July 21, 2024
General Atlantic leads $50M Series C into Bold to grow digital payments in Colombia

Bold, a financial technology company building an electronic payments infrastructure in Colombia, raised $50 million in Series C funding in a round led by existing investor General Atlantic.

International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, joined existing investors InQLab and Amador in the round. In total, Bold has raised $130 million, company co-founder and CEO José Vélez told TechCrunch.

Bold provides low-cost payment terminals, called dataphones, that enable small and medium businesses to accept link payments and other local payment methods.

“COVID accelerated the transition toward electronic payments, or digital payments, in the country, and we are beneficiaries of that transition,” Vélez said.

TechCrunch profiled the company when it raised a $55 million Series B round in 2022. At that time, the payments services provider had around 100,000 merchants using its services per month. Now a year later, it has added another 50,000 monthly active merchants. Bold has also scaled to more than 800 employees from 380 in 2022.

Meanwhile, revenue has increased six times since 2022, and Vélez said the company is growing fast. Bold holds around 3% of the market share in terms of current volume in Colombia.

“Other companies, for example, in Brazil, reached 10% market share, so we believe there is a big opportunity going forward when we can triple, or more, our volume in the next three to five years,” Vélez said. “We have put a lot of effort to win market share, to be a relevant player and to reach scale.”

He did not disclose the company’s valuation, but did say it was similar to Bold’s Series B valuation.

Cash continues to be king in Latin America, however, electronic payments are gaining traction as the younger generation embraces credit cards and online purchasing. Bold is working alongside other startups, like Pomelo, Liquido and Mattilda — to name a few, to gain market share.

Bold founders, Sergio Vergara, José Vélez, Ana Sandoval, Jorge Ulloa

Bold founders, from left, Sergio Vergara, José Vélez, Ana Sandoval and Jorge Ulloa: Image Credits: Bold

Where Bold differentiates itself is in adding additional layers of services on top of payments, said Luiz Ribeiro, managing director and co-head of General Atlantic’s Brazil office.

“The first layer is all the financial products and services that you can add, like insurance,” Ribeiro said in an interview. “Then you can, in parallel, add software solutions to, for example, help merchants not only accept payments, but manage their own finances. When they are able to offer banking and software in the next five years, this will mean success.”

With this new funding, Bold plans to bolster its product roadmap and offerings. Vélez also wants to focus on business expansion as it transforms from a payments link provider to a more holistic offering for merchants.

The company also recently received its financial institution license to offer merchants a bank account and will be cross-selling the account to its merchants over the next 12 months.

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