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Contxto – Adding to the fast-paced momentum of Latin American startups is Xerpa. The Brazilian company recently landed R$53 million (approximately US$12.9 million) in a Series B. Funds will allow employees at partnering businesses to continue to withdraw portions of their salary before payday.
Vostok Emerging Finance led the investment round, which has previously invested in Creditas, as well as Nubank founders David Velez and Edward Wible. The early-stage investment arm of the Founders Fund, Pathfinder, also contributed.
“Xerpa is perfect for Brazil, where tens of millions of people resort to predatory credit products,” said Alexosto Koumoudos, a partner at Vostok.
Back in May, Xerpa also raised R$16 million from QED Investors, Kaszek Ventures and Redpoint e.ventures to develop its technology platform. These funds also participated in the latest round.
Over time, Xerpa has acquired a staff of over 80 and expects to double the number within the next year. There’s also the possibility of combining more fintech features into the human resources (HR) business model.
Quite identical to what minu accomplished last week, Xerpa allows workers to withdraw their salary before payday comes around. Founded in 2016 by Nicholas Reise and Paulo Ahagon, the company describes itself as an HR startup, not a fintech.
“I wanted to set up some sort of business and I thought about what was hindering the growth of companies,” said CEO and Co-founder Reise, who happens to be from the United States. “I saw an opportunity to store HR data in the cloud.”
In terms of market favorability, there were as many as 40 million workers eligible to receive its services that ease hiring, payroll and benefits processes.
Today, over 50,000 workers use Xerpa’s HR management platform. Some prominent clients including CCR, Creditas, QuintoAndar, iFood, Mercado Libre and Nubank.
How it works involves integrating Xerpa’s technology with a partnering company’s HR department. This way, employees can access all of the necessary work documents or payroll benefits they need over the Xerpa app. Subscription rates are determined by the staff number.
Early payroll benefits began earlier this year, all of which is manageable over the mobile app. Employees can receive portions of their salaries for the days of the month that they already worked with transfer times being under one hour.
Like many other fintechs, some of the only fees involved are when you transfer funds to bank accounts or when overdrafts accrue. Reise reassures that these charges will always remain low.
“We don’t want it to be a more expensive rate than a coffee,” said Reise. “Our goal is to be a fairer alternative to overdraft fees.”
As of April of this year, the overdraft charge had 16.24 percent interest. Similar initiatives exist at global corporations such as Walmart that give out annual salary advances.
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