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Xepelin, the Chilean-born startup that offers financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Latin America, already has 15,000 clients and recently raised US$111 million in a Series B led by Avenir, Kasek, and PayPal Ventures.
Close to 60% of the new investment will go to Mexico, one of the countries where Xepelin sees these services for SMEs as scarce. Sebastián Kreis, co-founder and co-CEO of the company spoke with Contxto.
What opportunity does Xepelin find in Latin America?
According to estimates made by Xepelin, there is US$10 billion of cash trapped in accounts receivable and accounts payable. We also see a massive opportunity for B2B payments across LatAm.
How has the growth been in the last year?
The company has grown to serve more than five times the number of clients in Chile and Mexico. In addition, it has managed to increase revenues in Mexico 60 times.
How do companies that use Xepelin benefit?
At Xepelin, we exist to solve the problems of emerging markets, and we understand that the region’s economic growth is directly related to the economic strength of its smaller companies. Therefore, it is essential for us to help them cope with the financial tasks of the day to day so that they can concentrate on what they do best: operating their business.
What does it mean to be backed by Kaszek, Avenir Funds, and PayPal Ventures?
It means a lot because they are the region’s best fintech investors and payment specialists. Their decision to invest in us is a sign of the latent need in the SME ecosystem in Mexico and the vast market opportunity. It also validates the work that everyone in the company is doing and encourages us to move forward, trusting that we are giving everything to help solve the financial pain of SMEs in the country.
Do you have expansion plans?
Yes, Brazil and Colombia are two solid countries that we see and that we have considered a lot because of the size of the market and its importance in the region. However, we are entirely focused on strengthening and consolidating our operations in Mexico and growing our Payments service in the country.
What is coming this 2022 for the company?
We are looking for the best talent in the region for different strategic areas of the company—passionate people who join Xepelin’s mission and help us empower SMEs and alleviate their pain. Also, we want to consolidate ourselves in Mexico, where we have already acquired a leadership position; we even hope that Mexico will be bigger than Chile because the pains we see here are much more profound. We are improving our Payments tool, which allows SME owners to make payments and access financing from one place. Having strengthened that, we want to attack a third country.
In recent years we have seen a boom in B2B fintechs. How will the industry evolve in the next five years?
In the B2B world, there will be fintech companies that will enter specific industries or business verticals to coexist and favor each other.