Back to Basics: Two FinTech Startups That Want to Reach Customers ‘Door-to-Door’

Financial startups have great potential to have a social impact on the population, especially in emerging economies such as Brazil. FinTech startups that received the most contributions reflect that the market is attentive and welcomes these initiatives. This year, the two largest contributions were made to Creditas, which received ~$18.87 million, mostly from IFC (the World Bank's investment arm), and Avante – with ~$12.14 million received mostly of Fiinlab, innovation laboratory of the Mexican group Gentera, and the Vox Capital impact fund.

As not all Brazilians have access to these startups digitally, they are adapting their strategies to reach the customer where it is – online or offline.

Avante, a FinTech startup that provides micro-loans, has already lent more than ~$31.45 million to 44,000 microentrepreneurs. Since last year, Avante decided to focus on the operations done door-to-door, with more than 100 credit agents in the Northeast region of the country. It is present in the states of Pernambuco, Ceará, and Maranhão. "We work guided by the principles of conscious capitalism. Our performance is at the base of the social pyramid with the mission of humanizing financial services for the microentrepreneur," said Bernardo Bonjean, Founder & CEO of Avante.

In its expansion plan, the company expects that the operation will be expanded to other states, and Avante intends to lend ~$31.45 million in microcredit in 2017, and reach ~$314.5 million by 2021, with the work of 2,000 credit agents.

Creditas, an online lending platform that offers secured consumer loans to individuals with home and automobile as collateral, offers credit at lower rates using technology and data intelligence for efficiency. The startup is the second-largest Brazilian in funding, with a total of ~$28.3 million – only behind Nubank.

Now, Creditas has announced that it will also expand distribution channels for its products through offline partnerships with a network of agents. "We want to accelerate the change in the profile of indebtedness of Brazilians characterized today by high-interest rates and short-term loans to a healthy framework of low interest and long terms, taking the pressure off the budget of families and also contributing to the circulation of money in the economy," said Felipe Zullino, Partner and Business Development Director at Creditas.