How a Brazilian startup’s pivot to corporate cards paid off • TechCrunch

How a Brazilian startup’s pivot to corporate cards paid off • TechCrunch

How a Brazilian startup's pivot to corporate cards paid off • TechCrunch

>>> DOWNLOAD MP3 <<<

Gate 3 was founded as a business travel startup in 2020 and launched its product just as COVID was hitting Latin America and “all airports were closing,” the co-founder recalls Bianca Pereira.


Even though the timing was “terrible,” she says, the company didn’t give up.

Pereira and his founding colleague Fernando Nery concluded that the software Portão had built could still be used to help companies manage their expenses in general.

“We also realized that company cards are a great tool,” Pereira, a serial entrepreneur and former Cargill employee, told TechCrunch. “However, CFOs in Brazil hate them, and we understand why, because all they get at the end of the month is an untraceable transaction record…CFOs also fear that by decentralizing payments and empowering employees they will have to deal with fraud, reconciliation of payments and a general mess in the operations that they will have to repair. »

Portao’s platform combined with its corporate card, according to Pereira, solves the problem by doing two things. First, he builds a business policy configuration in the platform that approves transactions.

“We call it budgets; each is set up to determine where employees can spend money, how much, and when,” says Pereira.

It also connects to a centralized billing platform, which automatically reads and interprets QR codes on receipts uploaded by employees to match details of that transaction, cross-examines it to verify that there are no no fraud and ensure that each item was purchased in accordance with company policy. .

In 2022 alone, Portão 3 claims to have facilitated over $60 million in transactions and issued over one million physical and virtual cards. Nearly 600 companies across Latin America use the technology, including companies such as crypto firm Bitso, CredPago, health insurance giant SulAmérica, and 123 Milhas. And impressively, Portão claims to have reached profitability in December and continue to grow 20% month-on-month.

Portão 3 claims that its software reduces the time spent on payment management processes by 33%, with the aim of making it easier for companies to control their employees’ expenses for travel, fuel, tolls, meals and of any external activity.

The company participated in Y Combinator’s 2021 summer cohort, but only recently turned to institutional funding to help grow its business – closing a $3.6 million seed funding round directed by Better Tomorrow Ventures. Endeavor Scale Up, Fincapital, Pareto, Flexport and other angel investors also participated in the financing.

For now, according to Pereira, Portão is focused on growth in Brazil, with an eye on eventual expansion in Latin America as a whole. He plans to use his new capital to hire a product and growth team, and recently hired a former Samsung executive to lead sales. Currently, Portão has 30 employees.

For the future, the company wants to focus on new customer segments in logistics, retail and freight.

Jake Gibson, founding partner of Better Tomorrow Ventures and co-founder of NerdWallet, said his company assessed the opportunity to invest in Portão 3, he found that Brazilian companies have access to corporate cards but, as Pereira mentioned, they rarely use the products due to fraud, matching and data decentralization.

Gate 3The software aims to solve the big business problem by offering software that normalizes transaction data, checks card spend for fraud and “significantly reduces” spend reporting times, he said. .

“As card issuance itself has become largely commoditized, Portão 3 has focused its efforts on creating a financial management platform that provides controls and fraud detection to CFOs,” said added Gibson. “By integrating with the various Brazilian government invoice databases and creating technology to normalize and normalize this data, Portão 3 can verify all expenses on the cards and ensure that there are no violation of the company’s expense policy.”

Better Tomorrow Ventures’ investment in Portão 3 is the latest in a larger thesis, Gibson points out. The company has also invested in Ramp in the United States and Mendel in Mexico.

“We’re very familiar with companies that provide software beyond cards for businesses – it’s a model we like and see a ton of value in,” he said.

Portão 3’s pivot is similar to that of US-based Navan (formerly TripActions), which also started out focusing on business travel, but now focuses on general corporate expense management for businesses.

Want more fintech news in your inbox? Register here.

Got a timely tip or insider information on a topic we’ve covered? We would love to hear from you. You can reach me by email at Or you can send us a note at Happy to respect requests for anonymity.


Do you find AfroNaija useful? Click here to give us five stars rating!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button