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This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Mexican fintech Konfío closes US$100 million Series D led by SoftBank to boost support for SMEs

This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)

Contxto – Good things come in pairs, or so they say. Most likely, the Mexican fintech Konfío can concur. If US$100 million from Goldman Sachs wasn’t enough, things just got even better for the alternative finance provider with another US$100 million investment round, this time led by East Asian powerhouse, SoftBank.

QED Investors, Kaszek Ventures, and Vostok Emerging Finance also contributed to this Series D financial round. As news about this funding broke this morning, the new capital will reportedly go towards expanding products, such as more loans for SME (small and medium enterprise) partners.

Some other potential developments include the incorporation of even more business analysis for customers’ credit reports. Additionally, the company intends to eventually launch an online marketplace, known as Konsiento. 

Although it is still in the conceptual stages, this platform will serve as a resource for partners to find financial and legal services. To promote even more business development, Konsiento will connect companies with website designers as well as discounted office supplies. 

Overall, these efforts are to furnish SMEs with more tools for success. The fact of the matter is that Konfío clients have expanded sales by about 28 percent within six months of receiving loans. 

Loans for SMEs in Mexico

Ever since Konfío began in 2013, it has committed itself to serve SMEs in Mexico, many of which struggle with traditional banks due to aggressive fees, bureaucracy, in addition to an overall lack of transparency.

On average, Konfío loans go for about US$12,000. Even better, applications take fewer than 10 minutes and money goes into accounts within 24 hours. Another undeniable perk is the fact that the fintech doesn’t require any collateral for loan borrowers. 

Technological innovation plays a pivotal role in this process, according to Gregorio Tomassi, the investor-relations director at Konfío

“We consider ourselves to be a tech company that’s focused on resolving one of the biggest problems for small and medium-sized businesses, which is access to credit,” said the executive. “We grant quick loans based on technology, alternative data sources, artificial intelligence, and data science.”

SoftBank in Mexico: a credit history

While SoftBank recently premiered its own blockchain-powered debit cards, this is the conglomerate’s third investment in Mexico followings its debut of the US$5 billion Innovation Fund for Latin American startups. 

Back in October, the Japanese megabank invested in used-car platform Kavak. Prior to this, in May, SoftBank also led another US$100 million round for fellow Mexican fintech, Clip. Rather than distributing loans for SMEs, this company has developed a payment solution for companies to accept credit and debit payments.

Tried and true, these investments demonstrate SoftBank’s particular niche interest in promoting disruptive technology. Whether for the automobile or traditional banking industries, the corporation certainly seems to be betting on a few paradigm shifts.

How will these older industries keep up with the competition is the question. 

-JA

Jacob Atkins
Jacob Atkins is a journalist specializing in Latin America. He studied journalism and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C. and has previously reported from Chile, Ecuador, Haiti and Mexico. When he isn't writing he's most likely hiking or drawing.

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