Trura, Colombian The user authentication startup has raised $15 million in Series A funding co-led by two Silicon Valley companies.
Propel Venture Partners and Accel led the investment in TruRa, which valued the company at $75 million.
Founded in August 2018, Truera was originally a background checker for the Gister platform. Taxi companies were its largest customers in 2018 and 2019, and the company has seen an increase in e-commerce customers and marketplaces due to the pandemic.
TruRa participated in the Y Combinator Winter 2019 cohort and soon expanded into digital identity and authentication technologies. In March, the company raised $3.5 million in a seed round led by Accel and Kaszek at a $15 million valuation.
Today Truora describes herself as SaaS Startup Creation of authentication and communication tools for Latin American startups, marketplaces, fintech companies and banks. It mainly specializes in user authentication and WhatsApp connection.
The technology includes automatic registration with features such as automatic conversations with chatbots, facial recognition, document verification, and background checks. In 2021, Truora launched a WhatsApp-centric app for WhatsApp. launched TrueConnect is designed to help businesses connect and authenticate users through a more accessible channel.
“We empower businesses to increase user acquisition, reduce signup dropouts, provide comprehensive customer support, and even market their services,” said the co-founder and CEO. Mayte MunizzoJoe is the startup’s chief product officer and was a former advisor to McKinsey.
Today, Truora has over 400 customers in 9 Latin American countries. These clients include Rappi, Clara, Bancolombia, Adelantos, Mercado Libre, Didi, Homie, and Global 66. It says it performs an average of 400,000 to 500,000 background checks and monthly background checks and has an annual recurring income of amounting to more than $4 million, which is expected to grow “more than 5 times over the next year.”
Co-founder and CTO David Cuadrado has been an engineer at Twilio for about five years, and co-founder Cesar Pino has been an engineer at the company for about three years.
The company has offices in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru and San Francisco. While at headquarters in Cali, Colombia, Muniz said that The new main center or, at best, a growing office – Mexico City. The startup also plans to use some of the proceeds to expand its WhatsApp onboarding offering, which includes features like automatic conversations in Mexico. Over time, he also seeks to expand his presence in Brazil.
CEO and co-founder Daniel Bilbao says TruRa wants to lower the entry barrier by making its products available to companies with limited technical resources. He said that TruRa can be integrated into all of the company’s products in “less than two weeks.” According to Bilbao, the most popular channel, WhatsApp, it takes less than a day to integrate with the no-code stream builder.
WhatsApp is widely used throughout Latin America by approximately 80% to 90% of the population.
“By allowing TruRa authentication products to be integrated into WhatsApp, the company is opening up a potentially $3.5 billion trackable market in Latin America,” said Bilboa, a former investment banker at Bank of America.
Trura also plans to use its new capital to hire employees, emphasizing that it wants to create a work culture “where women can thrive.” Today, women make up 70% of company management and 45% of the workforce. It says it aims to achieve 50% equal representation with no more than 50 new jobs, “with a special focus on female talent in manufacturing and development.”
Notably, dozens of business angels have also poured money into TruRa’s latest funding, including the CEO of Rapik. Simon Borrero; Shares CEO Alex Boaziz, Muni founder Maria Echeveri Gomez; Dilip Tymon-Jeeves, CEO and founder of Jeeves; Tatyana Fontalvo, founder of BitSports; Morado founder Angela Borrero; Valentina Valencia, founders of VaaS, Anna and Kerry Wang of Searchlight; GGV Capital venture partner and pre-confirmed COO Huey Lin and Latitude co-founder Brian Rickworth.
Naturally, TruRa investors are optimistic about the company’s potential. Accel’s Rich Wong said he was drawn to a founding group made up of a tech team, ex-Twilio, combined with great product and business founders.
“It was the combination of the team that formed the nucleus,” he said. “We also saw the success of this kind of business with companies like Checker, so there was a direct analogy here too.”
Wong also believed that The regional/local provider was supposed to be “the first to understand the cultural difference”.es and local issues, and formulate a product for these needs. ,
“For example, while WhatsApp is ubiquitous in many emerging economies, for most Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, it doesn’t matter much,” he said. “So being able to focus on a team use case is a great example of how to stay connected to regional needs.”
Propel Ventures partner David Mort said he had known Bilbao for five years and “seized the opportunity” to support him and the team.
“While its authentication and KYC products are very competitive, Truera’s key differentiator is how the technology is delivered,” he said. “While Truora is offering its capabilities to the financial sector in WhatsApp, targeting a segment of the population that has been hard to reach for fintech, we see great potential in this model.”