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Startup in Spotlight: Spanish fintech Embat secures $16M to expand in the UK and become the corporate bank of the future

The Embat team
Image credit: Embat

Embat, a Madrid-based fintech that specialises in treasury management, has closed a $16 million financing round. The round, led by early-stage VC Creandum (backed atla, Laka, and Unitary in the past) with participation from Samaipata, 4Founders, and Venture Friends. There was also investment from angels including Martin Blessing, the former CEO of Commerzbank.

The round comes after Embat has already achieved significant success, quadrupling its turnover, and will be used to support its global expansion, especially into the UK and German markets.

Embat co-founder and CEO Antonio Berga joined TFN to about Embat’s growth and their plans to build from its market-leading position in the Spanish market.

Simplifying the treasury challenge for corporates

Founded during the pandemic, Embat’s co-founders, Berga, Carlos Serrano, and Tomás Gil boast significant experience in the banking sector. Gil previously worked building a different banking aggregation business, while Berga and Carlos while both were at J.P. Morgan. “We spent eleven years at JP Morgan,” Berga told us, and while they were there they started to see the problem they intend to address with Embat. “We were seeing clients struggling to manage multiple banks,” he explained. “Because they have bank accounts in the UK, in Spain, in Germany, in France, in Italy, and the finance team struggle to manage every single banking platform.” The result was finance teams spending significant time administering accounts, rather than actually accounting. “It’s actually miserable,” Berga explained, “they need to go to BBVA, to RBS, to Deutsche Bank, to J.P. Morgan, they used to take hours and hours to go into every single bank, get the data and start doing processes.”

And this realisation came at a time Berga was evaluating his career. “At a certain point in time, we decided that we wanted to do something different,” he says. “We wanted to be owners of our own destiny. We wanted to build our own business. We wanted to have our own culture.” The result was Embat.

Founded in June 2021, Embat radically simplifies the process for their clients. “Instead of working with twenty different banking platforms, they will have a bank of banks,” Berga told us. “They can consume the data in one single platform, and we automate the processes behind.” According to Berga, thanks to open banking, Embat can connect to more than 15,000 banks globally, ensuring their clients can see everything thing need on their platform.

In addition to connecting corporates with their bank, Embat also connects with Enterprise Resource Planning platforms like SAP and Netsuite. It means that, through Embat, many treasury functions are automated, drastically reducing the administrative load on finance teams. Some clients have seen reductions of up to 75% of the time they spent on such tasks, allowing them to focus on more meaningful work.

A simple platform that powered significant growth

Embat now has a team of 70 people. True to Berga’s desire to build a culture, it is office-based. “We have people from France, Lebanon, Finland, Italy, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, so an international team. We allow for remote work, but we push people to come to the office to be part of the culture,” he told us. “That’s part of the dream, becoming an international company out of Madrid.”

The company was already seeing significant growth before the latest investment. With other 150 corporate clients including Cabify, Playtomic, Wallapop and Fever, its revenue quadrupled over the last year, handling over three million transactions with more than $20 billion. Indeed, Berga was initially resistant to further investment.

“We were very well capitalised, so we were not picking up the phone,” Berga recalled. However, they had attracted the attention of Creandum, who were keen to be involved. And the persistence paid off, convincing Berga and his co-founders that they were a good fit and would help drive their expansion.

“Real-time and efficient treasury management is among the top 3 pain points of mid-market CFOs,” said Peter Specht, General Partner at Creandum, explaining their interest. “Embat’s novel approach allows companies to set up an end-to-end treasury system in a matter of weeks. The company’s impressive growth in this segment reflects how mission-critical real-time cash management is to the CFO-office.”

Embat’s focus will be expansion into the UK and Germany. “We usually work with international companies in Spain, and what we realise is that they also struggle in the UK and Germany, so for us, it was a natural step,” Berga said. Taming the UK’s complex banking environment for clients, however, is however, what Embat exists to do.

“We can be the go-to tool for every single finance department. Instead of working with all these multiple banks, they can only work with one platform,” said Berga. “Our vision is that in five or ten years down the road, we can become the corporate bank of the future.”

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