YoCripto, a Mexican startup that offers a credit card with bitcoin rewards of up to 3% on every purchase, secured a $4 million seed funding round. According to the startup, the round was “oversubscribed”(meaning it attracted more investors than expected) and was led by DILA Capital, in addition to other new and previous investors.
Amid an influx of B2C lending fintechs in LatAm and a recent boom in crypto in the region, DILA seems to have found a startup positioning itself to thrive between these two worlds.
What the startup offers is an uncomplicated, crypto-backed credit product to young (25-35 years old) and underbanked Mexicans — an addressable market estimated at around 30 million adults only in Mexico. Founded in 2021 by Julian Arber and Rafael Maya, YoCripto presents itself as a “non-financial” platform. “As a non-financial startup, we operate under the figure of Sociedad Anónima Promotora de Inversión (SAPI, for its acronym in Spanish),” both founders explained to LABS.
Before creating YoCripto, Arber and Maya worked in other tech and financial companies. Arber has worked at top firms such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and McKinsey, while Maya is an AI expert who had stints at companies like Adobe, Flipboard, and Caffeine, and created Mexico’s first crypto investment cub.
YoCripto users get a virtual and a physical credit card for free, which can be used worldwide and has crypto assets as collateral. But the platform is not yet available to everyone. Instead, it’s being rolled out, little by little, through a waiting list.
“Our mission is to grow our operations in Mexico and soon expand to other Latin American markets, including Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Our main goal is to promote financial inclusion across Latin America, allowing users to obtain the benefits of the crypto ecosystem without its complexity,” the founders told LABS.
The startup claims to offer a lower interest rate (50%-80% lower) than most of Mexico’s largest banks (that charge between 51% and 66% annually from its customers). For now, YoCripto is the only card in LatAm to provide loans backed by crypto assets while also offering a reward program.