Building LatAm’s SMB Super App: Why We Invested in Treinta

Commerce Ventures
3 min readApr 5, 2022
The Treinta payment terminal

Meeting the Treinta Team

As we approach Y Combinator season yet again, it’s only fitting to tell the story of one of our favorite YC companies and why we’ve continued to participate in their journey.

Meet Treinta.

We were introduced to Lluis Cañadell and Man Hei Lou while they were graduating from the winter 2021 batch of YC. And like almost every founder we’ve met through YC, the Treinta founders immediately impressed with their expertise and energy. The truth is that YC as an institution (and screener of founder talent) has helped us get started with emerging markets investments in a way that wouldn’t have been possible on our own. In fact, Treinta became our very first investment in Latin America.

Despite being new to Treinta’s geographic focus, we were able to leverage our experience with SMB FinTech (e.g. Bill.com, Resolve), payments (e.g. Marqeta, PayStand) and merchant technology (e.g. Forter, Narvar) to help us understand the exciting opportunity they are pursuing. Treinta developed a bookkeeping platform, point-of-sale (POS) software, and payment processing for small and micro merchants in LatAm. The company’s compelling vision and product plans span our commerce continuum touching both core RetailTech and FinTech…which is why we see the opportunity for Treinta to become LatAm’s SMB Super App.

Our Market POV

  1. Amazingly Lightweight Implementation: Treinta is free to use, functional both online and offline, and doesn’t require technical knowledge to operate. As a result, they have eliminated clients’ barriers for adoption and made it possible for SMBs to transition to using software to run their business…in most cases, for the first time (rather than replacing an incumbent software vendor).
  2. Hitting the Tipping Point in LatAm: Mobile device usage and social media is at an all time high in Latin America, but modern technology simply hasn’t penetrated the small business segment. SMBs in LatAm often operate in areas with poor Internet connectivity, making it challenging to rely on cloud-connected software to run their businesses. Still, end-users are generally digitally savvy, so there is a lot of latent interest in better, software-based systems that work in limited coverage environments like those in much of LatAm. Treinta is the first company we are aware of to address this demand with a powerful solution that functions well in both connected and disconnected settings.
  3. Massive Market, Highly Underserved: There are 50 million microbusinesses in Latin America and 90% of them are still using pen and paper for tracking their finances. Treinta can be the first mover to digitize their bookkeeping and subsequently enable digital payments and storefronts.
  4. Opportunity to Scale Vertically: In the same way Shopify products range from website building to payment processing to capital, Treinta has the opportunity to answer many (if not all) of the pain points felt by masses of SMBs in LatAm. The team understands the unique difficulties and needs small businesses face in this geography and their first mover advantage enables them to respond to these pain points with unique insight into the health of these businesses.
  5. E-commerce Rockets Forward: In the midst of COVID-19, we saw rapid global adoption of e-commerce from consumers and the merchants who want to serve them. Now more than ever retailers must provide digital channels to meet inherently digital consumer demands. Treinta enables brick and mortar SMBs to create a comprehensive e-commerce storefront in less than 30 seconds. We believe their ability to bring physical stores online will help fuel rapid e-commerce growth in LatAm.

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Commerce Ventures

Early-stage venture capital firm investing in technology innovators in the retail and financial services eco-systems.