Wall Street-listed giant bought Uruguayan tech company Integra

The Uruguayan technology company Integra is dedicated to offering software in the cloud for contact center (customer service centers). The local firm that was founded in 2009 by Sebastián Gutiérrez, Juan Elzaurdia and Joaquín Moreira was acquired in recent days by the multinational leader in cloud communication Net2phone which, in turn, makes up the IDT corporation.

For reasons of confidentiality, the financial details of the transaction cannot be made public, but one of its partners, Sebastián Gutiérrez, confirmed to Café & Negocios that 100% of Integra’s operations are now part of the American giant.

Generally, large companies looking for new acquisitions or solutions go through investment rounds to reach these companies, but as Gutiérrez described, Integra was the exception.

“In Uruguay, internationalization begins (because it is a small market), in that sense we always go out, but we never went to look for capital, but customers,” Gutiérrez stressed. Along the same lines, he assured that The international company especially sought out Integra for its product, its clients and the good recommendations of the Uruguayan company. “It is very interesting that a Wall Street company comes looking for you,” Gutiérrez acknowledged.

Integra was acquired by net2phone, a subsidiary of IDT Corporation

The Integra platform offers a wide range of functionalities to contact center that includes support in the different communication channels, integration with social networks, communications through chatbot and development of custom tools. Recently, Integra was named as “the solution provider for contact center most promising” by CIOReview, a digital publication of reference in technology.

The Uruguayan firm began operations 13 years ago. In its history Two Canadian companies and one American company have already started the process to acquire it, however, Gutiérrez acknowledged that on those occasions they did not agree on how the product was going to continue, so they decided to end the negotiations.. “It was difficult for us to get the other companies to understand that it was not just about telephone exchanges, but that it is something more consultative,” he argued.

On the other hand, with Net2phone the situation was diametrically different. “They came open to listen, they didn’t just come to say what they thought,” Gutiérrez described while noting that the three partners are “very happy with the future that is coming”. Among the highlights of the negotiation, he emphasized that its products will not be decoupled from the main company and that there will be total transparency with customers. “Even uContact – its flagship product – will continue under the same name.”

Meanwhile, the CEO of IDT, Shmuel Jonas, assured: “We have acquired a great company with a well-formed team”, he said and noted: “Integra is a perfect fit for net2phone. Its innovative offering creates high synergy and when you join net2phone’s global network of sales and channel agents, we hope that it will represent a great source of growth and expansion in the short term. Integra is already cash flow positive and generating near triple-digit revenue growth”.

To future

According to Gutiérrez, in order to take the next leap in the industry, evolve and be able to compete with more developed companies, it was necessary to take the leap and become a US company.

The firm, which today is made up of 36 people, is preparing for an accelerated growth that the founders will closely follow: “We are going to be at the forefront for a few years,” said the businessman, adding: “They are complementary companies, but since what we do is very different, they need us to stay for a long time,” he said, in this process they will remain at least two years that can be extended up to four.

The firm will double its staff and, in the coming months, will move its facilities before the end of the year from Sinergia in Punta Carretas Tower to cowork of the same signature that will take place in the former Sheraton hotel.

In this sense, Gutiérrez confirmed that IDT – the parent company – will hire technical personnel in Uruguay with the aim of setting up a pilot for a technical hub in the country.

The origin

The kick to found the company was a business opportunity discovered in 2009 within the telecommunications sector.

Sebastián Gutiérrez developed a system that covers the needs detected mainly in the field of contact centers and presented it to the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII), from which received financial support of US$ 250,000. Thanks to that money, Integra was born, specialized from the beginning in the design, development and implementation of solutions for contact centers.

At that time, the entrepreneur and systems engineering student at the ORT University embarked on this adventure together with his partner Juan Elzaurdia — a childhood friend and a systems graduate. Both dedicated themselves to the technical part of the company. In turn, the necessary commercial leg was in charge of Joaquín Moreira, a graduate in administration and also a partner at Integra.

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