Brazil‘s online personal loan fintech Lendico was born in 2015 as an attempt to replicate the model of the homonymous company that existed in Germany, founded by the investment group Rocket Internet. But since the start of operations in Brazil, Lendico had no operational or corporate links with the Europe-based company. In 2018, the then Lendico was acquired by the US private equity fund Lone Star Funds, which is the shareholder to date.
Now the Brazilian company has distanced itself from any relationship with Lendico and rebranded as Provu. With the new name, the fintech announced on Wednesday that it raised BRL 1.4 billion in a FIDC (acronym in Brazilian Portuguese for investment funds in credit rights). The investment led by Goldman Sachs in a non-controlling stake. The fintech does not disclose Goldman’s investment individually, only the total amount raised.
The company has also launched a new, installment bill product, known as BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later, the digital credit card), which began development in 2019. According to Marcelo Ramalho, CEO of Provu, with BNPL, the fintech starts to position itself as a payment method, since it has obtained an SCD (Direct Credit Society) license from the Central Bank. The license allows the fintech to conduct equity loan transactions through digital channels.
As a credit fintech, Provu is earns by the interest from financing transactions. In the BNPL model, the fintech partners with retailers that offer Provu’s installment bill. The company earns on the interest rate associated with this operation, which varies according to the client’s risk profile.
“We are a payment option at the check-out. In e-commerce, we are integrated with the main platforms, VTEX, Nuvemshop, and this gives us access to a very large base of retailers and shopkeepers,” explains Ramalho.
The company has 400 employees spread throughout Brazil. With Goldman Sachs’ investment, Provu intends to expand its lending capital. To date, fintech has lent more than BRL 700 million to over 90,000 customers. In the personal loan model, the fintech offers credit between R$2,500 and BRL 50,000 without collateral.
For 2022, the startup projects that BNPL will surpass BNPL in personal loan volume, although Ramalho does not disclose revenue or origination figures.