13 October 2017 Monterrey, Nuevo León (Mexico)
Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, announced today an investment in the Mexican startup ePesos, the mobile payments company for the underbanked. ePesos has today closed a USD 6 million investment round that will enable the company to continue growing its platform serving and supporting small and medium sized enterprises across Mexico. Other institutional investors participating in the round include VilCap Investments, Pomona Impact, and Fiinlab, the innovation lab owned by Gentera. The round also saw participation from Sorenson Impact Foundation, a leading social impact fund, which is making its first investment in Mexico. This is the first investment in Latin America of Santander’s USD 200 million fund, which has already invested in 17 financial technology startups since launching in 2014.
ePesos is building the new payment rails for the underbanked and unbanked in Mexico. Through its platform, ePesos offers low-cost short-term working capital through a revolving line of credit to SMEs without a bank account. Borrowers receive and repay funds through a custom built mobile wallet. In addition, ePesos is partnering with HR software companies to provide affordable payroll advances. With ePesos, employees are able to access funds instantly without going through complicated internal procedures.
Manuel Silva Martínez, head of Investments at Santander InnoVentures, said: “Our investment in ePesos is a proof of our commitment to global financial inclusion and helping small businesses prosper – something Santander InnoVentures has made a priority. It is a privilege to support Oscar and his team scale and further contribute to inclusive growth in Mexico through providing access to much-needed financing solutions. Our investment in ePesos is also an important stepping stone in strengthening our investment strategy in Latin America and we are excited about the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the region.” Manuel will be joining ePesos’ board of directors.
Oscar Robles, founder and CEO of ePesos, said: “We are very excited about the progress we have made so far. With the continued support of our investors and strategic partners, we are confident that we are moving ahead with our mission to accelerate financial inclusion through payments technology in Latin America.”
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas, and is among the world’s top banks by market capitalization. At the end of June 2017, Banco Santander had EUR 1.65 trillion in managed funds, 131 million customers, 13,800 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3.6 billion in the first half of 2017, an increase of 24% compared to the same period last year. InnoVentures is Santander’s USD 200 million corporate venture fund. It is tasked to find and qualify prospective fintech businesses that will help Santander innovate with a purpose – either to transform the bank or serve customers better. In 2017, InnoVentures has been particularly interested in companies innovating in artificial intelligence, payments, lending, banking as a service and financial inclusion, and actively scouts globally.
ePesos is a financial technology company that provides access to loans, payroll advances, and payments solutions to unbanked customers. ePesos partners with financial institutions and software companies to provide ongoing financial services without the need of a bank account.