If you don’t know your company’s financial status, it is difficult to make decisions for the betterment of the company. This is where Cobre comes in.
The Colombia-based startup developed a corporate treasury platform to give chief financial officers more visibility and control over their company’s financial transactions, specifically, to centralize, digitize and automate their payment processes.
Cobre’s is a two-pronged approach: First is the enterprise software that centralizes payment initiation and reconciliation for finance teams across the region. Second is the payment rails — built by the company itself — that allow for PIX-like instant payments and real-time data. All of that is accessible via API and compatible with any bank in Colombia, Jose Vicente Gedeon told TechCrunch via email.
“[Building our own payment rails] is a long-game approach that takes time but delivers the best, most direct and most customizable experience for clients,” Gedeon said. “It has allowed us to act as a universal translator for each bank, ERP (enterprise resource planning) and company. That way, we can skip the unnecessary intermediation that is typical of payments and truly open the financial systems for our clients.”
Gedeon started the company with his cousin, Felipe Gedeon, Jose Donato and Alberto Chejne in 2020. The team comes from various backgrounds, with Jose beginning at McKinsey before going over to hospitality company Oyo. Felipe also worked in hospitality, leading growth strategy for Selina. Meanwhile, Donato worked in software development roles at Banco de Bogota and Modyo, while Chejne held a role in enterprise software and client success at SAP.
Three years later, Cobre is helping hundreds of CFOs, primarily in financial services and large enterprises, across Colombia streamline their operations.
Cobre’s plan from the beginning was to start with large corporations, with the idea that those clients would be able to afford the infrastructure the company has to build, Gedeon said. Now it is slowly expanding its customer base through networks to serve the medium-sized companies that their clients pay and get payments from through Cobre.
“This translated to a track record of high-ticket B2B subscriptions in a region that has been slow to adopt SaaS, as well as low customer acquisition costs,” Gedeon said.
The concept has caught on: The company yielded 600% year over year revenue growth and high seven-digit annual recurring revenue, Gedeon said.
In addition, the company saw 30x growth in total payment volume over the past 12 months, surpassing $1 billion in annual TPV.
They were even close to profitability earlier this year, Jose Vicente Gedeon told Forbes in January. He updated that to TechCrunch, saying that Cobre was indeed on track to reach profitability by the first quarter of 2024, but decided instead to take another round of funding.
Cobre previously raised $14 million in Series A capital in February 2022, which was led by QED Investors and Atlantico Partners. Canary also participated.
QED, Atlantico and Canary are all back participating in a new $13 million investment, this time led by Kaszek. The round closed in August and gives Cobre over $30 million in total funding to date.
Meanwhile, Jose Vicente Gedeon intends to deploy the new capital in a few different directions. As mentioned earlier, it initially went after big companies with high-volume payments operations. Now it plans to evolve its product so that it can be adopted by smaller businesses in the region. Cobre will also enter Mexico in 2024.
“We had a very strong first half of the year where we really solidified product-market fit and dramatically improved the health of our unit economics,” Jose Vicente Gedeon said. “With those results in hand it seemed like the right moment to try to expand into new customer segments and geographies. Kaszek provided a chance to take advantage of those opportunities, and we believe that with them onboard, we can really make an impact on the market.”