Chile’s startup Buk, which has developed a well-rounded human resources management platform for Latin American companies, has raised $50 million in Series A funding and is valued at $417 million.
One notable thing about this funding is that it makes Asukia the most valuable startup in Chile after Cornershop and NotCo. Another notable thing is that it is one of the largest (if not the) largest Series A rounds for a Latin American startup to date.
The majority of venture capital funding has previously gone to Brazil, and more recently, Mexico. However, other parts of Latin America, like Chile, are also becoming more and more attractive to foreign investors.
It’s also important to note that Buk’s SaaS business was bootstrapped for the first five years. Greenoaks of San Francisco, which led the Series A financing, and SoftBank are among its first institutional investors. It’s interesting to note that a number of founders from unicorn companies like Rappi, Kavak, Konfio, GBM, Ualá, and Brex also contributed to the round.
Chile’s Buk Overview
Founded in 2017 by Chileans Jaime Arrieta, Santiago Lira, Teresita Morán, Felipe Sateler and Ricardo Sateler, Buk is building a cloud-based platform that allows companies to manage their human resources. From the payment of salaries to professional development and training, this solution offers tools for nearly every component of HR. Moreover, it has a mission to make workplaces happier.
Jaime Arrieta, CEO of Chile’s Buk, said that the company has been growing organically by more than 150%. In fact, since they had a big September, the ARR has grown even more. Arrieta was hesitant to release hard numbers but declined to talk with TechCrunch about its annual recurring revenue (ARR).
Without institutional backing, he claimed, “We have been able to double our size year over year.” To the contrary, firms like Greenoaks and SoftBank want to invest in Buk to accelerate our growth because of our superior results, unique offering, and comprehensiveness of our product, which set us apart from rivals.
Buk, a leading provider out of Latin America, has more than 1,800 customers in diverse industries. It handles payroll for 400,000 employees every month.
Buk’s end-to-end infrastructure, which includes data and drive backups, is hosted on AWS servers. That way, we can use the tools available on AWS to improve your business’ infrastructure.
In the event of a data failure, Buk is able to keep its service running because it performs daily backups of customer data. Buk says it also offers an “educational” programming language that is easy to navigate and has many facilities for developing functionalities quickly.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, Buk launched it’s SME digital remuneration tool to help businesses with up to 20 employees. The Buk Starter is used by 4,000 SMEs today.
The company is planning to use its new money primarily for two things: accelerating its growth in Mexico, consolidating the market in Colombia and Peru, and expanding its technology. Buk recently acquired CTRL, a Chilean assistance company.
In the last few years, the company has expanded its reach to include new countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Buk claims that in September alone, it increased by 7% in Chile, 20% in Colombia, and 23% in Peru.
Buk, with over 300 employees, has 50% of their workforce made up of women.
In the past, Greenoaks has also invested in companies like Kavak, Discord, Robinhood and Stripe. SoftBank has backed other companies including Slack, Uber, Rappi and Alibaba.
The release of BUK HR, a homegrown Latin American HR software solution, marks the beginning of what could potentially be the most disruptive technology in our region’s history.
The BUK team has been quietly working on the product for over 20 months now, and it will soon be up for public beta testing.
“HR software is the foundation for any successful business,” said Neil Mehta, founder and partner at Greenoaks, in a written statement. “But until now, businesses have relied primarily on homegrown solutions that don’t scale or off-the-shelf products such as Success factors that are not tailored to local needs.
” Buk’s HRIS suite is made specifically for Latin America and facilitates the full employee life cycle by helping with recruitment through off-boarding. We think this company is poised to build the top HR platform across Latin America.