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The news is notable for more than one reason. First, it provides further evidence that the country is increasingly becoming a hotbed for fintech startups (more on that later). It also shows that despite its woes in the U.S. and India, SoftBank continues to pump money into the burgeoning Latin American startup scene via its multi-billion dollar innovation fund. The round is also yet another example of the outsized early-stage rounds being raised by startups globally.
Other unnamed “leading international venture capital funds” along with a group of existing investors also participated in the round.
AlphaCredit provides loans and other “financial solutions” to individuals and SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises) in Mexico and Colombia. In a press release issued on Jan. 26, the company said it plans to use the new capital to “continue its expansion and leverage the competitive advantages of its proven and profitable business model.”
The company’s mission is similar to that of many other fintech startups in Latin America: “to promote the economic development of a greater number of people that have limited access to credit.” Specifically, the company says it provides “fast, cheap loans” via a programmed deduction system that has low default rates, thus allowing for low interest rates.
Paulo Passoni, managing investment partner at SoftBank Group International, said the company’s approach “is superior to everyone who belongs to their ecosystems and why we are so excited to back these awesome entrepreneurs who are changing the landscape in Mexico and Colombia.
According to its press release, AlphaCredit has over eight years of experience lending in the Mexican and Colombian markets, with over $1 billion in loans granted to its clients. Like many other Latin Americans, Mexicans have historically been underserved by traditional banks or been without access to other forms of financing.
“We are committed to financial inclusion through innovation and technological development,” said José Luis Orozco, co-founder of AlphaCredit, in the company’s release: “We bring the best of both worlds to provide efficient access to credit and financial solutions to sectors underserved by traditional banking.”
In December, we covered the news that Konfío, an online financial services platform for small and medium businesses (SMBs) in Mexico, had raised $100 million in a Series D round led by SoftBank Group. Last September, we exclusively reported that Klar, a Mexico City-based startup that wants to democratize banking services in Mexico, had raised $57.5 million in debt and equity seed funding with the goal of becoming the ”Chime of Mexico,” among other things. And last August, we wrote about how Mexico City-based fintech startup Credijusto secured $42 million in a Series B that was co-led by Goldman Sachs PSI and Point72 Ventures.
Overall, venture funding in Mexico more than doubled in 2019 to $567.6 million across 120 deals compared to the year prior, according to Crunchbase data. (Keep in mind, of course, there may be reporting lags as more rounds are disclosed). Specifically, that was 104.4 percent more than the $260.4 million invested in 131 rounds in 2018, and a huge jump from the $117.6 million raised across 142 rounds in 2017.
We’ve reached out to AlphaCredit for more details on its raise and will update this story if/when someone gets back to us.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias