Three Colombian fintech startups have been selected to participate in an exclusive accelerator program coordinated by Washington-based venture capital firm Village Capital that will award a $75,000 USD investment to top-performing early-stage Latin American companies.
Payment platform ePayco, short-term loan provider RapiCredit, and tuition savings facilitator ESCALA Educación are the three Colombian companies that have been chosen to compete in the first ever regional “Village Capital FinTech – Latin America 2017” program.
Along with these finalists, eight other fintech startups from across Latin America were picked out of the nearly 100 companies that applied for the program, which is supported by PayPal, Citibanamex, and BlackRock in addition to Village Capital.
Starting next week in September, they will all come together in the Colombian capital for the first of several multi-day workshops in Bogotá and Mexico City to prove their “investment-readiness,” according to Village Capital.
The top two companies, as judged by their peers at the conclusion of the three-month program, will take home the $75,000 USD in funding from VilCap Investments. Even those that don’t receive an initial investment will benefit from mentorship and business development training.
“Innovation in financial services is crucial in a market like Latin America that faces significant financial inclusion challenges,” said the program coordinators in a statement. They added that the 11 fintech startups chosen “represent a diverse range of business models that bring financial services to underserved groups throughout Latin America.”
With three representatives, Colombia has more startups in the program than every other country except for Mexico, which has four. Chile has two companies participating and Argentina has one.
The following is a full list of the 11 fintech startups participating in Village Capital FinTech: Latin America 2017. (The company descriptions have been provided by the program’s coordinators.)
A digital payments gateway that gives merchants the tools they need to commercialize their services and products via social media by providing a friendly tool to link their products to different platforms in a safe and easy way.
ESCALA Educación (Colombia)
A social enterprise that promotes the progress of Colombian families and companies through a long-term savings plan and access to higher education.
Provides 30-day loans online to the lower and middle class population in Colombia who often succumb to predatory and illegal payday-like loans due to lack of access to formal credit. RapiCredit’s service is 100% online, has no hidden fees, and aims to educate clients.
Pago Rural (Argentina)
A “lend-n-pay” technology platform that allows farmers to access financing to buy seeds, ag-chemicals and fertilizers in a simple, agile and safe way.
Seeks to eliminate the digital payment barriers for the unbanked in Latin America. Its first massive product is a virtual prepaid card.
A robot advisor company using computer algorithms to help common people and SMBs to invest their money online.
A reputation system that helps FinTech companies tackle risk management through collective intelligence.
Is the first online platform that offers Mexican taxpayers various services making it faster, easier and friendlier to declare taxes.
A P2P lending platform where borrowers can pay back through payroll deductions. Thanks to its operations and risk models Doopla is able to offer lower interest rates that those offered by traditional financial institutions and investors obtain higher returns.
A factoring platform that integrates financial and social responsibility algorithms to connect SMBs financing needs with corporates’ and individuals’ capital supply.
Mutuo Financiera (Mexico)
SMBs lending platform, focused on structured supply chain finance solutions, powered by machine learning.
(Photo Credit: www.cafecredit.com)