SoftBank Leads $100M Investment In Mexico’s Konfio

SoftBank Group has made another investment in Mexico, leading a $100 million funding round for small business (SMB) lender Konfio.

This marks the Japanese conglomerate’s third investment in the country since it announced the launch of a $2 billion fund to target Latin American technology companies. Other investors in this fourth-stage funding round include QED Investors, Kaszek Ventures and Vostok Emerging Finance.

Founded in 2013, Mexico’s Konfio will use the funds to expand working-capital loans to SMBs, and introduce new products, according to Director of Corporate Strategy & Investor Relations Gregorio Tomassi. Users can fill out an application in as little as eight minutes, and receive the funding within 24 hours without any collateral. Tomassi added that the company’s loans average $12,000, which is well below banks’ average business loans of $40,000.

“We consider ourselves a tech company that’s focused on resolving one of the biggest problems for [SMBs], which is access to credit,” Tomassi said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We grant quick loans based on technology, alternative data sources, artificial intelligence and data science.”

Konfio previously raised around $300 million in capital and credit lines. Some of the new products the company is considering for the future include providing businesses with analysis of customers’ credit reports, as well as expanding an online marketplace called Konsiento — where businesses can find legal services, web designers and office supplies at a discount.

SoftBank’s fund has its sights set on technology companies across Latin America, focusing on the same industries and sectors in which SoftBank already invests, including eCommerce, FinTech and healthcare. The company has already made several investments in Brazil, providing funds for companies such as MadeiraMadeira Comercio Eletronico, Loggi Tecnologia and Banco Inter, as well as Rappi in Colombia. In May, it invested $20 million in Clip, a Mexican FinTech startup that offers a mobile credit card reader for smartphones.