Only a year and a half after its foundation, Mexico-based fintech Clara has taken another step towards its growth throughout Latin America: through a new partnership with Mastercard, it can now issue its own corporate credit cards.
“Operating under a direct license with Mastercard, we don’t depend on any other issuer, and have a product with a high acceptance rate to escalate our presence in the region”, said Gerry Giacomán, co-founder and CEO of Clara in an interview with LABS.
Clara offers an end-to-end spend management software that combines customizable corporate (physical and virtual) credit cards and a dashboard for expenses control. It has nearly 1,000 corporate clients in Mexico. About a third of them are high-growth startups and tech companies, such as Creditas, Kavak, Casai, and Valoreo, among others, and some of them also operate in other Latin American countries, which helps Clara envision and even test its next moves in the region.
In May this year, Clara raised a $30 million Series A round led by DST Global. Two months later, it received an extension of over $5 million from angel investors and founders from unicorns such as Rappi, Jüsto, Bitso.
The company’s plan is already operating in beta in Brazil and intends to officially launch its platform in the country in the next weeks – while studying Chile‘s and Colombia‘s markets as possible next steps after that. Diego García, Giacomán’s partner and also co-founder of Clara, is living in Brazil to help Layon Costa, a Brazilian executive who has worked at companies such as QuintoAndar and Rappi, lead the company in Brazilian ground. Clara has a team of about 20 people (and growing) in Sao Paulo.
The company plans to end 2021 with 2,000 companies using its platform.
Behind Clara’s fast growth is a super team of investors and entrepreneurs supporting two experienced entrepreneurs that already lived their ups and downs – both founders worked at Grow Mobility, a micro-mobility startup born from the merger between the Brazilian Yellow and the Mexican Grin in early 2019 and which filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2020, at the height of the pandemic and the lack of demand for its services.
Amongst the individual investors backing Clara are Sergio Furio from Creditas, Sebastián Mejía from Rappi, Daniel Vogel from Bitso, Brynne McNulty Rojas from Habi, Sebastián Castro from Kushki, Manolo Atala from Fairplay, Rodrigo Sánchez Ríos from La Haus, Deepak Chhugani from NuvoCargo, Sebastián Kreis from Xepelin, Sebastián Villarreal from Súper, Ricardo Weder from Jüsto, and Ariel Lambrecht from 99.