Oikocredit and Incofin CVSO led a US$8m Series A investment in Sempli, a lending platform for small businesses in Colombia, with participation from IDB Lab, XPT1 Fund, Generación Exponencial, Impulsum Ventures, and others.
(Press Release ) Sempli, the leading online lending platform for small businesses in Colombia, has secured a USD 8 million Series A round led by Oikocredit and Incofin CVSO.
Existing and new investors joined the round, including BID LAB (Interamerican Development Bank), XPT1 Fund, Generación Exponencial and Impulsum Ventures among others. The funding comes with additional loan facilities.
Sempli is a digital lender that began operations in 2017 with a mission to support the growth of Colombia’s underserved small business ecosystem. The company will use the funds to continue to grow its portfolio and enhance its technology and data analytics processes.
Since its inception, Sempli has raised over USD 24 million from equity rounds with the investors already mentioned and loan facilities from Triple Jump, AlphaMundi and Bancoldex.
Colombia is the third largest market in Latin America for small business lending. There are more than one million legally incorporated Colombian companies that have funding needs for growth and enhanced working capital.
Esteban Velasco and Felipe Llano, cofounders of Sempli, commented: “Our purpose and dream is to transform and disrupt the banking industry, and become the number one digital option for small businesses in Colombia looking for a loan. We strongly believe that technology and data will drive our growth, and partnering with knowledgeable financial investors such as Oikocredit, Incofin CVSO and BID LAB gives us the confidence to build on our position as a solid balance sheet lender that will positively impact the growth of thousands of small businesses in our country”.
Sébastien Rigaud, responsible for Oikocredit’s investment, said: “We are impressed by Sempli´s growth and excellent results and look forward to continuing to support its successful team with this follow-on investment. Sempli is solving a real financing gap faced by thousands of Colombian SMEs. The company has set clear social impact objectives, has received the B-Corp certification, and is embracing the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles promoting responsible financial inclusion. We’re very pleased that Sempli continues to be well aligned with Oikocredit’s focus on social impact”.
Felipe Vargas, responsible for Incofin CVSO’s investment, commented: “For Incofin CVSO, supporting tech innovation and disruptive business models is key to continue reducing the gap to access to financial services, particularly for productive loans in developing countries. Improving the access to credit for small entrepreneurs, the so called “missing middle”, has a significant potential in terms of social and economic impact, given the key role of these businesses in the creation of formal job opportunities and the economic dynamic of countries like Colombia. For all the above, investing in Sempli is meaningful milestone for Incofin-CVSO´s record as an impact investor”.
Sempli offers loans of between USD 10,000-100,000 for periods of between 6-36 months, through a technological and automated process of information analysis and a proprietary risk assessment methodology. The efficiency of this process, combined with Sempli’s user-friendly online interface, allows clients to complete a loan request in less than five minutes, and Sempli is able to analyze and disburse the loan in less than 72 hours.
Oikocredit is a social impact investor and worldwide cooperative with more than 40 years of experience funding organizations active in financial inclusion, agriculture and renewable energy. Oikocredit finances close to 700 partners, with total outstanding capital of € 1 billion at 30 June 2019.
Incofin CVSO is a Belgian impact investment fund that invests in financial institutions in developing countries through loans and equity investments. Incofin CVSO has focus on financial inclusion for micro and small entrepreneurs. The fund currently supports 3.2 million motivated entrepreneurs through more than 50 local partner organizations in 30 countries. It is a cooperative fund open to small investors.
BID LAB, member of the Interamerican Development Bank, serves as an innovation laboratory to promote development in Latin America and the Caribbean through its lines of Knowledge Economy, Inclusive Cities and Climate-Smart Agriculture.