Brazil-based SaaS firm Atlas Governance, a governance startup, was born in 2018 after its founder, Eduardo Carone, felt the consequences of bad corporate practices, as he told LABS in September.
Now, with the operation consolidated and serving more than 300 organizations in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, Atlas has just raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Volpe Capital.
“We even received a proposal from five investment funds, but we decided to bet on Volpe’s model, which is a little different from the part of the companies in the market. They want to have less investment and greater involvement with these companies [invested],” said Carone, CEO of Atlas.
Volpe Capital is a new fund created by the former managing partner of SoftBank in Brazil, André Maciel, which raised $100 million to make up to 20 investments.
Most of the money will be for strengthening the expansion in Latin America and about 20% of the amount will be applied to product development, such as software for assemblies with a launch scheduled for 2022.
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“In addition to taking care of the board of directors of the committees, we will also have a product to take care of assemblies, whether of shareholders of companies, investors, or even a building, anything that has more than one partner or member,” explains Carone.
Atlas intends to close the year with about 400 customers. For next year, the idea is to triple the customer base, reaching a portfolio of 1,200 companies served next year – about 12,000 directors and committee members are Atlas customers and this number should reach almost 40,000.
“Today we have a very well-structured area in Brazil and the intention is to expand our position and our commercial efforts in the other five Latin American countries where we are today, continuing the international expansion,” adds the CEO.
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Sara Caballero is the director of the international expansion of the startup. She says that when the internationalization movement began a year ago, the idea was to test the business model and Atlas software in new markets. “We hired a person in each country to see how to make this entry into each of these markets and pick up some intelligence in these countries because the cultural complexity of each client is different,” she states.
Now, with 20 customers in the Spanish-speaking LatAm, Atlas Governance wants to strengthen these commercial teams.
“We are seeing a very rapid acceptance and development process in northern Latin America,” says Carone.
The company, which should close 2021 with revenues of BRL 13 million, expects to reach BRL 30 million next year.
The E, the S, and the G go together
According to Carone, the letters that make up the acronym ESG (Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance) go together, and that there is no way to execute sustainability and diversity criteria if governance is not established in a company.
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“We use the ‘G’ every day. Governance is the set of rules for living together, which start within your home, with whoever you live with. They expand to your building, they expand to a club, to county, state, and country,” he points out.
“The problem is that governance has been dressed up in a complex way. Our purpose today is to transform governance into something simple, accessible, and digital. Without good governance, no company will save the environment nor promote diversity and inclusion.”