How is iFood changing the game with Invillia? A disruptive innovation story

6 min readSep 15, 2020


With a network of more than 200 thousand restaurants, 39 million orders delivered every month, presence in more than 1000 cities, 150 thousand active deliverers and 2.5 thousand employees, iFood is the largest foodtech in Latin America. Starting in 2011 as a delivery app but with the goal of working within the entire food ecosystem. Expansion to the B2B market came in 2019. Because the ambition to go further, to deliver value and to innovate without limits is part of iFood DNA. It is continuous, never stops. After all, we are talking about a game-changer, a unicorn, a start-up mindset. But none of this appears out of nowhere. It’s necessary to gather in a common mission the best minds, the best talents. That’s why iFood selected Invillia as a strategic partner back in 2017. With a close and successful relationship since then, Invillia was again selected to help address all the exciting challenges of the new Business Unit. That started with the launch of iFood Office ( check case study) and continues with the development of iFood Refeição (iFood Meal). Its potential? Being even bigger than iFood is now_ Another disruptive innovation in a startup-to-infinite journey_


To innovate is to do differently, better, faster, with greater gains, optimized experiences. Entering a new market with the aim of leading it requires a game-changing, totally disruptive innovation. This is precisely what iFood Meal represents for the traditional and bureaucratic market of corporate food benefits. An area regulated by the government’s PAT law (Worker Food Program) that began with a paper ticket and then a physical card — which is still the current offering. An outdated and rigid model regarding today’s technological advances, anywhere-working models and extremely dynamic world. With increasingly demanding customers, seeking simplicity, flexibility and practicality in all aspects of their lives.

The great value proposed by iFood is precisely the digitization, simplification and acceleration of the entire process, both for employees and companies. No cards, no time-consuming, repetitive and prone to error tasks.

After a deep understanding of the context and business goals, Invillia created a multidisciplinary squad connected by its Global Growth Framework to help iFood make all this a reality.


Together, iFood and Invillia teams designed, tested and implemented iFood Meal. A disruptive innovation for the corporate food benefits market:

  1. Companies can have access to an intelligent online management platform that centralizes the whole information and provides complete reports. Autonomously, they register employees, configure and assign benefits, and make payments, eliminating the process of issuing and sending cards. All at a zero cost and without extra fees.
  2. Through the app, employees can use their credit via delivery or directly in physical spaces across the iFood network. With the flexibility to transfer balances between Meal (to use in restaurants) and Food (to use in supermarkets), according to their specific needs and complying with the PAT’s determinations and the company’s internal policies.

The project grew from 6 to 21 people, among Agile Leaders, Frontend and Backend Developers and Quality Analysts. Makers and dreamers totally committed to making iFood Meal the next big thing in the iFood startup-to-infinite journey.

“Invillia people are today key people in the project. Many of the guidelines, ideas, best practices, suggestions that we follow are brought by Invillia. But the real complexity and where Invillia’s contribution was decisive was when the project grew, and new people joined. Invillia works together with all of us and is extremely influential. Their professionalism, competence, proactivity, responsiveness, cohesion capacity is absolutely critical. We have enormous confidence and tranquility in positioning Invillia in our strategic decisions by the level of partnership, alignment, results that we have achieved together. There are no Invillia and iFood employees, there are project employees”, highlights Rafael Trestini, Engineering Manager at iFood and iFood Corporate Technical Lead.


It all started as an experiment, as a hypothesis on how iFood could position itself in the corporate market. A series of studies were made, a work of prospecting, of discovery. A strategic line was defined that envisaged the creation of platforms, adaptations, and validations of the entire plan. And Invillia was invited as a strategic technological arm. We made a PoC, an MVP. And it worked. iFood gained new features, new differentials. Always based on the inputs and feedback collected, towards the desired disruptive innovation. iFood Office was the first offering that the Invillia-iFood team launched and has already been designed with the foundations to evolve into the iFood Meal.

“A great advantage of working in partnership with Invillia is opening up new possibilities for start-ups like iFood. Because it makes it possible to evaluate in practice new business fronts, innovations, markets, validating hypotheses — so we can be disruptive with confidence. Which would not be viable with the creation of an exclusive internal team. And when the hypothesis is validated, Invillia becomes a strategic partner. The value that Invillia brings is the maximum value of a project, it is the value of a partnership that makes things happen. That allows us to innovate without limits”, adds Rafael.

The growth potential is now huge. And deliveries, value creation happen every day:

The iFood Meal project is based on a continuous delivery process — a paradigm shift for the whole team and for iFood itself. Every day there is a deployment in production that brings something new. Instead of creating big sprints, big packages and deploying them all at once. Today Invillia is the owner of this methodology and responsible for replicating it to new team members. The continuous delivery process negates the previous model, the agile one. That assumes a one- or two-week time box. At iFood this is too long. Deliveries are made several times a day. Things that are not yet working in production. That is the secret. And that is what makes the difference. Whether in the frontend, backend or database. Bringing together who will work on each change. In the shortest possible time, the new feature goes into production but with the feature flag turned off. The sooner each feature is in production, the sooner the value is generated.

As a game-changing, disruptive innovation, iFood Meal has the potential to become the size of iFood itself. Or even bigger. And Invillia will continue a centerpiece for this ambition.

“Today, Invillia is our main engine for rapid and elastic growth. The scale, the massification of iFood Meal alone is a huge challenge. Corporate benefit companies have taken decades to reach the dimension they have. We want to achieve this in a few months. Of course, we count on Invillia, on its exceptional contribution. Invillia always brings us the concern with people, with their well-being, and it clearly reflects on the team daily performance and motivation. In how much it benefits us. Invillia works within a unique framework and the outcome has been fantastic”, concludes Rafael.

About iFood — iFood is a Brazilian company created in 2011, operating in food delivery over the internet and being a leader in Latin America, with a presence in Mexico and Colombia. Founded as a startup, it received several venture capital investments and was acquired in 2014 by Movile, the same year that a merger with RestauranteWeb took place, putting the value of the new company at approximately one billion of reais. More info at

About Invillia — Invillia helps game-changing companies activate their innovation power combining strategic data and the best talents around the world. Our exclusive Global Growth Framework was designed to transform businesses with agility, performing cutting-edge technology, creating ongoing digital strategies, products, and services. Go further at

Originally published at on September 15, 2020.




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