Today, Citibanamex, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation ("DFC") and the Ford Foundation announced a US $10 million local currency (~200 million Mexican Peso) term loan to Konfio, a pioneering Mexican financial technology (fintech) company serving small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with limited access to financial services. The financing will enable Konfio to provide loans to SMEs in less-economically advanced states of southern Mexico including Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Oaxaca, Puebla, Tabasco, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz, with a focus on women. At least half of the financing will be destined for on-lending to women-owned and women-led businesses.
The loan is part of the Scaling Enterprise facility, a Citi partnership with the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Ford Foundation that enables earlier stage, innovative and inclusive businesses in emerging markets to access local currencies.
The financing, which is part of Citi's $1 trillion commitment to sustainable finance by 2030, contributes to progress on several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Goal 1, which aims to eliminate poverty, Goal 5, which aims to increase gender equality, and Goal 8, in support of expanding decent work and economic growth.
"Improving financial opportunity for women and small businesses in less developed countries is a priority for DFC," said DFC CEO Scott Nathan. "DFC's investment will bolster Konfio's important work, increase access to financing for previously underserved, rural communities in Southern Mexico, and make a powerful development impact."
This investment advances DFC's Women's 2X Initiative, which has catalyzed more than $13.5 billion of investment in projects that empower women in developing countries. It also qualifies for the 2X Challenge, an initiative of the G7 countries to support women's economic empowerment.
"Although more and more women are accessing financial services in Mexico, there is still a gender gap of 7 percentage points that has not changed since 2013, which translates into unequal opportunities in the use of financial products and services, according to official data", said David Arana, Founder & CEO of Konfio. "This funding strengthens our vision to create fairer conditions in which women thrive in traditionally underserved regions of the national territory".
Since 2014, Konfio has grown exponentially, providing over 45,000 loans to more than 27,600 small and medium-sized businesses. Konfio enhances business growth and productivity by building and delivering digital lending solutions, as well as financial software and tools. Through a combination of funding and guidance, Konfio has boosted SME clients growth by 25% year over year.
"Technology is a critical piece of expanding financial inclusion in underserved communities", said Jorge Rubio Nava, Global Head of Citi Social Finance. "This investment in Konfio – which is Citibanamex's first fintech transaction that targets underserved communities in Latin America – is a prime example of how fintechs, large banks and government partners can collaborate to accelerate social impact and drive financial inclusion in the communities that need it most."
"Konfio is creating a much-needed solution to advance financial inclusion in Mexico," said Christine Looney, deputy director of Mission Investments for the Ford Foundation. "We are thrilled to support their work and look forward to seeing the direct impact this has on women and small business owners in traditionally underserved communities."
Konfio is the leading technology company focused on promoting the growth and productivity of SMEs in Mexico through a differentiated offer of three financial solutions: financial services, payments and business tools. Since its foundation in 2013, it offers agile access to business credit with an immediate decision process based on data and artificial intelligence. In 2020 Konfio launched a credit card, and acquired a cloud-native business management ERP, and in 2021 Konfio added a B2B and B2C payment solutions. All these solutions seek to improve productivity and accelerate sales for SMEs in Mexico. To date, Konfío has raised over $380 million from equity investors including Softbank, VEF, Kaszek Ventures, QED Investors, the International Finance Corporation, and recently from Lightrock and Tarsadia Capital.
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
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U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
U.S. International Development Finance Corporation partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. We invest across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. DFC also provides financing for small businesses and women entrepreneurs in order to create jobs in emerging markets. DFC investments adhere to high standards and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.
About The Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is an independent organization working to address inequality and build a future grounded in justice. For more than 85 years, it has supported visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. Today, with an endowment of $16 billion, the foundation has headquarters in New York and 10 regional offices across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Learn more at www.fordfoundation.org