In countries with rapidly emerging economies such as Brazil, bank loans are hard to come by and excessively expensive. For personal, credit card, or student loans, interest rates can reach 100 per cent per year. This has led to thousands of smaller lending companies, who together lend more than $10 billion at lower rates. Until recently, access to international capital was unavailable and the smaller lenders were forced to find funding on their own.
Enter Belgian fintech Credix, which has raised €11.32 million in funding to connect institutional investors from around the world with lenders in emerging markets. Leading the Series A round were US-based Motive Partners and ParaFi Capital. The round was also backed by Valor Capital, Victory Park Capital, MGG Investment Group, Circle Ventures, Abra, Fuse Capital and Claure Group and angel investors, including Ricardo Villa Marina, chairman of Itau LatAm.
The new cash in the wallet will enable the startup to surpass the $100-million mark, and expand into Mexico and Colombia. According to Credix, credit companies in several emerging markets have borrowed more than $25 million through the platform in recent months.
Founded in 2022, the marketplace connects investors with credit companies in emerging countries, where access to bank loans is still expensive and complex. Interestingly, investors use cryptocurrency as their means of investment in emerging markets. The credit company receives the stable coins (crypto currencies that are linked one-to-one to US dollars and do not fluctuate in value) in its crypto portfolio and converts them into the local currency before offering loans to their end customers.
CEO and founder Thomas Bohner said: “With the substantial injection of capital, we want to further innovate and scale up our global credit infrastructure. We want to expand our teams in Antwerp, New York and Sao Paulo in the short term. We are also focusing on expanding the ecosystem of funds, investors, and credit companies.”
Talking about introducing crypto as means to invest in emerging markets, Bohner added: “Investors can safely invest with crypto currencies. Increasingly, traditional investors are betting on crypto and stable coins. Legislation and regulation are evolving in parallel. It enables us to help open emerging markets and provide access to affordable credit. We expect that Belgian funds, family funds and high-net-worth individuals will also see and seize the momentum.”
Ben Forman, managing partner at ParaFi Capital added: “ParaFi already invested in Credix last year in the very first seed round. We are impressed with the insight the team is showing into institutional credit markets, and by the way they translate that insight into innovation. Credix uses blockchain to transform an outdated system and solve a real problem—at a critical time for the entire industry.”