Scott Raspa is Director of Growth at Hydrogen, an award-winning fintech enablement platform that provides organizations in Latin America, and anywhere in the world, the ability to add fintech products or components to their applications.
The fintech scene in Latin America is booming, and for a good reason. Nearly 70% of the Latin American population is unbanked. However, the use of smartphones is drastically increasing and it’s predicted that 90% of all Internet connections in Latin America will come from mobile devices by 2022, leaving the door wide open for digital fintech providers. On top of this, SMEs represent about 90% of all the businesses in Latin America but face many hurdles when securing capital to grow their business. This has resulted in an SME funding gap of around $903B. These are just a few of the stats that make Latin America ripe for fintech innovation.
Entrepreneurs & Investors have taken notice
The massive opportunity in LatAm hasn’t gone unnoticed. The number of fintech startups in LatAm grew 65% from 2017 to 2018 and more than doubled since 2016.
It is estimated that $800M was invested in fintech startups in 2018, making fintech the number one sector for VC investment in Latin America. VC investment in 2019 didn’t slow down. CB Insights shows $553M in fintech investment in Latin America, just in the first half of 2019. Experts say that the overall LatAm fintech market could exceed $150B by 2021.
Top fintech startups in Latin America
The five countries dominating LatAm’s fintech ecosystem are: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile. Below are a few of the top companies within these locations.
Description: Afluenta is a marketplace lending company for consumer and SME loans. They offer credits and investments between people, not with banks. They have more than 220 million pesos managed and, according to the startup, have produced an average annual return of 21.6% to investors.
Description: Albo is the leading mexican challenger bank. It is a Mastercard debit card and personal finance app that allows you to easily spend, save, and invest your money. You can open an account in minutes.
Funding: Approximately $160M
Description: Clip offers a mobile app that serves as a credit and debit card reader, making it easier for small businesses to accept card payments. In May 2019 they raised $100M, valuing the company between $350M and $400M.
Description: ComparaOnline is a price comparison site for financial and insurance services.
Description: Creditas is a leading fintech in Brazil that offers secured consumer loans. In July 2019 they announced a $231M funding round led by SoftBank which valued the company at about $750M.
Description: Cumplo is the largest collaborative lending network in Latin America for SMEs. It connects loan applicant companies with a network of investors through their online platform. It has funded more than $330M in loans.
Description: Global66 is an international online payment platform that offers fast and transparent money transfers and remittances.
Description: Klar is a Mexico-based challenger bank that provides a 100% digital, secure alternative to traditional credit cards and debit services. Customers are given full control of their money through a mobile application.
Description: Konfio provides unsecured working capital to small and midsize companies. It’s platform uses a proprietary algorithm to analyze credit behavior (among other data) and enable it to respond to companies instantly and provide disbursements in as little as 24 hours.
Description: Nubank is a neobank that issues, administrates, processes, and transfers payments related to post-paid credit cards and equity investment in other entities. It is the largest fintech in Latin America with over 20 million customers and 1500 employees and is valued at $10B.
Description: Seven out of 10 small businesses fail in their first five years due to lack of financing. OmniBnk is a neobank out to solve this problem. OmniBnk uses big data and machine learning to analyze various data points and perform risk analysis to provide lines of credit to businesses who are underserved by traditional lending services.
Description: REBEL is an online personal lending provider. They provide credit and financial literacy tools to offer no personal guarantee credit at low interest rates.
Description: Ualá is a neobank that is linked to a Mastercard prepaid card that allows users to conduct financial transactions both in Argentina and abroad.