Konfio, an online Mexican lending platform, announced a new round of investment for $8 million from the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund managed by Quona Capital, QED Investors, Kaszek Ventures, and Jaguar Ventures that will allow the lender to strengthen its operations, grow its user base, and adopt corporate best practices.
Konfio grants small businesses loans of up to 150,000 pesos to help them grow their operations and develop their businesses, with competitive rates and through an online process.
"By leveraging technology and big data analytics, Konfio complements traditional financial analysis and streamlines the loan application process, providing convenience and affordability to customers who are creditworthy but historically underserved by traditional banking," said Miguel Herrera, partner at Quona Capital, which manages the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global fintech fund for the unbanked.
During its first two years of operations, more than 200,000 businesses across Mexico approached Konfio to apply for a loan. Konfio plans to expand its platform to thousands more users.
"The fintech sector is one of the great opportunities for the development of the digital economy both in Latin America and the world. The financially neglected market in Mexico alone has an estimated value of ten billion dollars. We are very interested in harnessing the potential of this industry. Konfío is our first investment in Mexico, and we are very pleased to be part of their development," Bill Cilluffo, partner at QED Investors, commented.
"There is a great need for financing for small businesses. This sector represents 95 percent of businesses in Mexico and is the backbone of the national economy, but it has not been a priority for large financial institutions. This new round of funding is a validation of our business model and allows us to integrate partners who contribute not only capital, but also extensive knowledge, experience, and mentoring to grow and continue improving our products and customer experience," said David Arana, founder and CEO of Konfio.
Eric Pérez-Grovas, cofounder of Jaguar Ventures, the only Mexican investment fund involved with this start-up, said, "Konfio has the potential to be one of the biggest successes in the fintech industry in Latin America, to promote its development, lead its market, and nurture the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. At Jaguar we are very pleased to have participated in the seed investment and to continue accompanying Konfio in its growth trajectory."
"Konfio has a talented and passionate team with a unique technology and data-driven approach. We are convinced the company will generate a great impact on the way in which small businesses obtain financing in Mexico," said Nicolas Szekasy, founding partner of Kaszek Ventures.
Konfio's investors come with a wide range of experience. Quona Capital manages the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global fintech fund for the unbanked. QED Investors, created by the cofounders of Capital One, is a pioneer in risk management and invests in fintech companies; Konfio is QED's first holding in Mexico. Kaszek Ventures brings the cofounders of MercadoLibre, Hernán Kazah and Nicolás Szekasy, who have invested in more than 40 companies across Latin America.
These investors add to an initial investment from Accion Venture Lab – an initiative providing seed capital and management services to early-stage innovative start-ups that expand financial access for the underserved – and Jaguar Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on early stage Internet ventures in Latin America that is also involved in this new round of funding.