Startup Mx: Clara

Clara is the leading end-to-end corporate payment solution for companies in Latin America.
Startup Mx: Clara

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With over 13,000 companies compiling 2 billion dollars in transactions annually on the platform, it is no surprise that Clara has become the leading solution in Latin America for companies to make and manage their payments.

But what inspired Clara?

In this feature, I will share a glimpse of how Gerry Giacomán Colyer, co-founder & CEO of Clara, was first inspired to pursue entrepreneurship, how the idea for "Clara" was formulated, a few product features that the team is excited about, and some overall advice for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Clara’s inception story 

Gerry Giacomán Colyer is not a stranger to early-stage technology companies, attributing much of his passion for entrepreneurship to his upbringing in Monterrey, Mexico, where he observed many of his family members owning and operating SMEs.

“Growing up in Monterrey, a region in Mexico renowned for its strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit, I was surrounded by inspiring examples of perseverance and success. Both sets of my grandparents immigrated to Mexico from different parts of the world and settled in Monterrey. Here, I witnessed small business owners, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and parents, start small businesses that grew and compounded over time. I think this background has given me a deep appreciation for what it takes to start a business and the patience it takes to grow it over time.” - Gerry Giacomán Colyer

Before Launching Clara, Gerry co founded a few successful startups that were later acquired including, Spiral app acquired in 2015 and Uva scooters acquired in 2018 by Grin, which later became part of Grow mobility, at the time was one of the largest micro mobility platforms in Latin America. It was at Grow Mobility, where Diego and Gerry crossed paths and the seed for Clara was planted. 

“We (Diego and I) have different backgrounds, yet they're highly complementary, and we meet in the middle. I believe we both have a deep appreciation for product development and creating something that delights everyone who interacts and the desire for each of our customers to experience this, and although we approach it from different paths, our end goal is the same”- Gerry Giacomán Colyer

In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021, when the demand for micro-mobility transportation plummeted, Gerry and Diego launched Clara. Their inspiration was derived from a culmination of the lack of financial tools & transparency they experienced building startups in Latin America.

Gerry explained to VC Mx that many of the financial solutions we had Grin were poor adaptations from US based solutions and not specifically tailored to the major Latin America markets like Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil. As a result, despite being a startup, we still maintained sizable "back offices" for our financial management.

“Many traditional options to manage expenses include applying for a domestic corporate credit card, which tends to be rejected due to a lack of credit history or positive cash flows and has limited functionality; the use of a foreign corporate card, which tends to lose local tax deductibility and is only entrusted to key employees; self-financing (personally) expenses that rely on the company’s employees, which can make them anxious and lead them to waste time chasing receipts and filling forms; or the use of a prepaid card.”- Gerry Giacomán Colyer

What is Clara?

Enter Clara.

Clara is a corporate payment ecosystem that provides corporations a plethora of financial tools tailored for the Latin America region. 

Quick Facts on Clara:          

  • Clara currently operates in 3 of LATAM’s largest markets (Mexico, Brazil, and Columbia)
  • Has a complete digital customer onboarding process 
  • Over 13,000 clients, including startups like Jüsto, JOKR, Bitso, Rappi and Sofía Salud.
  • Tiered corporate credit cards for employees across multiple corporate levels
  • Partnership with Mastercard
  • Annual run rate of 5 million credit card transactions, equivalent to $2 billion dollars
Diego & Gerry, Co Founders of Clara
Diego & Gerry, Co Founders of Clara


Gerry Giacomán Colyer

Diego Iván García Escobedo

Pix Power and AI Insights: Clara's Brazil Headquarters

Gerry highlighted several exciting developments for Clara, including moving the headquarters to Brazil, completing their payment ecosystem in the cloud and offering competitive returns over the deposits through users’ digital accounts. 

Clara is also committed to integrating Brazil's Pix instant payment system further and plans to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to gain deeper insights into customer behaviors.

As an early adopter of Pix, the central bank of Brazil's instant payment system, Clara is on the verge of launching a dedicated deposit product via Pix. Pix has transformed digital transactions in Brazil, with over 150 million users. Clara's specialized solution is designed to streamline and enhance the capabilities of businesses operating directly within their Clara accounts, according to FintechNexus.

Moreover, Clara is exploring the potential of AI to extract valuable insights from customer transaction data. By analyzing spending patterns and trends, Clara aims to equip businesses with a more detailed understanding of their clientele, enabling data-driven decisions that improve financial management, as reported by TechCrunch.


2023, $60M (Series B Ext) led by GGV Capital including Lago Innovation Fund, Ethos VC, Endeavor Catalyst, Commerce Ventures, Goanna Capital, Fluent Ventures, Bayhouse Capital, Citi Ventures, Acrew Capital, Citius 

2023, $90M (Debt Financing) led by Accial Capital.

2022, $150M (Debt Financing) led by Goldman Sachs.

2021, $70M (Series B) led by Coatue including Picus Capital, Monashees, Global Founder Capital, General Catalyst, DST Global, BoxGroup.

2021, 50m (Debt Financing)

2021, $30M (Series A) including Alter Global, DST Global, Monashees, General Catalyst

2021, $3.5M (Pre Seed) led by General Catalyst including SV Angel, Soma Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures, Picus Capital, JAM Fund and VentureSouq.

Clara’s Key for Attracting and Keeping Talent

Following Clara's latest equity round, the leadership has had a strong focus on attracting new talent, particularly for their engineering, product, and risk teams, with hires from companies such as Meta and Nubank. However, it's important to highlight that Clara also places a strong emphasis on personal growth and diversity in their community.

"This emphasis on recruitment aligns with what we offer our employees when they join our organization. No other Latin American startup provides what we at Clara call the '7 Dimensions.' We are committed to nurturing our employees' physical health, emotional health, self-development, work environment, financial health, family, and community life. We believe that our commitment to ensuring our employees are happy and healthy in all aspects of their lives is essential. We cannot deliver the best product without a productive team." - Gerry Giacomán Colyer

Market Opportunity

Payment Digitalization: As businesses in Latin America move away from traditional cash and checks towards digital payments, they gain the opportunity to access a wealth of customer data. Clara capitalizes on this shift by providing users with enhanced visibility into their transactions, offering data on approval levels, location, merchant details, and the purpose of each payment.

Growth Potential: As Latin America's businesses increase digitalization the demand for expense management solutions tailored to the region's unique needs will continue to increase. Clara addresses this demand with digital tools designed for a diverse clientele, ranging from SMEs to large corporations managing thousands of transactions across multiple countries. 

A Step Ahead: Clara has gained a competitive advantage by quickly adopting Brazil's Pix payment system and leveraging AI to derive insights from user data. Gerry, highlighted that their product roadmap strategy is heavily influenced by the feedback they receive from customers in Brazil. This ongoing input is driving innovations that not only enhance Clara’s offerings in Brazil, but also benefit their customers in other parts of the region, such as Mexico and Colombia.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

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