Global investors continue to be drawn to LatAm.
TruePay, a one-year-old São Paulo-based "buy now, pay later" startup, announced today that it has raised $32 million in a Series A funding round led by Lee Fixel’s Addition.
The investment marks Addition’s first time leading a Series A in Latin America. It comes just three months after Kaszek and Monashees co-led an $8.5 million seed round that also included participation from ONEVC and Global Founders Capital.
TruePay’s mission is to build a B2B "buy now, pay later" network where sellers (industries) can grant credit without being exposed to default risk and where buyers (merchants) access credit to buy inventory from their suppliers seamlessly and costlessly.
Founded by former VCs Pedro Oliveira and Luis Eduardo Cascão, TruePay says it has clients in all states of Brazil, with a merchant base that is “in the thousands” after just five months of operations. Growth, its founders say, has fluctuated month-over-month from 100% to 200% in 2021. The company expects to grow between “ten-to fifteen-fold” in 2022.
In December 2020, Oliveira and Cascão left their jobs as venture capitalists at Kaszek and DNA Capital, respectively, to start the fintech company. TruePay differs from other other BNPL offerings, they say, in that it aims to turn retailer’s credit card receivables (also known as merchant cash advances) into purchasing power. By using such receivables as collateral, the company claims it can guarantee the payment to the supplier. By removing default risk barriers, TruePay aims to streamline the commercial relationship between merchants and their suppliers.
By using TruePay, CEO Oliveira said, retailers have access to better payment terms with their suppliers, which allows them to make larger purchases with more time to pay and ultimately freeing up working capital for their operation.
“Suppliers are no longer exposed to merchants’ default risk and hence are able to grant more credit and thus, increase sales,” he told TechCrunch.
The money will largely go toward further hiring. Presently, the company has 50 employees and has the goal of expanding to 100 by year’s end.
“The strength of TruePay’s solution lies in the convergence of a real and untapped need amongst retailers to unlock credit and free up working capital, a large addressable market and a talented team,” said Fixel in a statement. “We look forward to supporting the company as it continues to develop its innovative, convenient and low-cost payment technology.”
As we’re reported in the past, many startups in Latin America are building technology not just for the sake of innovation but to boost financial inclusion in the region.
Retailers in Brazil are the victims of a scenario where average receiving terms are long, while average paying terms are short -- creating a gigantic working capital gap, according to Cascão.
“These companies bear the country's economy on their shoulders, but don’t have any source of capital at a minimally fair cost to address this gap,” he said. “Therefore, they end up resorting to other solutions such as factoring receivables at high rates with payment processing companies and seeking credit at abusive interest rates from banks. The suppliers of these retailers, in turn, often end up having to choose between not selling or extending them credit, running the risk of default, which they are usually unequipped to do -- resulting in a negative credit cycle. TruePay was created precisely to break this negative spiral and transform the relationship into a flywheel.”