Welcome to this week’s gathering of Brazil’s technology and innovation, with a selection of three major developments in Latin America’s largest economy. First, the corporate software giant Totvs buy a marketing automation startup RD Station in Brazil’s largest private software M&A. Furthermore, the government gave Huawei cold shoulders again as discussion about the upcoming 5G auction continues, and the proposed bill facial recognition use on the São Paulo subway and rail network was vetoed.
This week has seen the announcement of the biggest-ever deal in the Brazilian software industry, as a corporate software giant Totvs acquired 92% of marketing automation startups RD Station for 1.86 billion (US $ 330 million).
The deal saw the founder and chief executive Eric Santos and four other founders Guilherme Lopes, André Siqueira, Bruno Ghisi and Pedro Bachiega sell some of their stake in the company and get out for Riverwood Capital, TPG, Endeavor Catalyst, DGF, Redpoint venture and Astella Investments, a support group that owns more than 80% of the business.
With an enterprise value of 2 billion (US $ 360 million), the RD Station deal is described by Totvs as Latin America’s largest acquisition of software as a service (SaaS). “The unification of the two startups in the technology market is undoubtedly an unprecedented milestone for consolidating the B2B technology ecosystem in Brazil and the world”, said Dennis Herszkowicz, chief executive at Totvs.
Totvs is one of the major enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems vendors in Brazil, with a market share of around 50%. The company is expanding the scope of its B2B portfolio, which includes management and technology products. Enterprise systems are very popular among small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) and enterprises have increased the adoption of their SaaS model.
RD Station is also a relevant player in the SME space and makes an important contribution to Totvs’ goal of expanding the B2B ecosystem, as well as an addressable marketplace and increasing customer loyalty. Founded in 2011 in Florianópolis, this startup built a SaaS platform that enables small and medium-sized businesses to digitize customer acquisitions and relationships.
Following the deal, Santos will remain with the company, leading its growth plans which include international expansion. With a projected net revenue of 206 million reais (US $ 37 million) for 2021, RD has more than 25,000 customers in 20 countries with offices in São Paulo, San Francisco, Bogotá and Mexico City.
On Tuesday (9), Brazilian Communications Minister Fabio Faria said Huawei will not be able to supply equipment to its private communication network. Part of a series of guidelines and obligations for telcos regarding the upcoming 5G auction in Brazil, an exclusive network for government use will be built by successful bidders.
At the Congressional working group’s public hearing on 5G on Tuesday (9), the minister said Chinese companies would not be able to engage with the exclusive structures of government, as they did not meet the conditions set by Brazilian telecommunications agency Anatel for participation. in the network, which includes corporate governance compatible with Brazilian public companies. Faria denied the terms designed to get Huawei out of its own structure.
Huawei said in a statement that it had been in Brazil for more than 23 years, “always working with integrity, ethics and transparency” and was committed to “Brazilian clients, partners and digital transformation”. Initially due to be held in March 2020, Brazil’s 5G auction was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to take place in June. Anatel expects 5G technology to be available in all Brazilian capitals by July 2022.
A bill proposing the launch of equipped cameras facial recognition technology the entire subway and rail network of São Paulo has been vetoed. The proposal, which was passed by the city’s Legislative Council in February, is intended as a means of increasing security on the public transport network. Governor of São Paulo João Doria blocked proposals with justifications including that they extrapolate the attributions of companies that run the subway and rail networks.
Initially, the bill required launching cameras, and was later amended to allow rail and underground companies to buy equipment. However, the project has come under heavy criticism for its implications including the potential for misidentification of suspects, as well as other issues such as data protection and privacy rights on public transport. The veto does not include a response to these concerns.