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Brazilian Fintech Stark Bank just raised US$ 13M to challenge the banks on 'enterprise' accounts

December 14, 2021
Por
Brazil Journal
Brazil Journal
Notícias sobre empresas brasileiras, mercado financeiro, investimentos em ações, Bolsa de Valores, startups, empreendedorismo e tecnologia.
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Rafael Stark isn't Tony Stark — the Marvel character whose secret identity is Iron Man — but he's going to need superpowers to carve his way into a market dominated by big banks.
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His fintech, dubbed Stark Bank, is trying to build the first PJ digital bank focused on 'enterprise' accounts (the accounts of large companies).

For that, Stark has just raised R$ 74 million in a round led by Lachy Groom, one of Stripe's first employees. After becoming a VC, Lachy has raised three funds, the latest for $250 million.

Stark serves more than 300 companies, including companies such as Quinto Andar, Loft, Buser, Colgate and Petlove.

Last month alone, fintech handled R$ 1.4 billion in its two products: a cash management solution (which manages 'accounts payable' and 'accounts receivable' for companies) and a corporate card.

Stark wants to multiply both transaction volume and revenue by 10 by the end of next year.

While the big banks “took the solutions designed for individuals and gave them a 'puzzle' for companies,” Stark was designed to meet the needs of big companies, said the founder, who interviewed several CFOs to understand what they wanted to find. on the platform before launching the product.

“When you open the banking app, you basically see your statement and tables with payment data… When you open Stark, you have a dashboard with various data: average account receivables ticket, default rate, cash flow, projected future cash, performance rate, average ticket evolution,” he told the Brazil Journal.

In the corporate card, Stark allows the company to define a series of 'rules' for the use of the card, from spending limits per day to permitted establishments. Stark used as benchmark American companies such as Ramp (Bex's main competitor) and Marqeta.

Stark's revenue comes from two monetization models: in cash management, it earns a flat fee that varies depending on the payment method (PIX, bank slip, etc). On the card, you earn a take rate on transactions.

Stark intends to use the resources of the round to enter into exchange, acquiring (to allow receiving online payments by card), and to create an as-a-service banking solution, making its infrastructure available to companies and fintechs that do not yet have integration with the Bank Central.

Rafael—an ITA engineer who specialized in programming and created a software house called Hummingbird—began designing Stark while doing a project for Colgate. At the time, he needed to find a payments API but couldn't find anything on the market. It was then that he decided to develop his own and start selling to some companies.

“From then on, there was a natural evolution. Companies started asking us for new features until we arrived at a complete cash management solution. After that, some companies started to leave the big banks to operate only with us and we were developing new solutions for them,” said the founder.

Stark's biggest challenge is to break through the barrier of trust and win over companies in the 'Old Economy'. Although the startup's clients are already large companies, most still came from the digital economy.

“In small business, all you have to do is give everything away for free, reset rates, and make ads that you can already attract many customers,” said the founder. "In enterprise, it's a much slower game: you have to create cases and prove that it works, because each customer who enters wants to talk to other customers... In addition, he has to see a very big difference in quality to switch between product. We have to create a product that is 10x better, and that the customer notices this difference. Otherwise it doesn't change."

Series A also had the participation of the American K5 Global and the Brazilian companies Iporanga Ventures and Norte Capital. Coinbase founders, Dropbox, Flexport, Figma, Rappi, D.Local, Wildlife and Slack also participated.

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y de ellas son responsables sus autores. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento u opinión de Latam Fintech Hub, por lo cual no pueden ser interpretadas como recomendaciones emitidas por la platafomra. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista sobre el ecosistema Fintech.

His fintech, dubbed Stark Bank, is trying to build the first PJ digital bank focused on 'enterprise' accounts (the accounts of large companies).

For that, Stark has just raised R$ 74 million in a round led by Lachy Groom, one of Stripe's first employees. After becoming a VC, Lachy has raised three funds, the latest for $250 million.

Stark serves more than 300 companies, including companies such as Quinto Andar, Loft, Buser, Colgate and Petlove.

Last month alone, fintech handled R$ 1.4 billion in its two products: a cash management solution (which manages 'accounts payable' and 'accounts receivable' for companies) and a corporate card.

Stark wants to multiply both transaction volume and revenue by 10 by the end of next year.

While the big banks “took the solutions designed for individuals and gave them a 'puzzle' for companies,” Stark was designed to meet the needs of big companies, said the founder, who interviewed several CFOs to understand what they wanted to find. on the platform before launching the product.

“When you open the banking app, you basically see your statement and tables with payment data… When you open Stark, you have a dashboard with various data: average account receivables ticket, default rate, cash flow, projected future cash, performance rate, average ticket evolution,” he told the Brazil Journal.

In the corporate card, Stark allows the company to define a series of 'rules' for the use of the card, from spending limits per day to permitted establishments. Stark used as benchmark American companies such as Ramp (Bex's main competitor) and Marqeta.

Stark's revenue comes from two monetization models: in cash management, it earns a flat fee that varies depending on the payment method (PIX, bank slip, etc). On the card, you earn a take rate on transactions.

Stark intends to use the resources of the round to enter into exchange, acquiring (to allow receiving online payments by card), and to create an as-a-service banking solution, making its infrastructure available to companies and fintechs that do not yet have integration with the Bank Central.

Rafael—an ITA engineer who specialized in programming and created a software house called Hummingbird—began designing Stark while doing a project for Colgate. At the time, he needed to find a payments API but couldn't find anything on the market. It was then that he decided to develop his own and start selling to some companies.

“From then on, there was a natural evolution. Companies started asking us for new features until we arrived at a complete cash management solution. After that, some companies started to leave the big banks to operate only with us and we were developing new solutions for them,” said the founder.

Stark's biggest challenge is to break through the barrier of trust and win over companies in the 'Old Economy'. Although the startup's clients are already large companies, most still came from the digital economy.

“In small business, all you have to do is give everything away for free, reset rates, and make ads that you can already attract many customers,” said the founder. "In enterprise, it's a much slower game: you have to create cases and prove that it works, because each customer who enters wants to talk to other customers... In addition, he has to see a very big difference in quality to switch between product. We have to create a product that is 10x better, and that the customer notices this difference. Otherwise it doesn't change."

Series A also had the participation of the American K5 Global and the Brazilian companies Iporanga Ventures and Norte Capital. Coinbase founders, Dropbox, Flexport, Figma, Rappi, D.Local, Wildlife and Slack also participated.

Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y solamente sus autores son responsables de ellas. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento o la opinión del equipo de Latam Fintech Hub y, por lo tanto, no pueden interpretarse como recomendaciones emitidas por la plataforma. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista en el ecosistema Fintech.

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