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Cobre secures $13M to help CFOs in Colombia automate corporate payments

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If you don’t know your company’s financial status, it is difficult to make decisions for the betterment of the Colombia company. This is where Cobre comes in.

The Colombia-based startup developed a corporate treasury platform to give chief financial officers more visibility and control over their company’s financial transactions, specifically, to centralize, digitize and automate their payment processes.

Cobre’s is a two-pronged approach: First is the enterprise software that centralizes payment initiation and reconciliation for finance teams across the region. Second is the payment rails — built by the company itself — that allow for PIX-like instant payments and real-time data. All of that is accessible via API and compatible with any bank in Colombia, Jose Vicente Gedeon told TechCrunch via email.

“[Building our own payment rails] is a long-game approach that takes time but delivers the best, most direct and most customizable experience for clients,” Gedeon said. “It has allowed us to act as a universal translator for each bank, ERP (enterprise resource planning) and company. That way, we can skip the unnecessary intermediation that is typical of payments and truly open the financial systems for our clients.”

Company growth

Gedeon started the company with his cousin, Felipe Gedeon, Jose Donato and Alberto Chejne in 2020. The team comes from various backgrounds, with Jose beginning at McKinsey before going over to hospitality company Oyo. Felipe also worked in hospitality, leading growth strategy for Selina. Meanwhile, Donato worked in software development roles at Banco de Bogota and Modyo, while Chejne held a role in enterprise software and client success at SAP.

Three years later, Cobre is helping hundreds of CFOs, primarily in financial services and large enterprises, across Colombia streamline their operations.

Cobre’s plan from the beginning was to start with large corporations, with the idea that those clients would be able to afford the infrastructure the company has to build, Gedeon said. Now it is slowly expanding its customer base through networks to serve the medium-sized companies that their clients pay and get payments from through Cobre.

“This translated to a track record of high-ticket B2B subscriptions in a region that has been slow to adopt SaaS, as well as low customer acquisition costs,” Gedeon said.

The concept has caught on: The company yielded 600% year over year revenue growth and high seven-digit annual recurring revenue, Gedeon said.

In addition, the company saw 30x growth in total payment volume over the past 12 months, surpassing $1 billion in annual TPV.

They were even close to profitability earlier this year, Jose Vicente Gedeon told Forbes in January. He updated that to TechCrunch, saying that Cobre was indeed on track to reach profitability by the first quarter of 2024, but decided instead to take another round of funding.

Market impact

Cobre previously raised $14 million in Series A capital in February 2022, which was led by QED Investors and Atlantico Partners. Canary also participated.

QED, Atlantico and Canary are all back participating in a new $13 million investment, this time led by Kaszek. The round closed in August and gives Cobre over $30 million in total funding to date.

Meanwhile, Jose Vicente Gedeon intends to deploy the new capital in a few different directions. As mentioned earlier, it initially went after big companies with high-volume payments operations. Now it plans to evolve its product so that it can be adopted by smaller businesses in the region. Cobre will also enter Mexico in 2024.

“We had a very strong first half of the year where we really solidified product-market fit and dramatically improved the health of our unit economics,” Jose Vicente Gedeon said. “With those results in hand it seemed like the right moment to try to expand into new customer segments and geographies. Kaszek provided a chance to take advantage of those opportunities, and we believe that with them onboard, we can really make an impact on the market.”

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Another Intense Solar Flare Spotted By NASA’s Observatory, Footage Released

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As the Sun moves toward solar maximum, it blasted another intense solar flare out into space. According to NASA, the event occurred at 4:38 pm IST on June 11. The agency has shared a footage of the solar blast which was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the low-Earth orbit.

“This flare is classified as an X1.5 flare. X-class denotes the most intense flares, while the number provides more information about its strength,” NASA said about the latest event. Classes A, B, C and M are others which represent the intensity of the flares.

Solar flares are powerful bursts of energy that are released from the Sun occasionally. They are capable of impacting radio communications, power grids and even pose risks to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

ALSO SEE: ISRO’s Releases Pictures Of Monster Sunspots Captured By Aditya-L1

The month of May was the most active the Sun has been lately as it is reaching the middle of its 11-year-old cycle. This phase is called the solar maximum when the Sun is most violent and the chances of solar flares and subsequent geomagnetic storms are the highest.

On June 10, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also issued a warning for a coronal mass ejection – the ejection of charged particles toward Earth. When these particles collide with the Earth’s magnetic field, we get auroras.

ALSO SEE: NASA Rover Gets Blasted By Solar Storm On Mars, Captures Footage

(Image: NASA)





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A Star That Exploded 40 Years Ago Is Breaking The Rules, Scientists Call It A Treasure

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Astronomers are studying a white dwarf star and it is behaving strangely. It is part of a nova system HM Sagittae (HM Sge) that includes the white dwarf and its red giant companion.

A nova event is defined as a brief explosion which causes a blinding flash and sends the accumulating material into outer space.

Using data from the Hubble telescope and the retired SOFIA observatory, scientists have found some baffling characteristics of this binary star system.

Since its explosion about 40 years ago, HM Sge, which lies 3,400 light-years away in the constellation Sagitta, has grown 250 times brighter. Besides, it did not rapidly fade away as novae commonly do, but has maintained its luminosity for decades.

What’s more confusing is that although the system got hotter, it has paradoxically faded a little.

Hubble’s view of the symbiotic star system. Image: NASA

ALSO SEE: Scientists Spot Massive Asteroid Collision — In Another Solar System

Since HM Sge is a symbiotic star, the dust from the red star and gas of the white dwarf combine to form a blazing hot disk around the latter. This then results in a spontaneous thermonuclear explosion.

Another thing scientists noted was the system’s increase in temperature. According to Hubble’s ultraviolet data, the white dwarf and accretion disk increased from less than 4,00,000 degrees Fahrenheit in 1989 to greater than 450,000 degrees Fahrenheit today.

ALSO SEE: Hubble Telescope Captures Ancient Galaxy That Ate Its Companion 1.3 Billion Years Ago

“When I first saw the new data, I went – ‘wow this is what Hubble UV spectroscopy can do!’ – I mean it’s spectacular, really spectacular,” said Ravi Sankrit, astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).

Steven Goldman of STScI, who also worked on the study, said that symbiotic stars in our galaxy are rare. “This unique event is a treasure for astrophysicists spanning decades,” he said. The above findings are expected to provide more insights into the physics and dynamics of stellar evolution in binary systems.

(Image: NASA)





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Aliens Could Be Living On Earth Disguised As Humans: Harvard Research

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A team of researchers from Harvard University has put forth the possibility of aliens, or “cryptoterrestrials,” covertly living among humans on Earth.

In their paper, which delves into the realm of “unidentified anomalous phenomena” (UAP), commonly known as UFOs and extraterrestrial beings, has sparked a wave of intrigue and speculation within the scientific community.

The study suggests that aliens could be residing underground, on the Moon, or even walking among us, disguised as ordinary humans. It further says that unidentified flying objects (UFOs) or unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) could be advanced spaceships visiting Earth-based alien friends or allies.

In their research, the experts have introduced the concept of “cryptoterrestrials” – beings that may have originated from Earth’s future, descended from intelligent dinosaurs, or even be remnants of an ancient, technologically advanced human civilization that largely perished long ago.

Admitting that their theories will be regarded skeptically by most scientists, the researchers urged the scientific community to consider their claim “in a spirit of epistemic humility and openness.” Notably, the paper has not been peer-reviewed.

ALSO SEE: Is Artificial Intelligence Keeping Us From Contacting Aliens? New Study Suggests So

Aliens could be around us in four forms: Scientists

According to the researchers, cryptoterrestrials can come in four forms. The first is human cryptoterrestrials that are technologically advanced ancient human civilisation that continue to exist in remnant form after being destroyed long ago.

Second is Hominid or Theropod Cryptoterrestrials i.e. a technologically advanced non-human civilization consisting of some terrestrial animal which evolved a stealthy way to exist.

ALSO SEE: ‘We Are Probably Alone’: Elon Musk Gets Candid On Aliens And Colonising Mars ‘Before World War 3’

Third is former Extraterrestrial or Extratempestrial Cryptoterrestrials – beings that arrived on Earth from elsewhere in the cosmos or from the future and concealed themselves, maybe on the Moon.

And fourth, the scientists said, are entities that are less like homegrown aliens and more like “earthbound angels.”



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