The fact that venture capital has been pouring into Latin America of late has been hard to ignore. This week’s news that Kredi, a Mexican company that hopes to become the “Rocket Mortgage” of Latin America, had raised $3.1 million in funding was a reminder that fintech funding in the region is as diverse as is it abundant.
With many investment dollars in Latin America flowing toward everything from digital banking to cryptocurrencies, the fundraising success of a company like Kredi, which seeks to make it easier for the average, middle-class Mexican family to own a home, suggests a healthy fintech market is continuing to develop in the country. Mortgage-related fintechs are not as common in Mexico as fintechs involved in SME financing, digital banking, cross-border fund transfer, and even financial inclusion. Adding a mortgagetech like Kredi to the country’s ranks of funded fintechs could open the door for other entrepreneurs to innovate in the space.
Founded by Javier Aldape, Fernando Nader, Hernán Belden, and Juan Carlos Mercado, Kredi provides Mexican homebuyers with a marketplace where they can find the financing product that suits their needs best. The company sees itself as part of the trend toward greater digitization in financial services in general, as well as a way to help overcome the inefficiencies and expense of mortgage financing in Mexico in specific.
Finovate alums in a number of countries made the news this week. In the U.K., digital wealth management company Nutmeg agreed to be acquired by JPMorgan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a “source close to the transaction” said that Nutmeg was valued at more than $972 million. On the other side of the world, OCR Labs, an identity verification specialist based in Australia, announced that it has secured an investment of $15 million in a round led by Turkish firm Oyak Group. OCR Labs is an alum of both our developers conference, FinDEVr, and our fintech conference FinovateAsia, where it took home a Best of Show award for a demonstration of its technology.
Another Finovate Best of Show winner from outside of the United States made fintech headlines this week. Conversational AI specialist Finn AI, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, announced a set of new additions to its platform to give banks and credit unions greater flexibility in their embrace of chatbot technology. Salt Edge, a Finovate alum that specializes in open banking APIs that also hails from Canada, announced this week that it would help Cyprus based electronic money institution (EMI) OROPAY become PSD2 compliant.
Also too: Be sure to check out our latest guest post from Adam Goulston of Scize Group. Goulston looks at recent fintech trends in Asia and projects what those trends mean for fintech in the region going forward.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Brazilian cross-border commerce platform EBANX secured a $430 million investment from Advent International.
- Credijusto announced plans to acquire Banco Finterra, marking the first time in Mexico in which a fintech would own a bank.
- Mexican SME payments startup Dapp raised $12.4 million in Series A funding.
- Indonesia’s Finantier raised seed capital in a round led by Global Founders Capital and East Ventures.
- Zwipe teamed up with Silkways Card & Printing to help the Bangladeshi-based company issue biometric payment cards.
- South Korea’s Shinhan Bank announced a collaboration with international money transfer specialist Wise.
- European digital banking solution provider Layer teamed up with United Bank for Africa to support digital transformation initiatives in Kenya.
- IT News Africa looked at ways that South African small businesses “benefit from alternative fintech.”
- Ghana continued to take steps toward the launch of a national digital currency this week.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Azerbaijan-based payments company Millikart announced it will transition to Compass Plus’ open development payments platform TranzAxis.
- Austrian payment orchestration platform IXOPAY inked a partnership with payments technology provider Silverflow.
- German tax consultancy ETL Group announced a collaboration with B2B payments company Billie.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- UAE-based social P2P payments app Ziina secured $7.5 million in funding.
- Gulf News looked at recent comments about the UAE fintech sector from LuLu Financial’s Adeeb Ahamed.
- Egyptian fintech Khazna teamed up with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank Egypt and Masria Digital Payments to launch a prepaid card linked to its super app.
Central and Southern Asia
- India’s FamPay, which helps boost financial literacy among teenagers, secured $38 million in Series A funding in a round led by Elevation Capital.
- Incubation and acceleration platform Teamup inked a Memorandum of Understanding with the Pakistan Fintech Network.
- Visa unveiled its new program for fintech startups in Bangladesh.