Maite Muñiz, David Cuadrado, Daniel Bilbao and César Pino founded the SaaS startup Truora in 2018. Surfing the fintech and marketplaces’ wave in Latin America, Truora was born as an authentication tool for tech companies in the region.
“In Latin America, depending on the country it is really hard to know who the person is, or their background, or if they can trust people or not. So we began with the mission of how we can let companies know who this person is, we began thinking about how to make technology accessible for companies to hire more gigsters and more drivers and so on in a way that it is simple”, Muñiz told LABS, in an interview.
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Operations started in Colombia and Mexico, and a year later the firm expanded to Brazil, Chile, and Costa Rica. “Our objective was to reach marketplaces such as Rappi, they needed to hire people really fast and they needed it to be safe for the end-user and the marketplace.”
Truora executed all the background validations in Colombia and then expanded to other authentication and identity technologies to help reduce identity fraud. The company mainly works with B2B2C companies such as banks, fintechs, and marketplaces. “We provide them onboarding experience, and we have everything together with a background check, so it’s the face recognition, biometrics, on top of criminal background checks and sometimes a credit background check, mostly figuring out the past of the person so they can either hire them or can give them better credit, access to credit cards, in a remote way.”
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With a subscription-based model, Truora’s clients pay per validation, which, according to Muñiz, it’s good for marketplaces that right now around Christmas, usually hire more people than they would normally hire in January and February. “They don’t have to pay a fixed fee, they pay as they use the service. Fintechs as well, they pay as they go so they don’t need to invest a lot in something that people may not use.” The startup expects to close the year with an Annual Recurring Revenue of $3 million.
Heating SaaS in Latin America
Muñiz says that, even though there is still a long way to go for SaaS companies in the region, in recent years there has been traction in Latin America. “Fundraising of SaaS right now is super hot in Latin America. There has been a lot of money poured into the region in the past couple of months, most of them in SaaS.”
Truora, for instance, already raised $3.5 million in Seed, and it’s now planning a new funding round. Muñiz says that, while before, founders needed not only to prove to investors that they were able to execute something, but also that Latin America was a good place to invest in. Now, founders don’t have to prove to them that Latin America is a region worth investing in, they already know, according to the co-founder.
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Now, Truora is focusing on expanding in Brazil and Mexico and increasing awareness of the products it has launched, such as authentication through WhatsApp as a channel. “Due to compliance, most companies need to authenticate users for many of their services, and as Latin Americans, we are looking for the easiest way to finish that validation,” she says, about the WhatsApp tool.
Truora managed to do authentications through WhatsApp in which the client needs to send documents to request credit for a fintech, for instance. “Authentication through WhatsApp is our big bet and we think this can be a gamechanger towards most of Latin America.”
The company currently has more than 140 B2B clients, and more than 300 SMEs. In Colombia‘s headquarters, there is most of the engineering team, which accounts for 60% of the 110 employees. Truora also has teams in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile. “After Colombia, our next biggest office would be Brazil and then Mexico,” says Muñiz.
Mainly due to its Brazilian and European clients, Truora says it is General Data Protection Law (GDPL) compliant for all the countries in which it operates.
Muñiz says she expects Truora to triple its revenue for the first six months of 2022. “We built our services to be very simple and easy for engineers, we need to be building everything in a scalable manner so that we can work with really big companies and really big banks without having that scalability issue that many startups face in their first years. We are working with security, we are working with people’s data, we are working with potential blocking criminals from getting into organizations, so our mission today is how can we help companies to get more users with a really low customer acquisition cost so they can grow.”