Brazilian fintech Creditas lands $4.8B valuation and Fidelity as an investor after revenue jumps in 2021


Creditas raises $260M
Image Credits: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

Brazilian lender Creditas announced today that it has raised $260 million in a Series F funding that values the company at $4.8 billion.

That’s up from the fintech’s $1.75 billion valuation at the time of its $255 million raise in December 2020. With the latest financing, São Paulo-based Creditas has now raised more than $829 million in funding over six rounds, with the bulk of that capital ($745 million) coming in over the last three years.

It’s a robust start to a new year that follows one which saw venture investments into fintech startups in Latin America skyrocket — to over $13.2 billion in 2021 compared to $2.3 billion in 2020.

Notably, Fidelity Management & Research LLC led Creditas’s latest investment, which also included participation from other new investors Spanish fintech fund Actyus and Greentrail Capital. Existing backers also put money in the Series F round, including QED Investors, VEF, SoftBank Vision Fund 1, SoftBank Latin America Fund, Kaszek Ventures, Lightock, Headline, Wellington Management and Advent International, via affiliate Sunley House Capital. 

Creditas is one of those rare and refreshing startups that gives us a glimpse into their financials. Such transparency is not common and has the benefit of preparing the company well for its eventual path to the public markets. In the third quarter of 2021, Creditas notched US$46.8 million in revenue – up 233% from $14 million in the 2020 third quarter. At the same time, as it has been investing in its growth, the company’s net loss widened to $14.8 million compared to $8.25 million. Founder and CEO Sergio Furio projects annualized revenue of about $200 million for 2021.

Such rapid revenue growth is more often seen in younger startups. A company that is now 10 years old seeing that kind of revenue growth is quite impressive.

Image Credits: Creditas

As of the 2021 third quarter, the company’s credit portfolio under management had reached $532 million — up from $189.3 million in the third quarter of 2020.

Creditas began its life in 2012 as a collateralized lender operating via a marketplace model. It partnered with banks to deliver collateralized lending at rates that were significantly lower than compared to traditional interest rates (around 30% APR compared to 85% APR). 

In 2016, the company essentially took the bank out of the equation and built its own platform so that instead of the banks, Creditas was the entity securing funds for loans.

Then in 2019, the company evolved into more of an ecosystem around its customers. Say, if a customer owned a car and wanted cash, Creditas would take the car as collateral, deliver a “very low” rate for the loan and then say a few years later if that customer wanted to get another car, they could do that through Creditas’ marketplace. It also could provide insurance for that new car. 

“Today, we are a fintech company that uses those assets to deliver cheaper financing,” founder and CEO Sergio Furio told TechCrunch. “Beyond that, we also deliver protection and a marketplace for other verticals beyond cars.”

Or in other words, Creditas is working toward being “a one-stop solution for those seeking a digital-first experience in everything related to their house, car, motorcycles, and salary-based benefits.” For example, it operates a car marketplace called Creditas Auto. It also runs Creditas Store, an e-commerce platform with a payroll-deductible buy now, paylater model and Voltz, a manufacturer of electric motorcycles in Brazil (and after its strategic investment in Voltz Motors, next-generation EV motorcycles and scooters). And it’s building financial software for all those operations.

Eighteen months ago, Creditas expanded out of its home market of Brazil into Mexico. The country, Furio said, “has proven to be a strategic engine for growth.”

“We believe Creditas can become a true disruptor in the Mexican market being able to democratize access to financial products and consumer solutions alike,” he added.

“We plan to continue growing by nurturing and expanding our ecosystem, such as providing financial solutions to our marketplace customers, launching new products, extending our geographic reach — including our recent successful entry into Mexico and the expansion of our tech hub in Valencia, Spain — and selectively pursuing strategic M&A opportunities,” Furio said. 

Image Credits: Founder and CEO Sergio Furio / Creditas

The company also has a tech hub in Spain (Furio’s home country), where about 20% of the company’s tech team is based.

Presently, Credit has more than 4,200 employees, and plans to, naturally, continue to hire with its new capital. While its headcount doubled over the past year, Furio envisions a slower pace of hiring (no more than 50% growth) over the next 12 months. 

“This funding round will help us increase our tech, marketing and operations teams but the speed of growth from an employee perspective will probably slow down,” he told TechCrunch. 

The company also plans to continue investing in acquisitions. In 2021, it acquired four companies. Part of the proceeds from the round will go toward “adding specialty products or niches” that it does not currently operate in.

Its investors are, naturally, bullish on the company’s continued potential.

Will Pruett, managing director of Fidelity, described Creditas as “the rare fintech that actually builds deep relationships with their customers, drastically lowering the cost of credit and improving the quality of life of those they serve.” 

QED Managing Partner Bill Cilluffo notes that his firm first invested in Creditas at the time of its Series A in 2015. 

“By broadening its strategy away from being purely a finance company, Creditas can now leverage a number of end-to-end solutions from insurance to car sales to support more customers than ever before,” he said.

“Creditas is one of those special fintech assets given its ability to marry hyper-growth with high revenue economics into an ever-growing TAM. We continue to back them harder and see shareholders like Fidelity and Wellington in the cap table as reinforcement of our thesis that Creditas is a successful listed company in the making,” said David Nangle, CEO of VEF.

As to timing of going public, Furio said the company is “continuously monitoring the market to see when it’s due time for that.”

More TechCrunch

Welcome back to TechCrunch’s Week in Review. This week had two major events from OpenAI and Google. OpenAI’s spring update event saw the reveal of its new model, GPT-4o, which…

OpenAI and Google lay out their competing AI visions

Expedia says Rathi Murthy and Sreenivas Rachamadugu, respectively its CTO and senior vice president of core services product & engineering, are no longer employed at the travel booking company. In…

Expedia says two execs dismissed after ‘violation of company policy’

When Jeffrey Wang posted to X asking if anyone wanted to go in on an order of fancy-but-affordable office nap pods, he didn’t expect the post to go viral.

With AI startups booming, nap pods and Silicon Valley hustle culture are back

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

A new crop of early-stage startups — along with some recent VC investments — illustrates a niche emerging in the autonomous vehicle technology sector. Unlike the companies bringing robotaxis to…

VCs and the military are fueling self-driving startups that don’t need roads

When the founders of Sagetap, Sahil Khanna and Kevin Hughes, started working at early-stage enterprise software startups, they were surprised to find that the companies they worked at were trying…

Deal Dive: Sagetap looks to bring enterprise software sales into the 21st century

Keeping up with an industry as fast-moving as AI is a tall order. So until an AI can do it for you, here’s a handy roundup of recent stories in the world…

This Week in AI: OpenAI moves away from safety

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

2 days ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

2 days ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo