Capital concerns hamper Latam fintechs
As the pool of fintech startups in Latin America deepens, ambitious founders have regional expansion in their sights. But varying regulations and difficulty accessing capital make such growth difficult.
By: Katie Llanos Small
When former investment banker Álvaro Echeverría launched a fintech startup in Chile, he was not expecting it to be quite so challenging. The Spaniard already knew the local market, having worked for Santiago-based e-commerce company Linio. Seeing the quickly growing opportunities that new technology was creating in the region, he jumped in.
He launched Facturedo in 2015, alongside co-founder Hector García. The factoring company tapped into an already established local market, took advantage of widespread electronic invoicing practices and worked from a cutting-edge technology platform. And yet it soon became clear that executing on the opportunity would not be easy.
“The first market was the hardest,” says Echeverría. “It was a lot of work. I’m not Chilean, and in Chile who you are, who you know, matters a lot.”
Above all, attracting external financing was near impossible, he says. “I didn’t think it would be so hard to raise capital, and we struggled to get the resources that we needed.”
Despite not being a local, Echeverría is far from being the only fintech entrepreneur to have trouble raising capital.