Mentum, a San Francisco-based startup founded by Latin Americans aiming to offer digital investment services to other companies, has secured $4.2 million funding round led by Google’s Gradient Ventures with participation from Global Founders Capital, Soma Capital, and Y Combinator, in addition to the co-founders of Plaid and Jeeves. Founded in 2021, Mentum is getting ready to launch its platform next month in Colombia and Chile — at least three more markets are on the startup‘s roadmap for the next months.
Mentum’s investment API enables any company to build fully-digital investment products compliant with local regulations. Through a set of widgets and a few lines of code, Mentum promises to help companies of all kinds, from neobanks to retailers, offer their customers investment experiences.
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“Besides building a strong technology infrastructure, we want our partners to have a complete and smooth end-to-end experience. That’s why we have partnered with two regulated investment institutions and will continue to do so in every country, which allows us to offer our clients investment products in a compliant way and without needing to go through ongoing regulation or authorization processes,” Gustavo Trigos, CEO and co-founder of Mentum alongside Daniel Osvath (CTO) and Simon Avila (COO), told LABS.
Mentum’s team of co-founders is foremost made of engineers and operators that worked at companies like BlackRock, Wish, Apple, Confluent, IBM, and CI&T. “Our investment institution partners have already worked previously with other institutions and have gotten the green light from regulators to operate a similar business model. That being said, we are building a regulatory ecosystem that allows us to have a close relationship with regulators and communicate key information to them,” added Trigos, stressing that the alternatives before Mentum were two or to acquire an expensive investment institution or partner with a local investment institution, which it could a challenge when expanding regionally.
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According to him, companies contracting Mentum’s investment-as-a-service structure will be able to offer local mutual funds, ETFs, and even stocks. Two fast-growing Y Combinator-backed fintechs in the region are already beta-testing Mentum’s solution and building their investment vertical on top of the startup‘s structure. Five more are on Mentum’s pipeline for the following months.
Mentum is also in talks with over 25 companies interested in using its investment-as-a-service solutions to implement investment products and services through Mentum. Launching first in Colombia and Chile, Mentum wants to reach Argentina, Peru, and Mexico in the upcoming months. Adding DeFi and crypto-compliant offerings is also on the startup‘s roadmap.
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“We are currently seven people, 5 of which are engineers building Mentum infrastructure in Colombia and Chile. Our goal is to build a global engineering-first team and add additional investment products and subjacent products that enhance the overall end-user experience (remittances, massive payment dispersions, more mutual funds, stocks, and ETFs),” highlighted Trigos.
“The financial services industry is undergoing a massive transformation in Latin America. APIs have created new opportunities for the way we bank,” said Wen-Wen Lam, partner at Gradient Ventures, in a statement to the press.
“LatAm will benefit tremendously from innovation in fintech infrastructure,” added Fabricio Pettena, partner at Global Founders Capital, also in a statement. “Mentum’s team has realized this and they are building something truly unique — a platform that makes it 100x easier for apps to offer investment products, in multiple countries, and compliant to local regulations.”