Santander's fintech venture capital fund has led a $6 million funding round for ePesos, a Mexican mobile payments startup targeting underbanked small businesses.
VilCap Investments, Pomona Impact, and Fiinlab, the innovation lab owned by Gentera, joined Santander InnoVentures in the round.
Through its platform, ePesos offers low-cost short-term working capital through a revolving line of credit to SMEs without a bank account. Borrowers receive and repay funds through a custom built mobile wallet.
In addition, ePesos is partnering with HR software companies on payroll advances so that firms can let employees access funds instantly without going through complicated internal procedures.
Manuel Silva Martínez, head, investments, Santander InnoVentures, says: "Our investment in ePesos is a proof of our commitment to global financial inclusion and helping small businesses prosper - something Santander InnoVentures has made a priority."
Martínez adds that the deal is a stepping stone into Latin America for the $200 million fund, which has invested in 17 fintech startups since launching in 2014 but has so far focused on European and North American firms.