Contxto – IMIX, a Colombian platform tackling financial inclusion, recently landed a new funding round. While the investment amount and stage were undisclosed, we know Wayra Peru and The Board led the round.
This Colombian startup has quite an interesting backstory. When researching it, however, it was frankly a little confusing to understand. I recently spoke to Renzo Salas from Wayra Peru to clarify some doubts, so here it is.
According to Salas, IMIX used to be a software development and consulting firm. This is the reason why its social media accounts actually say consulting and offer other product licenses from Microsoft. Nevertheless, the company is on its way to holistically turn into a digital startup.
Its product, which the company calls a physical-digital inclusion platform, offers a unique approach to the shifting financial industry. Instead of going full throttle digital as most startups and neobanks do nowadays, aiming to take away market shares from traditional banks, IMIX actually wants to partner with these older institutions.
For example, IMIX created an omnichannel platform that connects financial entities with local commerces. To provide financial services to neglected and remote areas, banks partner with IMIX to connect with physical stores. Under this arrangement, these businesses act as “IMIX representatives.”
No physical branch helps banks become more scalable. Additionally, it diminishes risks since no investment is required other than a profit-sharing scheme.
The platform enables the integration and management of these entities along with commercial agents and partners. These include drugstores, bookstores, etc.
Moreover, the platform simplifies traditional processes through technology, enabling institutions to manage customer relationships. This strengthens the ability of these representatives as local financial providers in their respective communities.
“It is great news to have Wayra and The Board Peru as fellow travelers in the future of IMIX,” said IMIX Executive Director Sandra Rubio. “Their support will be key to strengthening our positioning and expansion in Latin America, guaranteeing accelerated and solid growth.”
About the investors
Wayra is the venture and tech arm of Telefónica Group. Investing in startups such as IMIX represents the firm’s commitment to empowering and increasing its value offer among B2B business models through agile innovation and entrepreneurship.
“From Wayra, we are continuing with our strategy of connecting technological disruptors with Telefónica to generate joint business opportunities,” said Jaime Sotomayor, Country Manager of Wayra Peru.
“This way, we are happy that The Board Peru contributed its financial support because it reinforces Wayra’s commitment to promoting the flow of investments.”
Already offering B2B financial services, IMIX will certainly complement and enhance Wayra’s product portfolio.
Considering that this deal was a co-investment, it’s important to note that this is an optimal route to take. This is especially true in terms of diminishing risks in early-stage investments.
Specifically, a co-investment means that a group of funds analyzed the investment together. In this sense, partnering firms identify an attractive opportunity with mutual benefits for each party.
“It is satisfactory to be able to share the weight of research for a co-investment with Wayra,” said Juan Francisco Rosas, director of The Board Peru.
“We both constantly make the effort to review initiatives together to make smarter investments. IMIX is a clear example of this teamwork. We’re very happy with this investment and sure that our work will support the development of IMIX in the local market.”