Fintech companies from Chile made headlines this week, taking their rightful place alongside the innovators in neighboring countries like Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, which have tended to dominate conversations about the surge in financial technology in Latin America in recent years.
Xepelin, a Chilean company that offers a financial services platform designed especially for small businesses, raised $30 million in equity along with another $200 million in debt facilities. The equity financing was led by Kaszek Ventures, a Latin American VC fund, and featured participation from DST Global and a number of angel investors. The company’s debt facility were provided by asset managers and hedge funds based in Latin America as well as the U.S.
Xepelin focuses on enabling small businesses to secure organize their financial data in real time, as well as apply for – and receive – short-term financing easily and quickly. The company says that SMEs can apply for working capital loans “with three clicks” and receive their funding “in a matter of hours.”
With a monthly growth rate of 30%, Xepelin said it has more than 4,000 clients in Mexico and Chile, and has loaned more than $400 million to small businesses in those countries. The company said that the new capital will help it ensure that all small businesses in Latin America will have access to both financial services and financial capital. Xepelin also noted that it is looking to expand beyond the B2B space to provide a broader range of services to small businesses and companies in the region.
Helping employers improve the financial health of workers is the mission of Quansa, another Chilean fintech that raised $3.6 million in new capital this week. Quansa combines financial education with financial management tools to give companies in Chile the ability to offer their employees a more holistic benefits package. Quansa’s platform provides personalized financial guidance, access to flexible salaries, and debt management resources to more than 2,000 workers currently.
The seed funding round was led by Valor Capital Group and featured participation from Pear VC, Norte, Magma Partners, Sequoia Scouts, as well as a number of angel investors.
Quansa co-founder Mafalda Barros pointed to the challenge of debt that many Chilean workers struggle with, and noted that 70% of workers say that they feel as if they have little control over their finances. “It’s just as important to understand how to manage your money as it is to have access to these services,” Barrros said. “We teach users how to organize and manage their bills, use financial tools, start saving and, of course, to spend better.”
Not all big fintech headlines out of Latin America were related to funding and venture capital. EBANX, a payments solution provider based in Brazil, and Amazon have teamed up to enable Amazon Prime Video customers in Peru to subscribe to the service and make payments in local currency rather than in U.S. dollars.
“Localized solutions deeply improve the online purchasing experience for Peruvians and all Latin Americans, helping them to access the best services around the world – in addition to broadening the total addressable market of companies in the LatAm region,” EBANX co-founder and CEO João Del Valle said. “And this two-way street of access is precisely what we work for everyday at EBANX. That is why we are very excited about this collaboration with Amazon Prime Video in Peru.”
Founded in 2012, EBANX is among the leading payment platforms in Latin America. The company offers more than 100 local payment methods and brought access to financial products and services to more than 70 million Latin Americans. Last month, the company secured $430 million in funding from Advent International. This spring, EBANX launched operations in Central America, expanding its total reach to 15 countries. The company has said it plans to offer shares to the public via IPO “in the coming months.”
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Central and Southern Asia
- Upstox, one of India’s largest investment platforms, announced new CTO Thippesha Byamappa.
- Karachi, Pakistan-based B2B marketplace Dastgyr raised $3.5 million in seed funding.
- Kaspi.kz, the largest fintech firm in Kazakhstan, inked an agreement to acquire Ukrainian online payment company Portmone.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Finastra and the International Chamber of Commerce selected Ecuador as the first market in which to pilot their trade funding marketplace.
- Mexican insurtech Guros took in $5.8 million in funding this week.
- Banco de Bogotá, the largest commercial bank in Colombia, to let customers transfer money to crypto exchange Buda.com as part of a pilot program.
- Singapore’s Nium is the region’s latest fintech unicorn after raising $200 million in funding.
- Japan-based Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) launched its second fintech VC fund.
- Hong Kong- and Singapore-based fintech Zetl announced securing $700,000 in seed capital.
- South Africa-based SME payments platform Yoco raised $83 million in Series C funding.
- Financial services and fintech platform Tangerine launched in Nigeria.
- The Economist looked at the success of fintechs in African countries where the economy is stalling.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Solarisbank, a banking-as-a-service platform based in Berlin, Germany, secured $225 million (EUR 190 million) in Series D funding and announced an acquisition of rival BaaS platform Contis.
- Russian Econombank migrated its card processing business to Compass Plus.
- Lithuania-based iDenfy agreed to provide identity verification service for eCompliance.