The Brazilian startup Hash is taking advantage of the ‘fintechrization’ of different sectors to build a new market. The startup connects entrepreneurs and customers through a platform capable of transforming large companies into financial service providers.
Founded in 2017, the São Paulo-based company put all of its 56 employees into remote work on March 12th, due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also stopped the distribution of POS terminals to its customers, since the equipment manufacturer suspended the device’s production. But in the midst of the crisis, it received the news that it was selected, with 15 more startups, for Endeavor’s Scale-up B2B program. It will be five months of intense learning that can take the fintech to a new level.
The cofounder and CEO of Hash, João Miranda told LABS that at the beginning of the pandemic, the company had a strategy to freeze spending, but is now resuming hiring to continue escalating. “I think that by the end of the year we will be able to launch interesting projects”, he says.
How Hash was born
Miranda and Thiago Arnese, also cofounder of Hash, were employees of Pagar.me, a fintech sold to the Brazilian payment processing firm Stone in 2016. In the last year of the company, Miranda, originally a developer, was working at the sales area of Pagar.me, which led him to have close contact with a number of other companies.
“At that time we saw a demand from some companies wanting to build a Pagar.me at home. Usually, B2B companies that sell to other smaller companies and that wanted to offer their own payment solution to their customers, because they already had a very close relationship with them and saw that small and medium companies had financial problems, problems with cash flow”, explains Miranda.
So Miranda and Arnese started helping these companies to become fintechs and realized that it was very complex to build this type of solution from scratch. Instead of working as a consultancy, they thought that the ideal way would be to build a plug-and-play platform, which can be adapted to each company.
From 2017 to mid-2019 Hash worked to build the platform. “It’s a market that requires a lot of knowledge, It is very much on the basis of trial and error,” he explains. Hash is currently present in 15,000 commercial establishments.
According to Miranda, the platform allows companies to absorb the financial flows of their entire network of customers, through an innovative and customized solution according to the needs of each audience.
The company has 3 customers in the operational phase (one of the largest building materials chains and joinery stores in the country, called Leo Madeiras, the refurbishing startup Decorati, and the payment startup Mobbi Pag), and eight clients waiting for the pandemic to end to put their POS terminals back on the streets.
Leo Madeiras, for example, has Hash’s POS coupled with a digital account to control the balance of the establishment that also provides benefits such as installment purchases. The result of that? Most woodworkers who buy inputs at Leo Madeiras ended up also migrating to Hash machines. “The volume for us ended up increasing even though we are not putting more POS terminals on the streets. We continue to grow 20% from April to May,” explains Miranda. The joinery was a market that grew during the pandemic, as with more people spending more time at home, the demand for new furniture increased.
According to Miranda, Hash activated the “war mode” at the pandemic, which is when the merchant, who uses the POS with Hash technology also has access to a sales link, so that instead of processing with the POS he can send the link for his client to pay online.
“We also tried to adapt to help those who were unable to sell, and in parallel, many customers were very creative. In the carpentry they can work from home, they already do the projects inside the house, so they continued selling”.
Scaling-up amid pandemic
When it comes to payments, Hash noticed the difference since the beginning of the pandemic in Brazil, as the demand for contactless cards skyrocketed. “The consumer no longer wants to touch the POS terminals, the adhesion of these contactless services has grown absurdly and it is a pattern that we are beginning to perceive that it will remain,” says Miranda.
With more than BRL 13 million in investment rounds from the venture capital funds Kaszek Ventures and Canary, Hash may have a new round by the end of the year, as stated by Miranda.
In 2019, the company transacted BRL 150 million and by 2020 the expectation is to reach BRL 500 million, while the company may increasingly be the gateway to other companies to the world of financial payment services.