Brazilian Fintech Slice raises first contribution, led by former HSBC COO

January 20, 2022
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In early December, the reader got to know first-hand the story of Slice, a Fintech created in early 2021 with the aim of being the technological infrastructure for businesses such as marketplaces and fintechs, with solutions ranging from split payments to automatic settlement.

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At the time, founders Sérgio Irigoyen (ex-Bradesco, HSBC and Banco Votorantim [currently BV]) and Rafael Brasil (ex-Telefônica/Vivo) said they were in the final phase of the first fundraising, after building the platform with their own resources. Now, they count exclusively on Finsiders who have just raised an inaugural investment of R$ 2 million (US $368k), bringing seasoned executives from the financial sector to the captable.

As an anchor investor in the funding is Alexandre Thorpe, who worked for 36 years at HSBC in Brazil, Mexico and the USA and was the bank's COO. The executive was one of the leaders in the construction of the 'new' HSBC as an investment bank, after the sale of local assets in 2016 to Bradesco. Alexandre left the institution in April last year and started talking to some friends in the market to make some investment.

That's when he discovered the Slice project, led by his HSBC contemporary, Sérgio Irigoyen. “Having people like Sérgio and Rafael [Brazil, co-founder] caught my attention. I was struck by the flexibility of the platform built by them”, says Alexandre to Finsiders.

For this first fundraising, the executive's experience and relationship power were crucial to attract other individual investors willing to sign the check.

A total of 11 investors took part in the round, including the likes of Guilherme Souto, who leads AWS's financial services practice; André Hübner, ex-HSBC and Citi; Roberto Alff, ex-ABC Brazil and HSBC; Adailton Martins, partner at Integral Investimentos; and Gustavo Medeiros, head of global macro research at Ashmore.

With the investment, Slice will step on the accelerator, with a plan to double the team from 12 to 24 people, hiring especially people for the technology and development team. “With more people, we can embrace a larger share of the market”, says Sérgio.

Techfin already has four contracts signed, among them the Beca app, a kind of “Uber of beauty”. Another client is a large market leader retailer, which transacts something like R$ 10 billion/year, whose name cannot yet be disclosed.

The company is also closing with a digital wallet from a large bank, reveals Sérgio (the clue has been given, reader, place your bet, after all, there are not many wallets from large banks).

“We also have a bank among the top five issuers that must go through budget approval now, but we can't open the name yet.”

For 2022, Slice's plan is to consolidate its customer base, close new contracts and also conclude some partnerships, mainly with a focus on infrastructure to complement the platform, says Sérgio. “And, who knows, being able to reach out to internationalization, via a partner”. Locally, an agreement has already been closed and two more at the global level are under negotiation.

The entrepreneur, as he told in his last interview with Finsiders, spent about 20 years seeing the pain in managing the cash flow, in the interaction he had with CFOs and company treasurers. “Conciliation difficulties, automation of payment processes, all very manual and prone to errors.”

To solve this pain, he and Rafael Brasil – with experience in the commercial area – set up a technological infrastructure platform for companies to manage the cash flow, after cash-in and before cash-out. This includes split payments, sales reconciliation, cashback, among other company demands.

The business starts with seven applications and nine add-ons, including massive flow reconciliation, multi-origin cashback management, third-party agenda and guarantees (Escrow), post-transactional payment split, prepayment of receivables, among other applications. In Slice's sights are, for example, e-commerces, marketplaces, issuing banks, fintechs, among others.

Part of the addressable market, according to the founders, is what is transacted in Brazilian e-commerce, corresponding to a volume of R$ 250 billion/year. “This is because we are still not talking about the market for issuing and wallet banks”, commented Sérgio, in his first interview with Finsiders.

The card industry, to give you an idea, moved R$ 1.8 trillion this year, in the accumulated until September, according to the most recent data released by Abecs, an industry association. For 2022, the expectation is to exceed R$ 3 trillion.

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.

At the time, founders Sérgio Irigoyen (ex-Bradesco, HSBC and Banco Votorantim [currently BV]) and Rafael Brasil (ex-Telefônica/Vivo) said they were in the final phase of the first fundraising, after building the platform with their own resources. Now, they count exclusively on Finsiders who have just raised an inaugural investment of R$ 2 million (US $368k), bringing seasoned executives from the financial sector to the captable.

As an anchor investor in the funding is Alexandre Thorpe, who worked for 36 years at HSBC in Brazil, Mexico and the USA and was the bank's COO. The executive was one of the leaders in the construction of the 'new' HSBC as an investment bank, after the sale of local assets in 2016 to Bradesco. Alexandre left the institution in April last year and started talking to some friends in the market to make some investment.

That's when he discovered the Slice project, led by his HSBC contemporary, Sérgio Irigoyen. “Having people like Sérgio and Rafael [Brazil, co-founder] caught my attention. I was struck by the flexibility of the platform built by them”, says Alexandre to Finsiders.

For this first fundraising, the executive's experience and relationship power were crucial to attract other individual investors willing to sign the check.

A total of 11 investors took part in the round, including the likes of Guilherme Souto, who leads AWS's financial services practice; André Hübner, ex-HSBC and Citi; Roberto Alff, ex-ABC Brazil and HSBC; Adailton Martins, partner at Integral Investimentos; and Gustavo Medeiros, head of global macro research at Ashmore.

With the investment, Slice will step on the accelerator, with a plan to double the team from 12 to 24 people, hiring especially people for the technology and development team. “With more people, we can embrace a larger share of the market”, says Sérgio.

Techfin already has four contracts signed, among them the Beca app, a kind of “Uber of beauty”. Another client is a large market leader retailer, which transacts something like R$ 10 billion/year, whose name cannot yet be disclosed.

The company is also closing with a digital wallet from a large bank, reveals Sérgio (the clue has been given, reader, place your bet, after all, there are not many wallets from large banks).

“We also have a bank among the top five issuers that must go through budget approval now, but we can't open the name yet.”

For 2022, Slice's plan is to consolidate its customer base, close new contracts and also conclude some partnerships, mainly with a focus on infrastructure to complement the platform, says Sérgio. “And, who knows, being able to reach out to internationalization, via a partner”. Locally, an agreement has already been closed and two more at the global level are under negotiation.

The entrepreneur, as he told in his last interview with Finsiders, spent about 20 years seeing the pain in managing the cash flow, in the interaction he had with CFOs and company treasurers. “Conciliation difficulties, automation of payment processes, all very manual and prone to errors.”

To solve this pain, he and Rafael Brasil – with experience in the commercial area – set up a technological infrastructure platform for companies to manage the cash flow, after cash-in and before cash-out. This includes split payments, sales reconciliation, cashback, among other company demands.

The business starts with seven applications and nine add-ons, including massive flow reconciliation, multi-origin cashback management, third-party agenda and guarantees (Escrow), post-transactional payment split, prepayment of receivables, among other applications. In Slice's sights are, for example, e-commerces, marketplaces, issuing banks, fintechs, among others.

Part of the addressable market, according to the founders, is what is transacted in Brazilian e-commerce, corresponding to a volume of R$ 250 billion/year. “This is because we are still not talking about the market for issuing and wallet banks”, commented Sérgio, in his first interview with Finsiders.

The card industry, to give you an idea, moved R$ 1.8 trillion this year, in the accumulated until September, according to the most recent data released by Abecs, an industry association. For 2022, the expectation is to exceed R$ 3 trillion.

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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