AWS Startups Blog

Canasta Rosa Uses AWS to Steer Unique Small Businesses to Success

In Latin America, small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs face significant economic barriers. To combat issues of limited technological knowledge, fears about the process of launching an online store, and uncertainty when it comes to choosing the right platform, Mexico-based Canasta Rosa (Spanish for Pink Basket) is guiding small businesses to success. Spearheaded by CEO Deborah Dana, the startup has a clear purpose: To empower micro and small entrepreneurs to build and scale their businesses.

Canasta Rosa is so much more than just an online marketplace, however. “It is a stalwart partner to help small businesses through their growing pains,” says CTO Christopher Quesada. The startup provides women entrepreneurs and small businesses with the perfect opportunity to build a following and access new customers in an online market, all while offering training, guidance, professional services like photography or social media management, and help with taxes and logistics. “We’re trying to take all these pain points and simplify them, allowing the businesses to keep growing,” Quesada says.

Headshot on black background of Christopher Quesada, CTO

Christopher Quesada, CTO

Deeply immersed in Latin American culture, sellers on Canasta Rosa infuse that spirit into the products, offering truly unique items while combating a mass-produced world through handcrafted, locally sourced goods. And this focus on, as Quesada puts it, “being unique, local, handcrafted, and produced with love,” is seen in all four segments of the Canasta Rosa market. There’s food, including a huge variety of corn products from Mexico (think the best tortillas and sopes you’ve ever had). Next comes beauty products, along with health and wellness items. Thirdly, items related to special occasions, like Dia De Los Muertos, and finally speciality gifts.

Before Canasta Rosa, these innovative entrepreneurs were largely unable to position their products in the online realm, limiting their reach and potential audience. “We’re trying to be that enabling partner,” Quesada says. “acting as a staunch ally and providing a powerful platform for these business owners.” It’s no simple task, however.

Since the pandemic, Canasta Rosa has grown “600% in about four months, and the trend just went up,” Quesada explains, which means that new technical challenges in terms of infrastructure and availability of resources loom large. Canasta Rosa needs to provide their entrepreneurs with the flexibility to receive payments, to manage logistics, to fulfill commitments, while also scaling up to meet the increased demand.

Leveraging a huge variety of interconnected AWS services has allowed Canasta Rosa to rise to meet these challenges head-on, says Quesada.

As their momentum accelerates, Canasta Rosa is prepared to grow, maintain speed, and quickly solve problems, all without affecting the entire platform. According to Quesada, “As an early-stage company, your main mission is to survive and scale up.” After 15 years of working with startups, Quesada is no stranger to the chaos and changing roadmaps often associated with the early days. Canasta Rosa faces these same challenges, but at a larger scale, thanks to the unexpected exponential growth the company recently experienced.

AWS has provided Canasta Rosa with the key tools and integrations it needs to thrive. Within three months of Quesada joining the Canasta Rosa team, the company was able to coordinate, craft pipelines, and form microservices to better manage their features. “What really helped from AWS was that it was very easy to start using all these technologies,” Quesada says. “We see AWS as a key partner in making building a startup easier.” For example, Canasta Rosa was able to make its own business intelligence suite, using tools like Amazon Redshift, Amazon QuickSight, and Amazon EKS paired with Docker to make deployments, increasing both availability and reliability of their services.

While Canasta Rosa is currently only positioned in Mexico, Quesada asserts the company’s ambition to expand into the rest of Latin America, to target the huge Latin American community in the United States, and to satisfy buyers across all of the Americas. Since Mexico is a country of over 127 million people, and since Canasta Rosa is positioned in the biggest cities, like Monterrey, Mexico City, Puebla, Mérida, and Guadalajara, the startup is poised to expand significantly, carrying on their purpose of enabling women entrepreneurs and small businesses to find new life and success through their online marketplace.

Mikey Tom

Mikey Tom

Mikey works on the AWS Startup Marketing team to help highlight awesome founders leveraging the AWS ecosystem in interesting ways. Prior to his time at AWS, Mikey led the venture capital news coverage at PitchBook, researching and writing about industry trends and events.