By Riley Kaminer
Sure, Miami is a microbusiness powerhouse (at least according to GoDaddy research). But our entrepreneurship pales in comparison to that of Latin America. In Mexico, SMEs make up 70% of the formal economy – while the Peruvian Minister of Production puts that figure at 99.5% for his country.
The problem? It’s often very difficult for these small companies to gain access to credit.
Hallandale Beach-based Tienda Pago has devised a solution. The startup provides Mexican and Peruvian SMEs – convenience stores, in particular – with working capital to purchase stock. This financing is coordinated through Tienda Pago’s digital platform.
This week, Tienda Pago announced that it has raised a $12 million Series B round to further their mission. The Women’s World Banking Asset Management and IDC Ventures co-led the round, which also included previous investors Kaszek, QED, Agrega Partners, Accion Venture Lab, and Oiko Credit – plus new investor Alumni Fund.
“Tienda Pago’s business model helps entrepreneurs grow in the region and make an impact on our community,” Dan Cohen, CEO and founder of Tienda Pago, said in a statement.
“75% of SMEs can’t buy all the stock they need to serve their clients, which means a loss of opportunities, and just half of the stores have sufficient access to financial services,” Cohen continued. “This is why Tienda Pago is essential to serve the financial needs of convenience stores in developing regions.”
Yrenilsa Lopez, Principal Investment Officer at Women’s World Banking Asset Management, underscored that this funding will go directly towards promoting financial inclusion in the region.
“We are very excited to partner with Tienda Pago on this important journey and provide access to finance for small business owners who are the cornerstone of economic development in the region,” Lopez commented.
Through Tienda Pago’s platform, convenience stores can buy stock from established CPG companies and distributors in the startup’s network. These stores receive a week worth of stock, and suppliers are paid directly through a bank transfer.
“Small businesses are fundamental drivers of economic development in Latin America, yet continue to lack access to finance,” noted Alejandro Rodriguez, Partner at IDC Ventures.
“SMEs receive only 12% of total formal credit in the region, though they represent the vast majority of businesses and the majority of employment,” Rodriguez continued. “Tienda Pago works with product distributors to provide seamless cashless transactions that benefit both store owners and suppliers, providing value at both ends of the supply chain.”
IDC Ventures, based in Copenhagen, has invested in a wide range of other South Florida companies, such as RecargaPay, Boatsetter, Taxfyle, and NovoPayment.
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