Brazilian fintech Vixtra, which was born in July, announced on Wednesday that it secured an investment of BRL 35 million, led by partners of the trading company Sertrading. The startup‘s first round also has the participation of individual investors Mauro Negrete (former Cetip CTO and investor at Mercado Bitcoin) and Gustavo Jobim (founder of GPS Investimentos, former Goldman Sachs partner, and FGC board member).
Vixtra aims to be a means of payment for foreign trade. The company emerged from the combined B2B payments and foreign trade experiences of co-founders Leonardo Baltieri, Caio Gelfi, and Guilherme Rosenthal.
“When a Brazilian importer is bringing a product from abroad, he has to make payment for this import in advance. He pays his international supplier and will receive this product about 90 days later. So, he needs a lot of working capital to import in Brazil“, explains Baltieri. Vixtra intermediates importers’ payments with suppliers and makes spot payments in Brazilian currency, which protects importers from exchange rate variations. “We negotiate with exchange banks in a unified way and get better rates,” he says.
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The startup‘s focus is not large companies, but the so-called middle market, a sector in which there are about 39,000 companies in Brazil. Vixtra wants to work with companies that import up to $10 million.
“Throughout my life working with foreign trade I have seen the lack of credit financing for the sector, not only Brazil but Spanish-speaking Latin America as well. The big banks have concerns about the emerging market, which doesn’t have the same financial health as the European market and the U.S. market,” Rosenthal said.
In addition to import financing, the fintech verifies that the importer and supplier meet compliance rules. Vixtra’s platform can also control the import process by tracking the product.
The startup uses algorithmic models to set the intermediation rate, taking into account the time of displacement of the goods, the credit risk of the importer, the imported product, and the exporter’s country of origin.
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In the pre-operational phase, the Seed round will be applied in technology to develop the startup‘s platform and in human resources, growing the number of employees from 30 to at least 70 people this year.