They were both in their twenties and accountants. It was the early years of the 2000s while Manuel Concha (pictured) and Victor Jiménez devoted themselves to providing accounting, financial and tax advice to small businesses, an area where there was fierce competition. “But in search of differentiation, we told our customers that we would help them with their computer systems. It doesn’t matter which one. From Excel to ERP (advanced business software) can cost several million pesos,” Koncha recalls.
They have always felt different. The founder of Kame ERP startup asserts that this is his hallmark to this day. The Fintech sector and startups are generally associated with the world of ABC1. But we come from a very humble background. We were the first professionals in our families and our mothers were home counselors. We ourselves pay for the last years of school, university and graduate studies. “Effort, merit, and knowing the cost of things are the circumstances of life that have inadvertently brought us together,” says Concha. Today, Kame has 7,300 companies in its portfolio, plans to pay $2.5 million in 2022, and has already started its overseas presence.
But let’s go back to the beginning of the project. When they conducted consulting, they realized that SMEs were completely “pulled out” from the technological point of view, and on the other hand, accounting software prices were not affordable for their wallets. They contacted computer engineer Ximena Adrian to join their ranks and at the end of 2016 launched their startup. “We developed a very simple app designed for small and medium businesses that can be installed in a couple of hours. With the experience we had, we saw an abandoned niche and took it. Plus, since we started, we have proven that we are not going to sell a product, but a service,” explains the Kame co-founder, whose name comes from Jiménez’s fanaticism for Dragon Ball Z. Kame Hame Ha is a combat technique from this Japanese anime series. By analogy with the simplicity of its presentation to small and medium enterprises. “Our average response time today is five minutes,” Concha says.
Basically, Kame is a 100% cloud-based ERP system and 12 UF per user per year, the company can manage various items such as purchases, electronic billing, human resources, finances, and sales. Simplicity and low cost are what distinguishes it – according to its founders – from the great offering of existing ERP and business software. And of course, the Declaration of Principles for Continuing to Survive in the SME Sector, Concha quickly explains, before we look at “Isn’t that right?” He insists, “Our primary business is to reach out to all small and medium-sized businesses that need to know and solve basic problems.”
“We don’t start with third party capital. Not even our own. At first we worked after consulting hours and on weekends. It was very difficult, but after a year of life we got an income,” says Concha, adding, “Little by little, it rejuvenated. customers and we started growing twice year after year.” In 2018, the fourth partner entered: computer engineer Rodrigo Cortez. Until one day they received a call from one of their clients: M&A Group, a Chilean holding company founded by entrepreneurs Gonzalo Martino Baldwin and Cristobal Alonso Benavente, which owns businesses in different areas such as retail, logistics, rentals, production … investments in seed capital. They wanted to be part of this startup. The short story, in 2022, M&A buys 33% of Kame by injecting it with an investment (gradual to 2025) of $7,000 million, which, in addition to giving them more support, will allow them to bring down the countries in which this group of Companies, except for Chile: Peru, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and the United States.
Concha insists that the success of this startup – which was billed in 2021 for US$1.2 million – is due to a more humane vision for small and medium-sized businesses. “We devoted a lot to generating knowledge,” he says. They’ve written a book for SMEs, prepared a guide, and recently launched the YouTube “Learn and Undertake” program run by commercial engineer Giancarlo Barbagelata and Manuel Concha himself. Nicholas Larrain, Thomas Cox, Evan Martinez and Ricardo Ibanez, among other acquaintances from the business world, have gone through her classes.
They already have three clients in Peru and in 2023 they plan to enter Colombia. “Kame ERP will expand to many countries in Latin America. We hope to achieve similar success to Chile,” concludes Concha with the same confidence that he probably advised his first clients when he was in his twenties.