Over the past 14 years, VIAW has grown with a simple but winning formula: helping large companies reduce their telecom spending — an even more latent need in these times of high inflation.
The company maps its customers’ spending, compares it with market references using a software owner, and then begins a negotiation process with all operators — which typically reduces spending by more than 30%.
The business is essentially a business consulting — which generates significant cash for the company but has no recurrence, given that negotiations on behalf of customers are only carried out every 18 months.
Now, VIAW is executing an M&As strategy to accelerate its growth and diversify its business towards a software as a service (SaaS)which generates more predictable and recurring revenue.
“We even have some recurrence today because the client pays us throughout the contract on top of the monthly savings we generate,” said Sérgio Wainer, the CEO and one of the company’s three partners. “But it is not a recurrence model like the SaaS.”
In addition to Wainer, VIAW has Ronaldo Iabrudi, the chairman of Grupo Pão de Açúcar, and Nelson Reis. All three are industry veterans. telecom, with passages through Vivo, Tim and Claro.
According to the partners — who own about 30% of the business each — VIAW has already been approached by several funds, “but we saw that we had to grow more and create an ecosystem of solutions before making this move,” said Iabrudi.
“We are a business that generates cash, has high profitability and zero debt. In this market, it naturally draws attention,” he said.
To help with the M&A strategy, VIAW hired BR Partners, and has just made its first acquisition.
The target was 4map, a startup that developed a software that helps companies to control and manage all their expenses — not only with telecom.
“They use artificial intelligence to manage costs in general, from large contracts to document printing and meal vouchers,” said Sérgio. “The system is fantastic, it makes apportionment, it integrates with all the ERPs on the market and manages to manage even the rules of the contract.”
The acquisition was half cash and half equity, with the 4map founders joining the VIAW executive team.
With the acquisition, VIAW expects to earn R$ 70 million next year, almost double the revenue forecast for this year. Of this total, R$50 million will come from VIA/W’s legacy business and R$20 million should already come from 4map.
VIAW is negotiating with two more startups that also work within the cost management universe and in the SaaS.
According to Iabrudi, today’s acquisition and the next will be financed with the company’s own resources, which has generated around R$ 30 million in free cash per year. The third must be financed with the issuance of a bank debt.
“After that, we’re going to start talking funds again for our first round,” he said.