Sequoia debuts in Chile leading round for Fintual

The Chilean fintech and asset manager raised $39 million and intends to use the funding to accelerate its operations in Mexico

Image: Fintual/Courtesy
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Fintual, a fintech and asset manager based in Chile, received a $39 million round led by Sequoia Capital — it is the venture capital fund’s first investment in Chile. The resources will be used to accelerate the expansion of fintech in Mexico, where it landed last year.

In June, Fintual raised a raised $15 million from Kaszek, who joined Y CombinatorALLVP, and Oskar Hjertonsson from Cornershop by Uber, who were seed capital investors in the startup. A month after that, Fintual announced the acquisition of the Mexican fund distributor Invermerica for an undisclosed amount, becoming one of the few companies authorized by Mexico‘s National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) to carry out non-face-to-face onboarding or digital registration of its clients.

In a blog post on El Fintualist, finance content platform created by Fintual, the CEO Pedro Pineda explained the backstage of the negotiation, which began, in fact, two years ago, a trip by Pineda and his partner, Agustin Feuerhake, to the United States. They went to San Francisco to do a series of meetings with VC funds. The idea was to introduce themselves and say that, in a while, they would come back to effectively raise capital for Fintual.

READ ALSO: Chile’s assets manager Fintual acquires Mexico-based Invermerica fund

Years earlier, an acquaintance of Pineda’s had invited him to a coffee with “the fiancé of a friend of his fiancée”. That “fiancé” was Jean Denis, who would later become Plaid‘s CTO. He was the one who first introduced Fintual to Brian Schreier, a partner at Sequoia. During the season in the U.S., Pineda had one more help: he and his colleagues ran into Paul Graham, founder of Y Combinator, who also ended up recommending the fintech to Sequoia.

That was the path to the first meeting with the fund, but not the last. After months, and a global pandemic, Fintual announced a round led by Sequoia that trumps similar stage rounds raised by other Chilean startups, meaning investors are really betting big on the startup founded in 2018.

READ ALSO: Nubank and Sequoia reportedly to invest in Latin American startups

In his post, Pineda made a point of stressing that Sequoia’s presence is for the “next 20 years”, as Doug Leone, Sequoia’s global managing partner, said in an email to them. “And now? To continue contributing to the democratization of the financial industry in Latin America along with many other wonderful startups. This is just beginning. We are a startup of just 100 people with only 70,000 clients who have invested [nearly] $700 million (half of them for the first time in their lives!). [We are also] The first regulated financial institution with 100% digital onboarding in Mexico and Chile. We are honored to have Sequoia as business partners for the next 20 years.”

To Bloomberg Línea, Pineda said that Fintual is likely to reach $1 billion in assets under management in Chile and Mexico in the next three or four months and about $2 billion by the end of next year.

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