Brazilian unicorn Neon recently announced that it had raised $64 million for its Credit Rights Investment Fund (FIDC), which acquires credit rights from credit cards’ receivables.
The fundraising, part of its second round of FIDC, comes when Brazil’s banking sector has seen default rates increase.
XP Investimentos acted as the lead coordinator of the offering.
This new investment, moreover, will allow the fintech to maintain the growth pace of its portfolio, which in 2022 passed $386 billion under management.
Sustainable growth in a challenging scenario
According to Neon’s CFO, Jamil Marques, the fintech has sought to calibrate its credit granting according to the macroeconomic scenario in Brazil and the rest of LatAm, controlling the Brazilian credit repayment problem.
In recent years, Neon has attracted investors’ attention as a simpler and more competitive alternative to traditional banking in LatAm. Its focus is on medium- and low-income users and small and medium-sized companies. Neon’s product portfolio includes checking accounts, debit and credit cards, and payroll loans, among other services.
In February 2022, the Brazilian neobank closed a $300 million funding round, becoming a unicorn. The Series D round was led by Spanish bank BBVA, which has expanded its focus on Latin America through investments in various fintechs, and whose stake in Neon increased to 29.7%.
Expanding products to guarantee revenue
This year, the fintech has sought to guarantee revenue in other lines of business, linking the offering of credit to the adherence of its clients to different products. For example, if the client invests in Neon in applications, fixed or variable income, the algorithms make it easier to get credit approval.
A few months ago, the fintech also launched a cashback for credit to increase engagement. And it’s all part of Neon’s strategy to increase fundraising via customer deposits to expand its credit portfolio sustainably.
So far, the Brazilian unicorn’s plans look solid, and executives are not counting on needing to raise capital via equity to deliver the purpose in the n short to medium term.
However, achieving breakeven is one of the things that the fintech leaves pending for 2023, having delayed its expectations of reaching this goal in 2022 due to the complex regional economic scenario.
Jorge C. Carrasco is a Contributing Reporter at Fintech Nexus. He reports on fintech, economy, banking, startups, and technology, covering the most impactful stories from a Latin American perspective.
He has contributed to several international publications, such as Foreign Policy, The Spectator Australia, Estadão, Época, Washington Examiner, and Quillette. Originally from Havana, Cuba, he is now based in Brazil.