All companies will be fintechs: The proptech edition
Habi, a proptech and one of the newest Latin American unicorns, sees a growth opportunity in lending.
The Colombian startup—which has just entered the Mexico market—aims to expand the number of mortgage loans available to clients looking to buy real estate through its platform. With that in mind, it introduced Habi Credit, which acts as a bridge between homebuyers and banks and comes laden with automation tools.
“We don’t disburse the money, but we take care of all the paperwork so the client doesn’t have to
worry about anything,” Juan Pablo Garavito, Habi’s chief financial officer, tells iupana.
The move comes hot on the heels of Habi’s US$200 million Series C round in May, which turned it into a unicorn, and last week’s US$75 million credit line to accelerate its expansion in Mexico.
With their latest proposal, Habi executives leverage on technological tools to advise clients and connect them with the bank that best fits their profile.
“This way we can guarantee a high conversion rate in credit origination,” says Garavito, adding the company will continue to integrate technology to shorten the evaluation process for banks.
The executive says Habi
acquired mortgage broker Global BPO to combine its track record and Habi’s technological capabilities with the goal of becoming one of the largest mortgage loan originators in Colombia.
Habi aims to process some COP350 billion (US$87.5 million) of loans during 2022. Colombia’s mortgage loan portfolio in the first quarter of 2022 totaled COP102.9 trillion, according to official data.
iupana event | June 28
Thinking about your company’s next strategic move?
On Tuesday, we’ll ask three top investors what they are recommending to the fintechs in their portfolios – and what their top tips are for raising capital.
Join the conversation and put your questions to the panel
Itaú pauses investment in Argentine wallet Ank
Brazilian bank Itaú said it is halting further investment in Ank, its digital wallet in Argentina, due to the global economic context and the decline in fintech valuations. In the next two months it plans to decide which “strategic paths” Ank will follow. News website Infobae reported that Itaú is considering closing or selling the wallet.
Ebanx lays off 20% of its staff
Ebanx, the Brazilian payment processing unicorn, laid off 340 of its employees this week, as a result of a reorganization, which it said was triggered by the “current market scenario.” Local media said the company also decided to close Labs, the paytech’s digital media outlet. Spokespersons consulted by iupana declined to comment.
Nubank looks for openings in a tough environment
Nubank is evaluating the market for acquisition opportunities to take advantage of the generalized decline in the valuation of startups, said David Velez, the neobank’s CEO and co-founder, in an interview with the Financial Times.
Nu’s Mexico country head, Emilio González, told iupana the fintech has the necessary capital and room for maneuver to continue investing in this core market. The firm has also refined its risk engine with a view to advance its strategy of issuing credit cards more quickly than its competitors and ensuring
sustained returns, he said. Read the full interview on Monday!
CloudWalk launches its own blockchain
Brazilian fintech CloudWalk launched its own blockchain with the aim of creating a global digital payments network. The technology will allow merchants to receive payments almost immediately, the company says, adding that it aims to be able to process 5,000 transactions per second by the end of the year.
Brazil’s XP launches digital account
Brazilian investment fintech XP introduced a digital account linked to a debit card and app, with the aim of completing its ecosystem of financial solutions. The company recently launched a product for wholesalers.
BBVA migrates customer services
to the cloud
BBVA reached an agreement with technology provider Genesys to migrate its customer services to the cloud in an effort to streamline and improve the operation. The agreement covers BBVA’s units in Spain and LatAm.
U-Payments and Mastercard launch a solution for sending money abroad in Chile
U-Payments and Mastercard presented U-Money Send in Chile, a digital solution that allows money to be sent abroad within 24 hours and, in some cases, in as little as 5 minutes. The Mastercard network allows money to be wired securely to 145 countries.
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Santander Brasil acquires Kokpyt through Toro Investimentos
Santander Brasil strengthened its wealthtech vertical Toro Investimentos with the acquisition of Kokpyt, a digital investment platform and robo-advisor developed by Allê Invest.
Peru’s Krealo acquires Samishop
Krealo, the venture
capital arm of Peru’s Credicorp Group, acquired the marketplace Samishop, a sign of the growth in online shopping. This is Krealo’s fifth investment following the acquisition of the startups Tenpo in Chile, Culqi and Wally in Peru and Tyba in Colombia.
iupanaPRO event | July 6
Colombia: Post-election regulatory briefing
With the presidential elections decided, what are the next steps for the regulation of digital finance in Colombia? Join Ana María Zuluaga of the SFC for this exclusive event for iupanaPRO subscribers.
Bitso appoints Barbara Gonzalez CEO
Barbara Gonzalez, who was selected by iupana as a 2021 Disruptor, has been named head of Bitso in Mexico. Gonzalez was previously CFO and led the effort to raise US$250 million of financing in May 2021, boosting the fintech’s valuation to US$2.2
Investment rounds in the first half of this year are well down on 2021, a sign of the difficulties facing fintechs needing to raise capital. This week we looked at the largest investment rounds to date.
- The largest fintech round was by neobank Neon.
- Six fintech unicorns emerged in the region.
Refresh your memory and read the full list in our weekly