Brazilian startup Cortex raised $48 million in a Series C round led by private equity fund Lightrock — a late-stage manager already invested in names like Buser, Creditas, and Dock.
Softbank and Riverwood co-led the company’s previous 2020 round and participated in this round.
Cortex is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform that provides intelligence and big data solutions for sales and growth. Besides collaborating with several fintechs and giants of the financial market, such as BTG Pactual and XP, in Brazil, the company has several major international clients, such as Fiat, Carrefour, and Visa, among others.
“Despite the delicate moment of fundraising for technology companies, the new investment, so far the largest made in companies of the sector in Latin America, consolidates Cortex as a reference and the best capitalized in the Marketing and Sales Intelligence segment in the region,” said the company in a statement.
Commenting on the company’s successful Series C round, Cortex’s co-founder and co-CEO, Leonardo Rangel, said: “We are very proud of our investors, which include some of the leading international funds operating in the region, such as Riverwood, Softbank, Redpoint eVentures, C2 Partners, and Endeavor Catalyst. It is also our pleasure to welcome Lightrock to the list, an investor deeply committed to the region and accelerating with specific expertise the ambitions of purpose-led companies like ours.”
With origins in Rio de Janeiro, Cortex was created within the business incubator of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio (PUC-Rio), where it first operated as a consultancy until eventually migrating to the current model, serving as a SaaS company.
According to Marcos Wilson Pereira, Lightrock’s Managing Partner in Latin America, the investment in Cortex is part of a strategy to develop the intelligence and productivity areas in companies of all sizes in the region.
“We are very excited about the investment and clearly know that the company is on an excellent path, becoming the industry leader here in Latin America. It is a very versatile platform that addresses many different use cases, which gives Cortex enormous market possibilities,” he said.
Attracting investors in difficult times
With the round, Cortex plans to increase investments in technology to enhance its product and double the bet on the sales intelligence platform, representing 60% of revenues today.
“Fortunately, we have attracted investors, even in not-so-good times. Our last round was well into the first phase of the pandemic. Naturally, it was not easy at all. But we are becoming experts at raising funds when the tide is low.”
Recently, the startup completed the acquisition of Geofusion. This company operates in the geo-marketing segment, which seeks to strengthen its leadership position in the continent. The companies did not disclose the transaction amounts.
Companies such as Whirlpool and the Spanish bank Santander use Geofusion’s geographic intelligence products to seek accurate and detailed analysis, per block, for expansion, sales territory management, and even sales forecasting of their operations.
Jorge C. Carrasco is a Cuban journalist and writer based in Brazil. He has contributed to several publications, such as Foreign Policy, The Spectator Australia, Estadão, Época, Washington Examiner, and Quillette, among others.