavieco will become its global chief executive.

“My focus now is the following: to offer the best experience to our users and have a profitable business model that allows the company to grow in a sustainable way,” Cadavieco said in a statement.

Grow, formed from the merger of Mexican scooter startup Grin and its Brazilian counterpart Yellow last year, was among Latin America’s most prominent startups, attracting interest from top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.

But it has struggled in recent months to find a sound business model, according to people close to the company.

Henriquez said he and a business partner are also controlling shareholders in e-commerce platforms Peixe Urbano and Groupon LatAm, as well as Mobike.

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