Four months after launching its operations, Plurall — a Colombian fintech that offers accessible banking and loans to small businesses — raised $20 million in debt from Fasanara Capital, a London-based global fund with $3.5 billion U.S. in assets under management.
In an interview with Fintech Nexus, Plurall’s CEO, Federico Gómez, said that with this financing, the company intends to favor the inclusion of microenterprises in Colombia, which, according to the CEO, are currently “neglected by the financing industry.”
Scaling up their business
Gómez believes “this operation represents the confidence that Fasanara has in Plurall’s work and will allow the company to achieve the scale required to partner with the most important distribution channels for micro-entrepreneurs in the country.”
Founded by Federico Gomez and Glenn Goldman — who was also one of the founders of U.S.-based CAN Capital — the fintech raised $1.5 million in equity and $10 million through debt financing from a fund whose name was not disclosed in late March of this year.
“Recent industry studies show that less than 10% of micro businesses have access to formal credit or the ability to agree with payment terms with their suppliers. For those that do have access to microcredit, the experience is unfortunate: an analogous, bureaucratic, physical document-based process that can take up to three months to complete,” the company said in an official statement to the market.
“We solve this problem by offering a digital solution that provides access to microcredit, as well as an electronic deposit account and a Visa debit card, in a matter of minutes,” it continued.
The role of micro-companies in Colombia
In Colombia, micro-companies play a considerable role. This sector represents more than 90% of all local businesses and provides 70% of formal employment in the South American nation.
Colombia is experiencing an interesting boom in companies that provide financial solutions. Companies such as Mono, Finaktiva, Sempli, and Clara seek to conquer diverse segments of the local economy. But Plurall’s focus is to help small entrepreneurs who otherwise would not have access to credit.
“Many traditional financial institutions have a very tiresome review and approval processes, which can take months. Our goal at Plurall is to streamline processes and minimize requirements so that any formalized microentrepreneur can access credit in a matter of hours,” Federico Gómez told Fintech Nexus.
At the beginning of its operations, Plurall provided its platform users with a transactional account and a debit card, seeking their insertion into the digital payments ecosystem to reduce barriers with their clients and suppliers.
The fintech has released a credit program that aims to conquer more than 40 thousand customers in the coming years. “We have seen a growing demand that has exceeded all expectations. I am confident that we will continue to grow steadily,” Gómez added.
In its beta phase, the fintech has so far facilitated access to microcredit and electronic deposit accounts to hundreds of entrepreneurs from different sectors and territories in Colombia.
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.