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Best in Class Regional/Global Treasury Solution Highly Commended: Glovo

Published: Jul 2022

Photo of Elia Hermida, Citi, Lorena Gil and Antoine Lebrun, Glovo.

Photo of Elia Hermida, Citi, Lorena Gil and Antoine Lebrun, Glovo.

Antoine Lebrun

previous Global Treasury Director

Lorena Gil

Global Head of Treasury

Glovo is a quick-commerce start-up founded in Barcelona in 2015. It offers multiple services with food delivery the most popular. Glovo operates in 1,300 cities in 25 countries across EMEA.

in partnership with

Treasury team of just seven manages solution across 25 countries

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The challenge

Glovo needed to achieve visibility and control over its fragmented cash management operations across a dynamic, diverse and highly complex mix of countries. Glovo was connected to as many as 50 different banks and had extremely limited visibility of its cash. Without expanding the size of the treasury team, Glovo sought to:

  • Achieve total visibility of cash.

  • Create a scalable and extremely flexible platform to facilitate continued growth.

  • Optimise daily liquidity management.

  • Simplify intercompany funding, particularly for new markets.

The solution

Glovo selected Citi as its global cash management bank, which provides the company with a platform that is both global in nature but also serves the very local requirements. By working with a global bank, Glovo has visibility of global cash positions. It has consolidated bank accounts for most countries with the bank, with which treasury has a single contact point, and controls them via CitiDirect. The bank’s global network accelerates Glovo’s ability to launch in new markets, as account opening leverages existing ‘know your customer’ (KYC) and other information. Glovo’s banking set-up is connected to a new Kyriba treasury management system (TMS) via a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP) host-to-host (H2H) connection for reporting messages; payments will be added once the company migrates to the XML format and implements SAP ERP. The TMS and ERP in combination meet Glovo’s existing and future payments and reporting needs and, importantly, can accommodate Glovo’s plans to use an application programming interface (API) to automate the pay-out process to their drivers in markets where instant payments are supported. With a more consistent set of accounts on a single platform, Glovo implemented automated funding, utilising end-of-day physical zero balance sweeps between accounts in Glovo’s EUR markets. By consolidating excess EUR, Glovo can fund operations in other locations rapidly (in the past it used fund transfers via local banks that took up to a week). Glovo decided against pooling in non-EUR balances given the limited cash generation of many operations, although it will consider USD pooling in future.

To ensure efficient and cost-effective cross-border funding of Glovo’s operations (many of which have significant requirements as new businesses), Glovo deployed the bank’s solution which routes cross-border payments through local ACH in markets such as Nigeria, Morocco and Kazakhstan, significantly reducing costs. Cross-border wires are used in countries such as Armenia and Georgia where Glovo has accounts with third-party banks. Glovo benefits from pre-agreed FX rates when sending funds to its entities worldwide.

“During the project, we rapidly expanded our ultra-fast (ten minute) delivery business and needed to establish multiple ‘dark stores’ (local mini warehouses) to facilitate this model. To sign building leases at short notice (given the competition for dark store space), we needed multiple bank guarantees at extremely short notice,” explains Lorena Gil, Global Head of Treasury.

Best practice and innovation

Glovo is a rapidly-growing unicorn with a dynamic business model. It moves into new countries at lighting speed and expects its banking partners to match its pace. The company had an extremely fragmented view of its cash given multiple banking relationships, multiple manual processes, and the complex nature of many of its operating countries. Given Glovo’s high cash burn in many markets, this lack of visibility was problematic.

“This impeded our ability to fund operations efficiently, so we have implemented an entirely new strategy,” says Lorena.

Key benefits

  • Headcount savings.

  • Process efficiencies.

  • Increased automation.

  • Risk mitigated.

  • Improved visibility.

  • Errors reduced.

  • Number of banking partners/bank accounts reduced.

  • Manual intervention reduced.

  • Increased system connectivity.

  • Future proof solution.

The Adam Smith Awards is the industry benchmark for best practice and innovation in corporate treasury. The 2022 awards attracted 230 nominations spanning 34 countries. To find out more please visit: https://treasurytoday.com/adam-smith-awards.

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