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Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Oyster snags historic seed round to bring financial services to SMEs and freelancers

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

Contxto – Mother of pearl! Fintech Oyster is raising one of Latin America’s biggest seed rounds yet.

Today (10) the startup announced it snagged US$14 million in a round co-led by SV Latam Capital and Monashees. Fintech Collective, Kevin Efrusy, Redpoint eventures, S7 Ventures, and Ulu Ventures also pitched funds.

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Fintech Oyster adds speed for SMEs with seed round

Oyster will use the seed investment to scale within its native Mexico and help small businesses and freelancers access services banks are slow to procure.

“We can open business banking accounts for all corporation types and do that for customers in 24 to 72 hours, instead of waiting the typical four to six months, or even longer, to do so,” says Vilash Poovala, co-Founder and CEO at Oyster.

“And, with the current pandemic, who wants to spend hours in line at a physical bank instead of signing up with us online so quickly?”

Indeed… nobody in their right mind wants to deal with a bank when they’ve got a business to run and a virus to avoid.

Likewise, the fintech’s emphasis on agility is part of what drew SV Latam Capital in.

“Oyster is solving a key pain point and delivering something that’s entirely new to Mexico: a fast track for entrepreneurs and small business owners to generate revenues and new jobs,” noted Consuelo Valverde, Founder and Managing Partner at SV Latam Capital. 

Moreover it’s not the first time the VC pitches funds for one of Poovala’s startups.  The entrepreneur had co-founded payment fintech Clip and also rallied funds with SV Latam Capital before. 

Oyster: an all-in-one in the making?

The challenger bank launched its debit card for SMEs and freelancers last May. But with this recent round, it’s more than clear it has no plans of stopping anytime soon. Oyster also aims to launch lending and credit solutions for these small entrepreneurs next month.

However I couldn’t help but wonder what shall differentiate these products from what lending fintechs like Mexican Konfío offer. For which Oyster CEO Vilash Poovala shed some light on the matter.

“Oyster’s credit product for businesses are based on a concept called ‘Contextual Credit’, so Oyster will provide different credit products based on the business’s segment and need,” said the Executive in written correspondence.

“Most credit lenders for SMB’s in Mexico are collateral-based lenders with a single product line-but, this one-size-fits-all seldom works for all SMBs,” he concluded.

Putting two and two together it’s clear Oyster wants to become a one-stop-shop with more flexible financial solutions.

How will banks and startups like EVVA who offer similar solutions respond? In this increasingly tested fintech battlefield there’s no room for players to clam up.

Related articles: Tech and startups from Mexico!

-ML

Mariana López
My topic darlings are startup management, edtech, and all-things pop culture. J Balvin is Latin America's best reggaetonero and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

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