COO of Accel, Tiger and Stripe backs Mexico City-based Higo as it raises $23M for its B2B payments platform – TechCrunch

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Just six months after raising $3.3 million in seed fundingMexico City-based Higo today announced it has raised $23 million in a Series A round led by Accel.

Tiger Global Management also participated in the financing, alongside existing backers Haystack, Homebrew, Audacious, Susa Ventures and J Ventures. A number of angel investors have also put money into the round, including Stripe COO Claire Hughes-Johnson and Cristina Cordova, former Head of Partnerships at Stripe.

Simply put, higo is here to transform B2B payments for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Latin America, starting with its home country.

Rodolfo Corcuera, Juan José Fernández, and Daniel Tamayo founded the company in January 2020, recognizing that the supplier payment process for business owners is largely “manual and cumbersome”.

“In Mexico, small businesses mostly manage accounts payable with nothing more than legacy spreadsheets, email and bank accounts,” the CEO said. Corcuera noted.

The trio formed Higo to automate processes and provide cash flow visibility, especially for small businesses. “Informal” businesses account for about 23% of Mexico’s GDP, according to data from INEGI, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of the Government. Higo launched its SaaS platform last November with the aim of “to build the easiest way for Latin American businesses to pay, collect and fund invoices.”

Today, the company says it’s grown “more than 20x,” to thousands of businesses paying and getting paid with its platform, up from just a handful in early 2021. Additionally, since its last financing round, the company launched a financing product. to help businesses increase their cash flow through the AP (Accounts Payable) extension.

“We provide on-demand financing in case of late payments, making cash flow problems a thing of the past,” Corcuera said.

The executive, who has launched two other Mexican startups in the past – Aliada and Tandem – likens Higo’s business to Venmo’s, but for business.

“Higo is the first B2B payment platform that automatically populates all of a customer’s vendor invoices – and provides a single ledger where users can approve, pay and fund those invoices without ever leaving our platform,” he said. declared. “Think of us a bit like Venmo for B2B, with the added ability to fully fund the payments you need to make or receive, with just one click.

Picture credits: higo

Higo started 2021 with five employees and now has 31, with the goal of having a workforce of 60 by the end of the year. She plans to use her new capital primarily for hiring all the teams.

“In Mexico, companies don’t get paid on time,” Corcuera said. “Even large companies struggle to meet deadlines, so we help companies get paid faster.” The startup has corporate clients such as logistics provider 99minutos.com and e-commerce giant Jokr, as well as small businesses like vinoschidos.mx, an online wine store.

For now, Higo remains committed to working in his home country, where Corcuera estimates there are 4.2 million SMEs, which employ 70% of the population.

Amit Kumar of Accel notes that the Palo Alto-based company has invested “very actively” in LatAm, and that Higo represents its biggest Series A investment in the region. Accel, he said, increasingly believes there is a significant opportunity in Latin America.”to build the next generation of fintech rails.

His company, he said, was struck not only by Higo’s “laser focus” on B2B payments and its potential to accelerate the local SME ecosystem, but also by its belief that the team co-founder “is building one of the best teams” that he’s seen globally.

In particular, Kumar thinks Higo’s focus on invoices is the right one for LatAm, since that’s where the vast majority of business-to-business commerce takes place.

“The speed of growth in terms of deposits, transactions and integrated providers all indicate that they have solved a really important problem for a wide range of businesses and will accelerate this whole ecosystem,” he said.

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