The investment, co-led by Quona Capital and MAYA, will give Finkargo a boost in its mission to resolve the gaps and deficiencies to participate in international trade that Latin American SMEs face.
Finkargo, the first platform specialized in financing imports for SMEs in Latin America, announced that it raised a seed capital round for $7.5 million dollars. The investment was co-led by Quona Capital and MAYAwith the participation of OneVC, FlyBridge, Pear VC, Latitud and Angel Ventures, along with founders of important Latin American startups such as Rappi, Bitso, Cornershop, Pomelo, Tul and Habi. The round, which had a demand for 4 times the value raised, comes as Finkargo prepares to grow its team and start operations in Mexico.
Finkargo’s mission is to resolve foreign trade financing problems, a gap estimated at $350 billion dollars, currently faced by importing SMEs in the region, whose growth is drastically limited by the lack of working capital liquidity.
Mexico is a market of great opportunity for Finkargo, since it is the largest market in Latin America in terms of international trade, with an annual exchange of more than $800 billion dollars in imported and exported goods. According to the IDB, 90% of international trade depends on financing, Mexico has the second lowest level of credit penetration in Latin America, only 30% of the 4.6 million micro, small and medium enterprises in Mexico have access to financing institutional, this is the main reason why only 4.6% of Mexican MSMEs participate in global value chains.
With Finkargo, the PLatin American importing YMEs can finance their operations in just 48 hours, in a 100% digital process. Finkargo leverages alternative data to perform risk analysis and comprehensive KYC/AML checks while drastically shortening response times.
The company started operations in June 2021 by co-founders Santiago Molina, Tomás Shuk and Andrés Ferrer. Molina, CEO of Finkargo, is an entrepreneur of loans to MSMEs with extensive experience in the credit market; he previously co-founded Finamiga-Uni2, a leading microfinance institution in Colombia.
Tomas Shuk, Chief Growth Officer and co-founder of Finkargo, has more than 20 years of experience in international logistics and foreign trade. He previously led Maersk’s business in Mexico, Colombia and Central America, and also founded Key Logistics Group, a leading freight forwarding company with operations in Colombia, Mexico and the United States.
Ferrer, COO of the company, led three successful restructurings of technology companies in Latin America, two successful sales and has more than two decades of experience in the sector.
«The foreign trade finance market historically ignores SMEs as banks and traditional agents focus mainly on large companies. Importing SMEs represent around 40% of the $1 trillion dollars of annual imports in the regionand close to 80% of them lack access to working capital. Finkargo uses innovative technology-based solutions to change this, and give the 27 million SMEs in Latin America the opportunity to participate in foreign trade.”
Santiago Molina, co-founder and CEO.
“Finkargo focuses on a major pain point, in a massive and underserved market. From day one, we have been incredibly impressed with the strength of this team and their business model, and are excited to be part of their journey to provide much needed affordable SME import financing and help boost the Latin American economy.” .
Jonathan Whittle, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Quona.
“Access to credit is a huge and obvious pain for small and medium-sized businesses that trade globally. Traditional loan officers and banks lack reliable data to analyze these agents, and have slow approval processes coupled with high rejection rates. Finkargo enables small and medium-sized businesses to access a faster and more affordable source of trade finance through a digital platform. We are confident that they have the right team to tackle this issue, and their founders’ deep experience in SME lending and international logistics gives them a unique approach to bridging the trade finance gap for Latin America.”
Mónica Saggioro, co-founder and managing partner of MAYA Capital.
Since launching its all-digital import financing product in Colombia in June 2021, Finkargo has financed more than 180 import operations worth more than $11 million dollars, growing by more than 30% each month. The credit application in 7 minutes, the decision in 48 hours and Finkargo’s integrated shipment tracking system are the features most valued by its customers, which translates into a retention rate of more than 80% since the creation of the company. So far in 2022, Finkargo has tripled its team to a total of 43 people in Colombia, Mexico and the United States, and expects to double the figure again by the end of the year, while also aspiring to multiply the number of clients served by 10x .
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