Today, Finkargo announced a US$7.5M Seed Round, which MAYA co-led with Quona. They started operations in Colombia and now as they expand to Mexico, we thought it interesting to explore why MAYA invested in Finkargo. The following points come to mind: a strong and experienced team, solving a clear pain in a huge market. See below for the details on why we are so bullish on this opportunity.
Overview: Finkargo, LatAm’s first specialized import financing platform for SMEs, was founded in 2021 in Colombia, and has started operating in Mexico as well. The company uses its fully digital 7-minute credit application, 48-hour decision, and integrated shipment tracking system to help formerly overlooked SME importers, who represent a $260 billion market.
Strong and experienced team: The team's experience is quite impressive and addresses the needs to operate the business, in areas such as: credit, logistics and technology. On the credit side, Santiago Molina brings to the table a unique experience in MSME lending (Micro, Small and Medium enterprises), while having co-founded another company in the fintech space called Finamiga-Uni2. In logistics, Tomás Shuk has over 20 years of experience in international logistics and freight forwarding, having previously led Maersk’s business in Mexico, Colombia and Central America before founding Key Logistics Group, a freight forwarder with operations in Colombia, Mexico and USA. And last but not least in technology, Andres Ferrer is a tech veteran (+20 years of experience) with 3 turnarounds in the software, hardware and cyber security industries, and 2 exits, under his belt.
Lack of credit access for SMBs in global trade: Finkargo created the first import financing platform to enable trade for LatAm’s underbanked SMEs. SMEs represent 40% of LatAm’s US$1 trillion annual imports and 80% of them report a lack of access to working capital. Finkargo’s 45-180 day digital reverse invoice financing product is the only solution tailored to these importer’s needs. Compared to their larger counterparts, SMEs are relatively small players in international trade. Over half of trade finance requests made by SMEs are rejected globally, when compared to 7% for multinational companies. Finkargo is using innovative tech-enabled solutions to change this reality.
Huge market size: There is an estimated $350 billion trade finance gap for the region's SMEs, of which $260 billion is allocated to importers. This lack of working capital liquidity curtails growth for these companies. Even in large, developed countries, up to one third of SMEs face these kinds of challenges. By giving SME access to trade finance, Finkargo is unlocking a significant and positive impact on the market. They have financed over 160 import operations (+$8M) since going live in June, and are growing 30% every month.
Congratulations to the Finkargo team on the Seed Round - we are thrilled to partner with them on their mission to serve SMBs in international expansion!
If you're wondering what the Finkargo team thinks about the partnership with MAYA, here's what the founders have to say:
"We were immediately impressed with MAYA's bullishness on Finkargo and the speed at which they carried out a very thorough due diligence on our industry and our business model. As our conversations developed, it became evident that they were the type of partners to back us in our every move, while using their deep network to catalyze our expansion across Latam," said Santiago Molina, CEO & Co-Founder at Finkargo.
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