Mexican online lending company Kueski has just raised $35m, including $10m in equity money.
Kueski offers real-time micro loans to Mexican consumers, using big data and machine learning to assess credit. The company was founded in 2012, and has since grown at a rate of more than 700% annually. Yesterday the company announced the closing of a $35m funding round, comprised of both debt and equity capital. The funding could climb to $100m over time, should further lending capital be required.
The $10m equity portion of the fundraise was co-led by Richmond Global Ventures, Rise Capital, CrunchFund and Variv Capital, with participation also coming from Victory Park Capital and existing investors Angel Ventures Mexico, Core Ventures Group and Auria Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate the platform’s portfolio growth, to make new hires and to extend Kueski’s brand presence throughout the region. Adalberto Flores, Co-Founder and CEO of Kueski, weighed in:
“We feel honored to partner with such an incredible group of investors. Their expertise in emerging markets and online lending businesses will enable our company to advance our market leadership and launch additional products in order to position Kueski as a leader in online lending for all of Latin America.”
Peter Kellner, Managing Partner of Richmond Global Ventures and Co-Founder of Endeavour Global – which is a non-profit business group which seeks to nurture “high impact” entrepreneurs in emerging markets around the world – is joining Kueski’s Board of Directors, and had this to say:
“Mexico is currently experiencing a historical moment in building a strong foundation for the future dominant online lending platforms to be built. Formal credit is not available to 85 percent of the population in Mexico. When you see such an important and large market opportunity being pursued by a world-class analytics team, it was a very easy decision to invest in the company.”
Both Kueski and Afluenta have recently managed to attract the attentions of venture capital firms that have a specific mandate to effect growth in emerging markets. Peer-to-peer lender Afluenta closed an $8m Series B round in March, in part in order to branch out into Mexico – and indeed into Colombia and Brazil. But Afluenta occupies a separate slice of the market, offering loans of up to $100k, to be repaid in up to 48 fixed installments. Kueski is targeting the micro finance space, in the first instance lending up to $2,000, over far shorter time frames.