Japanese company SoftBank is leading a $231 million funding round for a Brazilian lending startup called Creditas, in a bid to shake up competition in the traditional financial market, according to a report by Reuters.
Creditas is now valued at $750 million and the capital will help it to expand to other Latin American countries.
In Brazil, 82 percent of all assets are controlled by five banks. Creditas is aiming to change that.
“While there is huge demand for consumer lending in Brazil, the market is inefficient,” said Akshay Naheta, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, adviser to the Vision Fund.
A portion of the company's proceeds are going to be used in other places in Latin America, like Mexico, where Creditas plans to offer asset-backed credit. There isn’t a lot of domestic credit offered in Mexico versus Brazil, with the rate being around 54.5 percent of gross domestic product. In Brazil, the rate is 114 percent.
Creditas was started in 2012 by Sergio Furio, a Spanish former consultant and now the company’s chief executive. The company has historically offered loans that have lower interest rates because they’re secured by assets like cars and homes.
Creditas wants to expand its product portfolio and upgrade its tech, as well as hire new workers, with the SoftBank capital infusion. The company also plans to start offering payroll loans, which is a large untapped market in the country.
“In the future, loans will be more than money, they will be part of a full solution offered to clients,” Furio said, hinting that the company may provide loans for things like home remodeling.
Furio said he envisions Creditas’ revenues to jump 30-fold by 2021, but he didn’t provide any specifics. The company has raised $314 million in four rounds, and its investors include Kaszek Ventures, Quona’s Accion Frontier Fund, Redpoint eVentures, QED Investors, Naspers Fintech, International Finance Corporation and Endeavor’s Catalyst Fund.