Tribal Credit Raises $34.3 Million to Fuel Mexican Growth and Support SMEs in Emerging Markets

Other featured stories include: China’s Ant Group Agrees to Invest in Brazil loyalty co Dotz; Magma Partners Invests in Mono to Help Unleash Colombian SMEs’ Full Potential; and Interview: ‘Who is Going to be the Large-Scale M&A Player in LatAm?’.

Tribal Credit Raises $34.3 Million to Fuel Mexican Growth and Support SMEs in Emerging Markets

Tribal Credit, a payment fintech specially designed for small and medium-sized businesses in emerging markets, announced today closing a combined Series A and debt round of $34.3 million. The investment was led by QED Investors and Partners for Growth (PFG). Existing investors BECO Capital, Global Ventures, OTG Ventures and Endure Capital also took part in the round, joined by new investors Endeavor Catalyst.

As part of the investment, Tribal received $3 million from the Stellar Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the development and growth of the open-source Stellar blockchain network. Their investment will facilitate the development of Tribal's blockchain products and integration onto the Stellar network.

Using a proprietary AI-driven approval process, Tribal Credit not only provides SMEs with virtual and physical corporate cards, but also offers a digital platform that allows founders and CFOs to give access to and manage the spend of their distributed teams. Every year, there are 62 million Latin America SMEs transacting globally, and the LatAm market represents a $15 billion opportunity, led by Mexico—Tribal Credit's biggest market.

Hundreds of customers in Mexico are using Tribal Credit's payment solutions, including Minu, payroll advance startup; Fairplay, e-commerce financing platform; SLM, leading tech solutions company in LatAm; and Ben & Frank, online optical store and one of the top e-commerce companies in the country. As part of growth, Tribal Credit is looking to fill different positions based out of Mexico.

The San Francisco-based company previously raised $7.8 million in a series of seed rounds, making the total raised $42.1 million. Tribal Credit also joined Visa's Fintech Fast Track Program, adding it to an elite group of fintechs and accelerating its integration with Visa's global payment network.

China’s Ant Group Agrees to Invest in Brazil Loyalty Company Dotz

China's Ant Group has sealed a deal to acquire a 5% stake in the Brazilian loyalty program Dotz, according to a securities filing on Wednesday. Dotz and Alibaba's payment affiliate Ant Group have also signed a business cooperation agreement, in which both companies explore, for instance, new opportunities for digital financial services in Brazil.

Reuters reports that Dotz has launched an initial public offering of roughly 815 million reais ($146.35 million) and plans to start trading on the São Paulo stock exchange on May 13.

Founded nearly 20 years ago, Dotz has 20 million active users.

The company set its price range between 16.20 reais and 21.40 reais per share. If it prices the IPO at the top of the range, Dotz may be valued at up to 3 billion reais.

According to the deal terms, Ant will appoint an executive to Dotz's board of directors, as well as the co-head of the company's committee of strategy. Ant Group will also have an option to buy an additional 10% stake in Dotz in up to 24 months after the IPO.

Magma Partners Invests in Mono to Help Unleash Colombian SMEs’ Full Potential

Mono, a digital banking platform that focuses on providing financial solutions to SMEs in Colombia, raised an undisclosed amount from Magma Partners.

LatAm List reports that the company aims to help businesses open a 100% digital checking account in minutes through WhatsApp, and enable them to make online payments with a debit card through a solution that seamlessly integrates with their partners’ accounting software.

Founded in April 2020 by Salomon Zarruk, Jose Tomas Lobo, Juan Camilo, and Sebastian Ortiz, Mono aims to solve the problems that are holding Colombian SMEs back from unleashing their full potential.

Mono plans to use this funding to help position itself as the primary bank account for SMEs and startups in Colombia, freeing them from lines, forms and banks’ bureaucracy. Ultimately, allowing them to focus on their business.

The VC firm stated that it is “excited to invest in Mono as it launches into the Colombian market”.

Interview: ‘Who is Going to be the Large-Scale M&A Player in LatAm?’

Fitch Ratings wrote a report in November on the outlook for the Latin American telecoms market in 2021, emphasizing trends such as revenue rebounding, higher capex, infrastructure spin-offs, increasing broadband penetration and postpaid migration. A lot has changed since then in the regional landscape, particularly in the field of telecom infrastructure with the announcement of JVs or partial divestitures of towers and fiber networks by telecom groups such as Telefónica, América Móvil, Oi and ETB.

In the following interview, BNamericas spoke with the author of the report, Sul Ahmad, Fitch’s associate director and leading telecom analyst for Latin America, about what’s still at play in the regional market and where the projections are getting it right.

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