This Week in Fintech Latam (25 Sep)

This Week in Fintech Latam (25 Sep)

Hola amig@s fintech,

What’s shakin’? 😵‍💫 😅 Happy Autumn or Spring Equinox depending which hemisphere you’re in.  Please help me welcome to our TWIF Latam crew the lovely Daniela Olavarrieta. 👋🏽 (Hot tip: she’s on the market for analyst roles).

Tl;dr:

  • $848 million in fintech financing (equity + debt), including Kavak’s $810 million structured financing deal
  • Alaya Capital announces $25 million third fund and offices in CDMX
  • Fresh off the press: Atlantico’s Digital Transformation and Flourish’s Digitizing the Corner Shop reports

Please find below this week’s front page of Latam fintech news.  If you’re reading this on the web, we’d really appreciate your support by sharing and subscribing.

💛 Y’all be good out there.  ¡Saludos!  Até a próxima!


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🤓 Hey fintech infra nerds, join me and the best community of emerging markets fintech aficionados as a Venture Partner at RaliCap*.  More info here

📊 Stat + 📖 Read of the Week

The top 1% of Latam’s population holds 46% of the wealth.  Check out this and more key stats in Atlantico’s 2022 Latin America Digital Transformation Report.


💬  Quote of the Week

“The picture is undoubtedly unfavorable for the segment, with interest rates and inflation on the rise and the indebtedness of Brazilian families at a level of 78% – the highest recorded in the last 12 years”, says Reiss. “But despite the adverse situation, I am optimistic. By the end of the decade, fintechs should account for between 30% and 40% of the national credit market.” - Sandro Reiss, president of the Brazilian Digital Credit Association (ABCD)

💸 Venture Financing

Heru, the Mexican online tax platform for gig economy workers, raised a $6 million seed round led by Google’s Gradient Ventures with participation from SOMA Capital, GFC, Moving Capital, Flourish Ventures and Magma Partners. The company automates tax filing procedures for consumers and SMEs in Mexico.

Solfácil, the Brazilian solar energy financing platform, raised a $30 million Series C extension from Fifth Wall four months after the original $100 million round led by QED.  As the war in Ukraine continues to drive up energy prices, Solfácil’s financing options have become even more attractive to its SME clients.  Last month it launched Loja Solfácil, a marketplace for solar equipment, complementing Ampera, its monitoring hardware.  Since launch in 2018, the startup has financed nearly $285 million in solar equipment to its SME and rural producers.

💵 Debt Financing

Wolet, the Peruvian lending-as-a-service (LaaS) platform, announced a $2 million venture debt round led by Acorde Private Fund, along with a group of angel investors. The company offers a lending solution that integrates to payment processors and POS systems.

Kavak, the Mexico City-based used car marketplace that offers financing options, announced a $810 million structured financing agreement with HSBC, which covered most of the transaction,  along with Goldman Sachs and Santander. HSBC is purchasing Kavak’s current and future loan portfolio in Mexico while Goldman Sachs and Santander will provide loans backed by assets including warehouses and cars worth a combined $135 million.


💰 Venture funds

Alaya Capital, the Argentinian fund manager, announced the close of its $25 million third fund and the opening of new offices in Mexico City, to invest in early stage companies in Latam with tickets between $500,000 and $2 million. Portfolio companies include Betterfly, Lemon Cash, Finerio, and Preauth.

Alaya Managing Partners, Juan Manuel Giner, Claudio Barahona, Lorena Suarez, Luis Bermejo. Source: Alaya Capital

☯️ Exits

🤝 M&A - Fintech

Rough financial conditions lead to M&A deals in LatAm’s Fintech sector

💻 IPOs & SPACs

For Brazilian shareholders, Nubank’s IPO has a bitter aftertaste


🚀 Product Launches & Partnerships

💻 Fintechs

Crecy, the Mexico City-based crypto-backed credit card startup, announced the launch of its card issued via Pomelo, the Argentinian card issuance and payments platform.

Vest, the Mexico City-based wealthtech platform, announced Vest Crypto through which users can transact in more than 30 cryptocurrencies.

Bitso, the crypto exchange, launched payments via QR code for customers in Argentina, becoming the first in the region to offer this service payment via crypto + QR codes from other digital wallets and banks.

Menta, the Argentinian paytech, announced its launch in Colombia.  The startup offers merchants smartPOS devices that offer utility payments, credit, crypto payments, loyalty programs, and other services.

PasanaQ, the Bolivian inclusion-focused fintech, announced its launch in Peru. The company digitizes and allows the management of informal collaborative savings associations and clubs, known as Pasanakus in Bolivia.

Neu Energy, the Colombia-based AI-driven energy provider, announced it will launch financing solutions for its customers’ energy transition projects.

Agree, the Argentinian ag-fintech, announced its Mexico launch. Agree is the first fintech in Argentina to enter the capital market with a financial trust established on agricultural loans.

Liquitech, the Barranquilla-based impact-focused factoring platform, announced agreements with Kandeo Asset Management and CrossRegional Management for up to $100 million to scale its operations beyond the Caribbean to markets such as Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Panama. A portion of each transaction is dedicated to training and seed capital for women and girls.

🏦 Financial Services & Banking

Chilean banks Ripley and Bice both announced plans for their respective financial marketplaces to better compete with digital players including Itaú, Revolut, and Mercado Libre as well as to catch up to offerings in countries such as Mexico and Brazil.  Banco Ripley plans to launch remittances via its digital wallet, Chek, while Banco Bice aims to offer consumer credit via Go Bice.


📰 Other News

Trii, the Peru-based wealthtech, announced it registered 1,363 transactions during Trii Day, an event organized by the startup allowing commission-free investments.  This marks the highest daily number of operations on the Lima Stock Exchange in the past 10 years.

Miami and São Paulo-based fund TheVentureCity launched Growth Scanner, a platform to help startups measure their growth via personalized analysis of metrics key to scaling long-term.

Mono, the Colombian SMB neobank launched Mono VC, a platform to startups with funds and investors such as ALLVP, QED, Magma Partners and various angel investors in Latam.

Open calls for applications: Startup Academy Uruguay powered by Google and ANDE; ADN AgTech Argentina powered by Microsoft Argentina; Startup Building powered by Santader and Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG); Bizkaia and La-ne seek 50 Colombian startups to expand to Europe.


📜 Policy

The Brazilian Central Bank authorized Banco Mercantil as an Initiator of Payment Transactions (ITP), making it the 13th institution to receive the license.

The Mexican Banking Commission (CNBV) has been busy again:

  • Financiera Planfía’s Sofipo license was revoked after being on watchlists since 2017 for irregularities in its accounting.  The firm founded in 2007 offered financing for autos.  As of last year, it had already begun voluntarily unwinding its operations.  There are now 39 authorized Sofipos or microcredit institutions remaining.
  • Brokerage houses Punto, Inversora Bursátil Inbursa, Finamex, CI, Monex, Vector, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, and Black WallStreet Capital received fines for a total of $2.3 million.  Reasons cited ranged from unauthorized operations per Article 9 of the LMV, lack of data compliance, and lack of published guidelines.
  • Ten banks racked up 35 infractions with fines totaling $1.3 million: Invex, Actinver, Santander, Scotiabank, Autofin, HSBC, BBVA, Bansi, Banorte, ABC Capital (acquired by Ualá).
  • Some good news: Peibo was authorized as an IFPE or depository institution, becoming the 40th fintech to receive its license (26 IFPE and 14 IFC or crowdfunding license).

Colombia approaches Brazilian authorities to import the instant payments system Pix

La Cámara Argentina Fintech se consolida y presenta su nueva imagen


📚 Deeper Reads

Flourish Ventures 2022 Global Report: Digitizing the Corner Shop

Fintech Leaders podcast with Julio Vasconcellos of Atlantico VC

Venture Funding Sinks in Latin America, But Some Investors Remain Bullish

Brazilian tech veteran explains fintech’s footprint on Latin American industries

LatAm Tech Weekly: Booming E-Commerce in Latin America & Its Opportunities

The 500 Most Influential People in Latin America in 2022

Fred Armisen tries on different Spanish accents on Fallon Tonight


🦉 Notable Tweets


Made in Latam with 💛 by Christine, Andrea, Daniela, and Jorge

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