Kavak Chief Executive Carlos Garcia poses for a photo at used autos platform Kavak in Mexico City. Photo: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

From Kavak to Bitso: 10 major investment rounds raised by Mexican startups in 2020

In addition to the first Mexican unicorn, 2020 brought some massive deals to the startup ecosystem in the country, with fintechs leading as the most representative sector

Even amid a crisis that places Mexico in a challenging position – Morgan Stanley‘s analysts estimate that the Mexican GDP will only return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022 – 2020 has brought some good news to the country. At least when it comes to the venture capital market and startup ecosystem.

And Kavak can take some credit. The SoftBank-backed used-car platform has reached a big milestone for the country by becoming Mexico‘s first tech unicorn, after striking a $1.15 billion valuation in its latest funding round, from September.

Venture capital deals in Mexico saw a spike during the third quarter of 2020 compared to April to June, both in the number of rounds and amount invested, as the country hit 31 deals (106.7% growth) and US$184 million invested, 220% more than in the previous quarter. But global consultancy firm Transactional Track Record (TTR) also pointed out that, when comparing year-over-year numbers from January to September, the Mexican venture capital market contracted 34.5% in terms of amount injected, reaching US$500 million in investment.

READ ALSO: Mexican online grocery business Jüsto raises $12 million in a new round

Announced in early October, Kavak’s massive $385 million round didn’t make TTR’s list at the time. So anyone doing the math here will probably be able to realize that 2020 numbers are still not over yet – at least for the ecosystem startup in Mexico.

Kavak Chief Executive Carlos Garcia poses for a photo at used autos platform Kavak in Mexico City. Photo: Reuters/Edgard Garrido

In addition to Kavak, LABS gathered some of the largest investment rounds that took Mexican startups – mostly fintechs – by storm in 2020. Spoiler alert: for some of them we didn’t have to make any extra effort to remember – since they happened only a few days ago. Take a look:

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Kavak: $385 million

Mexico city-based Kavak has raised over $400 million in total funding since its founding four years ago, with Japan’s SoftBank, Hong Kong’s DST Global, and U.S.-based Greenoaks Capital leading the latest investment in September: a Series B round of US$385 million, according to data from Crunchbase.

AlphaCredit: $125 million

Focused on consumer loans and financial solutions for both SMEs and consumers in Mexico and Colombia, the Mexican fintech AlphaCredit has raised an equity investment round of US$125 million in January this year – also from SoftBank – to expand its business and secure a place as one of the leading fintechs in Latin America.

Credijusto: $100 million

Credijusto, a fintech that provides asset-backed loans and equipment leases to SMEs, raised in March US$100 million in debt from Credit Suisse, as it sought to extend more loans to small and mid-sized businesses and boost the financial inclusion in the country.

In 2019, Mexico City-based Credijusto received another US$100 million in debt from Goldman Sachs, points data from Crunchbase, and $42 million in a Series B round that was co-led by Goldman Sachs and Point72 Ventures.

Bitso: $62 million

Mexican cryptocurrency platform Bitso announced today, Wednesday, that it raised a US$62 million Series B round led by QED Investors and Kaszek Ventures, days after debuting in Brazil.

Bitso presents itself as the largest in the sector in Latin America and the only regulated one in the region, and says that it intends to make Brazil its largest market, even though it already has 1 million users, especially in Mexico and Argentina.

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Konfio: $59 million

Konfio, which specializes in granting loans and offering financial solutions and commercial tools to SMEs in Mexico, has raised a US$59 million debt financing round in September this year, led by IDB Invest. Founded by David Arana and Francisco Padilla, the fintech amassed a total of $461 million in funding over 9 rounds, according to Crunchbase.

One of them, in December 2019, was a Series D round led by the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank.

Casai: $48 million

The Airbnb-like startup Casai announced in October that it has raised Mexico’s largest Series A, and one of the largest ones in Latin America: $48 million. The round included a $23 million in equity funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and up to $25 million in debt financing from TriplePoint Capital. The firm said on a press release that the round will be used to “build a new vision for hospitality in Latin America.”

Albo: $45 million

Mexico-city based Albo, a challenger bank that seeks to be the first internet-based financial services provider for Mexico’s middle-class population, announced on Tuesday a US$45 million round to back this goal. As first reported by TechCrunch, Albo has about half a million customers in the country and a network of 30,000 retail locations where representatives can take deposits.

The US$45 million Series B round was led by Flourish Ventures, Greyhound Capital, Mountain Nazca, and Valar Ventures, says Crunchbase.

Flat.mx: $25 million

Focused on facilitating the sale of properties in Mexico, the proptech Flat.mx raised US$25 million in a debt financing round led by Arc Labs. “Our vision long term is to be a marketplace, like the Amazon of real estate,” cofounder Bernardo Cordero said to Crunchbase.

Oyster Financial: $22.7 million

Oyster Financial, a Mexican neobank that has developed its own core banking technology platform, announced in September a US$14 million seed funding round led by monashees in Brazil, and SV Latam Capital in San Francisco. Back in March, the fintech had already raised US$8.7 million seed round, accounting for US$22.7 million in funding in 2020.

ePesos: $ 21 million

Based on Monterrey, the fintech ePesos provides affordable payroll advance services through its application. In June, the startup raised a US$ 21 million debt financing from the US-based investment firm Accial Capital.