Creditas's headquarters, in Sao Paulo.
Technology

The Brazilian fintech Creditas begins its expansion into Latin America

The startup wants to be the first and foremost partner of the consumer during those big purchases, offering cheap credit as equity for automobiles, real estate property and salary

Founded in 2012 under the name BankFácil by the Spaniard Sergio Furio, Creditas was actually born five years later, after a contribution of BRL 60 million led by IFC, a branch of the World Bank, and was also the target of investments by Naspers in Latin America. Other pioneering funds in the region that had already invested in the company in 2016, such as Redpoint eventures and Kaszek Ventures, also participated in the first round. Yet it was only after the next two rounds of investment that the Brazilian fintech reached its turning point.

In 2018, Creditas received $ 55 million in a C Series round that was led by the Swedish fund Vostok Emerging Finance. The contribution, which also had the participation of Santander InnoVentures, a fund by Santander bank, and of Amadeus Capital Partners, was important for the scaling of the fintech throughout the year, sustained by the products that already existed regarding the concession of credit as equity for real estate and automobiles.

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It was the year in which Creditas really did help the Brazilian consumer learn about home equity—a type of credit so common and broad in other countries, yet so rarely offered and used in the country. While in the USA those credit lines represent 15% of residential credit, in Brazil that portion does not even reach 2%.

The Series D investment round, announced in July of this year, shaped the internationalization of the fintech. The round of $ 231 million was led by SoftBank Vision Fund and by the SoftBank Group Corp. conglomerate itself. Previous investors of the fintech also participated in the investment round.

With those resources, Creditas announced a third line of credit in its operations, based on payroll loans—loans which are repaid through payroll deductions over a short period of time, offering employees lower interest rates.

“We bought a platform named Creditoo, focused on private loans, and finished taking a bite out of the equities that everyone has, which are the automobile, real estate, and salaries. And now we are thinking in more products beyond credit in those three equity ecosystems, which is how I like to call those three lines,” explained the VP of Business Development for the fintech, Fabio Zveibil, to LABS.

With the last round, the market value of Creditas jumped from $ 250 million to $ 750 million—yet prior to this final investment round, the fintech had already made the list of soon-to-be unicorns in the innovation platform Distrito.

The new resources will fuel the fintech to not only continue growing in Brazil, but also to expand its operations in other countries in Latin America and Europe.

Photo: Creditas.

It is not exactly defined with which product, but we will debut in Mexico in 2019.

Fabio Zveibil, VP of Business Development in Creditas.

In addition to bringing its operations to Mexico, Creditas has also just opened offices in Valencia, Spain. “ The choice of Spain happened mostly because Furio is from there, but also because it is a context of full development and that can accelerate ours also,” says Zveibil. In Brazil, Creditas has its headquarters in São Paulo and offices in Porto Alegre.

The new products by Creditas

In the case of credit linked to automobiles, Creditas will soon offer financing for the purchase of vehicles. “The client will be able to not only use the vehicle that they already have to get money, but also get credit to buy a vehicle. We are still looking to add products and services in the purchase of that vehicle, through partnerships. The client will be able to complete repairs and hire insurance at lower rates, in addition to exchanging the automobile whenever they want. I want to be the reference for my client when they are thinking of an automobile, and follow the same logic in relation to the home and salary,” emphasizes the VP of Business Development in Creditas.

In the case of real estate, Creditas launched two months ago and exclusively in São Paulo, a specific credit line for home reforms. With it, the client could use up to 15% of the value of the property as equity for the loan to renovate the house.

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“Since almost all reforms end up being more expensive than initially planned, the big hook of this case is that we offer the project [of the reform],” tells Zveibil, who also says that the plan is to sign partnerships to also provide the labor needed for the completion of the house reforms. There are no plans yet as to when the service will be offered in other places in Brazil.

And in the case of salary, Creditas is developing a credit line that permits payment in installments of products with a high price tag, linked to payroll deductions. “We are going to create a marketplace for people to purchase things with a high price tag. A person with a salary of BRL 2 thousand doesn’t have a big limit on their credit card to buy a television, but can handle perfectly paying in installments [dependent on a good such as that one],” explains Zveibil.

The idea is to offer electronic devices, appliances, trips, and other products and services in the area of education, all of them under payroll loans.