Mexico’s startup ecosystem has made notable strides over the past years, facilitated by the country’s strategic location, the size of its market, and its language. Today, its capital city, Mexico City, is home to the majority of the nation’s startups, and even some unicorns, with fintech, in particular, emerging as one of the most promising sectors.
Like the rest of Latin America (LatAm), the growth of Mexico’s fintech sector has been driven by a number of factors, including the region’s significant population of unbanked and underbanked, widespread adoption of smartphones and mobile Internet, and the introduction of conducive new regulations designed to promote innovation.
According to a report by the Inter-American Development Bank and Finnovista, Mexico today boasts the second-largest fintech ecosystem in the region, hosting more than 20% of all fintech companies in LatAm, or 512 ventures, as of 2021.
Among these companies, several have emerged as LatAm leaders in their respective fields, disrupting sectors such as consumer lending, payments and business banking.
Today, we look at some of Mexico’s largest and fastest-growing fintech startups, highlighting their value propositions and latest developments. For this list, we’ve focused on private companies with their headquarters located in Mexico.
Bitso is a cryptocurrency exchange based in Mexico City. Founded in 2014, the company operates a platform that lets users buy, sell, and trade a variety of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and others. The platform offers both a website and a mobile app for trading, and provides additional features and services such as international money transfers.
Bitso, which operates in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, has grown to become one of the largest and most prominent cryptocurrency exchanges in LatAm. The startup reached 5 million users in June 2022, and claims it processed US$1 billion in crypto remittances between Mexico and the US in the first half of 2022 alone, CoinDesk reported.
Bitso has secured more than US$314 million in funding to date, according to CB Insights and Dealroom. The startup reached unicorn status in 2021 after securing a US$250 million Series C that brought its valuation to US$2.2 billion. Bitso is Mexico’s most valuable fintech startup.
Clip, formerly known as BlitzPay, is a digital payment company based in Mexico City. Founded in 2012, the company provides commerce and digital payments services to businesses, allowing them to transact with their consumers and accept all payment methods digitally.
Clip claims it has more than 20 products and services in hardware and software, including point-of-sale (POS) terminals that work with all major debit and credit cards, QR code payments, loans, inventory management, sales tracking and more.
Clip, which has offices in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Miami, Salt Lake City, and Buenos Aires, became a unicorn in 2021 after securing a US$250 million investment led by the SoftBank Latin America Fund and Viking Global Investors LP. The round brought its valuation to US$2 billion.
Konfio is a fintech company based in Mexico City that provides online lending solutions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Founded in 2013, the company aims to boost the growth of SMEs in the country by providing them with accessible and affordable credit.
Unlike traditional banks which often require extensive paperwork and have lengthy approval processes, Konfio uses a proprietary algorithm that combines data and technology to assess creditworthiness in a matter of minutes. The technology allows it to expedite loan applications and lend to customers historically underserved by the traditional banking system.
In addition to loans, Konfio also provides a multi-featured business credit card, payment terminals, and business tools.
Konfio claims it is the largest online lending platform for SMEs in Mexico. The startup has raised about US$375 million in venture capital (VC) funding so far, according to Dealroom, and is valued at US$1.3 million, data from CB Insights show.
Kueski is a fintech company based in Guadalajara that offers online microloans to consumers. Founded in 2012, the company focuses on short-term loans, allowing consumers to borrow small amounts of money for urgent needs, in addition to accessing buy now, pay later capabilities.
Kueski leverages advanced algorithms and data analytics to quickly assess the creditworthiness of applicants. This allows for rapid loan approvals, often within minutes, and allows for the entire loan application process is be conducted online.
The technology evaluates various data points, including the applicant’s digital footprint, financial behavior, and other relevant information, to make lending decisions, making it thus possible for Kueski to serve individuals typically excluded from the traditional banking system.
Kueski announced in March that it had broken its monthly loan disbursement record, hitting ten million loans, Fintech Nexus News reported. The startup said at the time that it had surpassed US$1.6 billion in loan transactions.
Stori is a fintech company developing a digital financial platform for Mexico’s underserved population. Founded in 2018, the company currently focuses on providing individuals with access to a personal credit card as well as the ability to build their credit history, requiring no complicated paperwork, no credit history, and no annual fee. The entire user experience, from applying for the card to paying bills, is carried out through the Stori mobile app.
Stori claims its credit card stands out from those of competitors for its user-centric approach, with a 99% approval rate and no-fee accounts. In addition, the company says many of its customers were first time borrowers, implying that Stori has been playing a key role in driving economic growth and improving financial inclusion.
Stori reached unicorn status in 2022 after securing US$150 million in a financing round. The round brought its valuation to US$1.2 billion. The company, which has offices in Mexico, the US and China, says it currently serves two million people in Mexico.
Clara is a company providing a spend management platform for companies in LatAm. Founded in 2020, the company’s end-to-end solution includes locally-issued corporate cards, bill payment, financing solutions, and a software platform.
Through the Clara platform, businesses can issue, manage and track corporate cards for their employees, streamlining the expense reporting and approval process. Businesses can set spending limits, categorize expenses, and monitor transactions in real-time, helping them maintain better control over their expenditures.
Clara, which operates in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, claims it has 10,000 business clients.
In 2021, Clara achieved a valuation of a billion dollars after raising US$70 million in a Series B funding round. It secured its latest round in April 2023, raising US$60 million to invest in technology, hire executives for engineering, product and risks areas, and consolidate its position in the LatAm market, Bloomberg reported. The company says it has received US$160 million in capital funding to date.
Featured image credit: edited from Freepik