Purchased by Itaú in 2019, IT firm from MG that earns BRL 1.1 billion plans to function within the US
- October 21, 2022
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Zup intends to focus on customers in two segments: SaaS model and financial market
The technology company Zup is ready to start the internationalization process and has chosen the US market as its first destination.
The company has already opened a firm in the country and is deciding in which cities it will have an office. With a remote model, following what it already uses today with its 3,200 employees, it intends to use the space as a meeting point for employees.
Acquired by Itaú in 2019 for more than half a million reais, the company works in the development of integration systems, digital transformation of companies and with open source solutions. In its trajectory, there are brands such as Natura, Vivo, Algar and Serasa.
How the company grows
For this year, it projects revenues of R$ 1.1 billion here in Brazil. The value is generated, mostly, from the consulting work it develops for companies in markets such as finance, telecommunications, logistics and retail, which lead the demands.
The area accounts for around 80% and ranges from the idea of projects to the growth strategy. “We have a very tech footprint, of organizing cloud, development stacks, methodologies. We are a very nerdy company”, says Bruno Pierobon, CEO and founder of the company.
To arrive in the United States, the company focuses on offering its solutions to two segments initially, companies that work in the SaaS model (Software as a service) and those in the financial market.
What are the opportunities
“Many industries are not super-transformed and digital. They invest a lot there, they have a lot more money than in Brazil, obviously, but they have a lot of opportunity. I still think there is a lot that Brazil does better than they do”, says the executive.
The company has already sent some Brazilian collaborators to the country, who will be responsible for promoting the company’s culture, based on the pillar of collaboration. And it is in the process of hiring local professionals who can contribute to the relationship and networking with potential clients.
In addition, it is studying the development of partnerships as one of the ways to speed up the entry process. “The big goal for next year there is to get some really cutting-edge cases. Projects that show how our products created results for these companies’ customers and helped transform the user experience,” she says.
How Zup wanted to change the way of shopping
Zup, founded in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais, arrived on the market in 2011. While working at Algar, where he stayed for almost six years, Pierobon had the idea of creating what would be the “world’s shopping center”.
There were companies that showed the price comparison of products in different establishments and the user could click, being directed to the desired e-commerce. Zup’s proposal was to go further, putting a “button” so that the Internet user could make the transaction directly on a website.
For this, it created a mechanism that was able to integrate the e-commerces of the time without the need for qualifications by the brands’ technology teams.
The model was negotiated with a major player in the market, but faced resistance from retailers. The centralized solution, after all, reduced user traffic to the retailers’ websites.
Faced with the difficulties imposed by the market, the company saw the opportunity to offer its technologies to B2B, helping in the process of integration and digitalization of the systems of large companies.
In 2014, it pivoted, a movement that made the company take a turn and begin a trajectory of continuous growth, always doubling annually both in revenue and in the number of people, says Pierobon.
How is the relationship with Itaú
Acquired in 2019, Zup remains a separate operation and works for several clients, including the bank itself.
“Today, Itaú has a very high demand, invests a lot in technology and we are in the main projects helping to accelerate the bank’s transformation, which has a crowd with a very good vision”, he says.
The relationship, according to the executive, helps to raise “the bar” of tech, which may have the largest bank in Latin America as a pilot customer for its products and solutions.
“It’s a unique opportunity. That’s why I’m not too afraid to say that our product will be better than abroad”, says the executive, who started working with technology at age 12, when his father decided to open a provider in the early days of the internet.