“Improving profitability will allow us to grow more in the future”

Providing secured loans to enhance financial inclusion among the Latin American population. This is the commitment of Creditas, a Brazilian fintech that has achieved unicorn status and has been operating in Mexico since 2019. Gabriela Rolon, Country Manager of Creditas in Mexico, explains how the company is solidifying its position in the country. 

In Latin America and the Caribbean, 21% of the population lacks access to financial products, according to a recent study conducted by Mastercard and Americas Market Intelligence (AMI), addressing one of the region’s major challenges: financial inclusion. Despite advances in recent years, which have enabled 79% of the population to access these services, the report demonstrates that the problem persists. Among the population with fewer resources, only 59% have a bank account, a figure that drops to 40% when only considering residents outside major cities. Furthermore, only three out of ten inhabitants have access to loans, insurance, or investment products, despite 58% of Latin Americans owning a credit card. 

The lack of access to financial products is the reason why Spaniard Sergio Furio founded Creditas. Born in Brazil over a decade ago, this fintech reached unicorn status in 2020 and in its latest valuation, conducted in 2022, reached $4.8 billion (around €4.4 billion). A year before joining the unicorn club, the company expanded to Mexico, where they found an interesting market niche to explore their financial solutions. Gabriela Rolon, Country Manager of Creditas in Mexico, explains the company’s evolution and how it can help Mexicans access new credit forms. 

What is Creditas’ value proposition and how were its initial steps? 

Creditas was born because we identified people or segments of the population that were underserved financially and saw an opportunity to offer them better loans. We started with secured loans because we saw it as a formula through which we could provide a quality alternative to other existing credit products, and then we incorporated more products like insurance. Our main value proposition is to offer good products that Latin Americans can use to improve their financial lives using technology.  


How did the expansion to Mexico in 2019 unfold, and how has the business evolved since then? 

In 2019, while we were studying which other markets we could enter, we identified that Mexico had the conditions that had made our product successful in Brazil. In Mexico, there is still a large lack of credit, and it is one of the countries where there is more digitization, which is one of the reasons why we have been able to reach more consumers in Brazil. We saw these two market conditions and thought our product could make sense here. 

In 2019, we started laying the groundwork, and in August 2020, we began operations of generating loans. From the very beginning, we focused on our key products, which are secured loans. Currently, the product that is performing the best is the auto-secured loan, which allows users to use their vehicles as collateral to obtain quality credit. 

Your platform offers customers secured loans, as well as corporate benefits. What advantages does accessing financing through services like Creditas offer users? 

Our product allows more Mexicans to have access to credit. We offer products with good conditions to people whom banks often cannot offer loans to. 

What sets Creditas apart from other lending proposals? 

Our products are not very prevalent in Mexico. When we started offering this type of loans in Brazil, almost nobody was offering them, and we were creating the category along with other players. But in Mexico, they are not as established, so our product is very innovative in this market. 

In our case, almost half of our loans are for entrepreneurs or small business owners who want to scale up. We also have clients looking to consolidate their debt and turn to us because we offer better conditions, as we usually grant larger loans than other fintechs. Our loans have different advantages because each type of credit can work for different things: if you need quick money, perhaps a personal loan can solve that problem, but if you are looking for a long-term loan to invest in your business, our proposal might be better. 

How does technology support the provision of this service? 

From the beginning, we built our own technology space. Our loan allocation platform is proprietary; we have a team of developers because we believe it is important for us to take care of the customer experience since that’s where we get to know them and understand their needs. Thanks to technology, we can reach a larger number of customers more effectively because they can make their requests without leaving home. 

Technology also helps us with credit analysis. We have a data science team that creates machine learning models to improve our credit models. Thanks to these models, we can understand which variables explain whether the client will pay or convert. Additionally, we also have a model to predict income. 


In 2020, Creditas achieved unicorn status after closing a series E round that raised the company’s valuation to over $1.75 billion. Two years later, in 2022, the company raised $310 million in a series F round, bringing its valuation to $4.8 billion. What are the company’s financing strategies? 

At Creditas, we have two forms of financing: equity or capital, through which we have raised several rounds of financing over the years, and debt of various types, from lines with investors to more complex structures where we sell our loans to investors in the public market. This allows us to grow more efficiently because, on the one hand, we can use the capital we have raised in financing rounds to invest in marketing or technology, and on the other hand, use the funds coming from debt to provide more loans. 

This formula has worked very well for us in Brazil, but in Mexico, the capital market is less common, and it is something we are working on. BBVA Spark has helped us a lot here because with them, we have a debt line guaranteed by our portfolio that allows us to grow and continue investing in Mexico by providing quality loans to the population. Looking ahead, we are focused on obtaining more debt lines and being able to change the market. 

Can you share any figures on the company’s growth, both in Mexico and globally? Do you plan to continue expanding your solution with new features or openings to new markets? 

We remain very focused on Brazil and Mexico because they are the two largest markets, and we believe there is still a lot of room for growth. Since we have seen that our product works in two of Latin America’s main economies, we know there is potential for the future, but we have to decide when to do it. 

In Mexico, right now, we are focused on growing profitably. At the company level, we have significantly increased revenue in recent years, but our focus is on margin. We are not only focused on increasing revenue but on doing it efficiently to improve profitability. In the third quarter of the year, we increased revenue by around 16%, but 219% in margin: we believe that is what will allow us to grow more in the future. 

What does a collaboration with BBVA Spark bring to a fintech like Creditas? 

When we arrived in Mexico, the process of opening an account was very complicated because, despite being one of Brazil’s largest fintechs, we were a new company in Mexico. In the end, we managed to open an account with BBVA, and I think that is part of Spark’s value proposition: understanding that there are companies that may not have much history but have a lot of potential. 

With Spark, we have a debt line that is key to our growth. I think that is part of their value proposition: being able to create an innovative product for us as a fintech because they see the potential and choose to be our allies from the beginning because they predict that we can grow. Additionally, we use many of their transactional products for our day-to-day operation and with our clients. 

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur looking to scale their business in 2024? 

Many of our clients are small business owners, and our advice would be for them not to see credit as something negative but as a tool for growth. We also believe it is very important for them to know their numbers, to understand budgets very thoroughly, and to understand which loan is best for them. 

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