FinanZero, Brazil’s Free Online Credit Marketplace, Raises $ 7 Million
FinanZero, a Brazilian online lending marketplace, today announced it has closed a $ 7 million funding round – its fourth since its launch in 2016. It has raised a total of $ 22.85 million at that time. day.
The real-time online loan broker allows people to apply for a personal loan, car loan or home equity loan for free and receive a response within minutes. One of the keys to FinanZero’s success is that it does not offer the loans itself, but has instead partnered with around 51 banks and fintechs that support the loans.
FinanZero is based in São Paulo, the financial capital of Brazil, and has 52 employees.
“From day one we said, ‘We only work with a success fee,’ so we are only paid when the client signs the loan agreement,” said Olle Widen, co-founder and CEO of the company.
Instead of billing the customer, FinanZero collects a commission from one of its partners, and with an increasing volume of credit requests – an average of 750,000 requests per month – the company has seen revenue growth of 61%. between 2019 and 2020.
Olle Widen, co-founder and CEO of FinanZero. Image credits: FinanZero
The Brazilian financial and banking market is ripe for disruption, as it has traditionally favored the wealthy.
Those with low incomes – the vast majority of Brazilian citizens – then find themselves with few options when it comes to financing, forcing them to take on more debt from which they will probably never escape. Traditionally, young Brazilians have lived with their families until they get married, and while there is a cultural aspect, the bottom line is that mortgages were infinitely difficult to obtain.
With products like FinanZero and Nubank – Latin America’s largest digital bank – Brazilians are starting to see more economic mobility and independence from the legacy institutions that have dictated their lives for so long.
Widen, who is Swedish, moved to Brazil about 10 years ago for personal reasons, and during her stay the idea for FinanZero was pioneered by Webrock Ventures, an investment firm focused on introducing l Nordic innovation in Brazil.
At the time, Swedish startup Lendo – a precursor to FinanZero – was making waves in Sweden, and the team believed that a similar model would succeed in Brazil, a country known for its bureaucracy and bureaucracy, and therefore ready for a hassle free approach to loans.
The original idea was to just copy Lendo, Widen said, but as others have discovered, along the way the team had to ‘tropicalize’ the product and the experience, which means they had to create a personalized solution for the Brazilian market and its people.
“The founder of Lendo was a childhood friend of mine,” Widen said of his close ties to Swedish fintech.
To apply for a loan on FinanZero, you do not need to provide your credit score. Instead, all you need is a utility bill (proof of address), proof of income, and your government ID. The process is so simple, Widen said, that 92% of loan applications are initiated from a smartphone.
“Our business model is very much based on the bank’s risk appetite and we recorded 60% growth in 2019-2020. We are almost 3 million visits per month, about 1.5 are unique and in March 2021, 800,000 people have completed the entire loan form. We have an approval rate of around 10% on all products, ”Widen said.
The round was led by Swedish investors VEF, Dunross & Co and Atlant Fonder, all of whom are former investors in the company. The funding will go to marketing – most of which will be broadcast on television – product development and talent acquisition.