Brazilian SME lender BizCapital’s Series B is recent proof that fintech investment amid Covid is still possible – albeit tougher.
“I think the amount of things that we were doing, and were able to do, to confront the crisis, helped us closed the round,” says BizCapital CEO Francisco Ferreira. “Investors could see we were a serious company with a long-term vision.” Among the other lending fintechs to raise capital since coronavirus was declared a pandemic are Zinobe, a Colombian lender that closed a $10 million debt facility, ADDI, a Colombian point of sale lender that raised an undisclosed amount in a Quona-led round, and a55, a Brazilian lender to tech businesses which closed a deal with Santander InnoVentures. Despite these deals, overall, the pandemic has made investment-raising tougher. The vast majority of respondents to Iupana’s April Covid & Lending Survey said that there were fewer financing options available. Brazil’s local securitization markets – a common funding source for local fintechs like BizCapital – “froze up” in April, says Ferreira. Now, the market is still quiet but slowly returning as investors are lured by super-low base lending rates in Brazil, he says. The fresh injection of capital is cause for celebration, but Ferreira stressed that the company would be highly cautious about spending the money, given the uncertain outlook.