START-UPS

Colombia 2018 | TELECOMS & IT | B2B

Using technology to fill an unmet need in the market has given start-ups opportunities to flourish in Colombia.

Andres Garcia
ANDRES GARCIA
CEO & Founder
Dreamjobs
Felipe Tascon
FELIPE TASCON
CEO
Mesfix

How did the idea behind the company come about?

ANDRES GARCIA Dreamjobs was born from a 10-year story of looking at all the assessment platforms in Latin America. I realized that technology could significantly improve the process. We connect job offers with people with a great complexity. In Latin America, the second-greatest challenge after criminality is mobility and this platform seeks employment through geo-location. We have an algorithm that connects candidates with the most suitable job and the closest opportunity. Dreamjobs is a disruptive element in an economy where innovation is not a common factor. Furthermore, the platform had to be intelligent enough to emulate the same functionalities as a headhunting company. This platform can assess 1,000 candidates in just one minute. In our first year in the market, with more than 1,500 clients, our first client became the largest company in the country, Grupo Exito. The problem with Silicon Valley apps when they are applied to Latin America is that they typically do not understand this region well enough. Hence, this is where we can make a difference.

FELIPE TASCON Mesfix is the pioneer in the crowdfunding of receivables in Colombia. This represents a big achievement because Colombia is one of the most financially regulated countries in the world, setting big barriers to any company trying to do crowdfunding. In the process of creating the business, we iterated through many companies that provided money-tracking capabilities in order to comply with a Colombian law that states that a company cannot take money from more than 20 parties without having a license. In the end, after two and a half years of working with a specialized legal team and setting up important partnerships with PayU, we came up with a fully compliant crowdfunding business model. We have closed several investment rounds and won various awards. However, the biggest achievement is to be able to provide a solution for both companies and investors in which the money goes directly from the investor's bank account to the selling company, creating a transparent platform for both parties and eliminating most of the operational and moral risks in the transaction process.

What is the profile of your customers?

AG We have worked in different sectors. We are mostly focused on mass consumption and retail. However, this platform is available for different sectors. Allus uses our technology and that made us effective for VPOs, for example. We have not participated much in oil and gas because there is a slowdown in the sector, and the largest players have scaled back their investment plans.

FT Most of our customers are small companies that have a medium to large client base that pays them after 30-180 days.They come to us because of a variety of reasons including: being able to pay their employees on time, getting enough cash to make a big purchase to get bulk discounts, or even renewing their physical infrastructure to make their business more productive. It is hard to specify an economic sector, because we work with such a diverse pool of companies.

What are your targets for the coming year?

AG We have a major challenge, which is that we are in an era of growth. We have about 1 million users in Colombia, which many start-ups have not been able to achieve. Our idea now is not only to increase our capital but also to have a more diverse client portfolio. Moreover, we aim to have big companies working with us. Our goal is to be the second or first player in the employment sector here. We are growing at a 22% rate every year.

FT We mainly target growth. Around 60% of the money we raise will be for growth, while only 20% will be spent on product, because we have proven a product-market fit between our platform and the market. As for growth, we have formed an alliance with SAP to connect the pay point for the payers. We are generating all the algorithms to gather the information from invoices to make all transactions simple and fast. These are our achievements in terms of products and growth.