Chile’s gig economy fintech Migrante buys lending startup in Colombia

This month, Chilean lending startup Migrante announced the acquisition of Crediorbe, a motorcycle fintech in Colombia specializing in motorcycle loans.

The deal will allow Migrante, which changed its name to Galgo (greyhound in Spanish), to expand its presence in the Andean region as it seeks to cater to immigrants in Latin America.

The fintech company was founded in 2018 in Chile, but it quickly expanded to neighboring Peru. It aims to serve underbanked immigrants with financial services. Initially, they started offering credit for rental guarantees and loans to immigrant professionals. Eventually, however, they pivoted to a new type of product: motorcycle loans.

Migrante pivoted during the pandemic

“We thought the pandemic was going to hit us, but migrants behaved well,” Diego Fleischmann, CEO, and co-founder, told Fintech Nexus in a previous interview. “And they uncovered an opportunity for us: clients were asking for credit to buy motorcycles to work.”

During that time, the CEO recalled, many migrants had no access to welfare assistance. Hence, some turned to delivery apps to make ends meet.

“We began to finance motorcycles and cars for over 24,000 people,” the company said this month. Eventually, Migrante built a motorcycle marketplace around the financial product. “Now we want to grow further and reach a million families in Latin America who are not currently served by the traditional credit offering.”

With Crediorbe, which manages a $35 million loan portfolio, Migrante boosts its presence in Colombia, an even larger market. The companies did not disclose the amount of the deal.

Last year, Migrante raised $29 million in a series A round and has tapped close to $80 million in debt. And according to local media, its portfolio is now close to $100 million.

Diego Fleischmann headshot
Diego Fleischmann, CEO of Galgo.

Serving Venezuelan immigrants in Latin America

To be sure, Migrante is not the first fintech company catering financial services to immigrants. In a recent interview, the CEO of Ualá in Colombia told Fintech Nexus that almost a fourth of its entire customer base in the country was comprised of Venezuelan immigrants.

In the past decade, demographics in Latin America have been profoundly changed by the crisis in Venezuela.

Right next to Colombia, many Venezuelans left their homes as the economy collapsed and inflation skyrocketed. It is estimated that more than 5.5 million emigrated, and few had robust financial backing.

  • David Feliba

    David is a Latin American journalist. He reports regularly on the region for global news organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Americas Quarterly.

    He has worked for S&P Global Market Intelligence as a LatAm financial reporter and has built expertise on fintech and market trends in the region.

    He lives in Buenos Aires.