Highlighting VEF’s impact champions

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June 11, 2024

Fintech isn’t just revolutionizing traditional financial services; it’s also transforming lives. At VEF, we make a difference by investing in companies that positively impact communities where financial services are scarce. These companies are at the forefront of driving meaningful change in the market they serve.

At VEF, we invest in businesses led by entrepreneurs with strong track records and with clear product-market fit in scale opportunities. Our most meaningful contribution to the emerging markets where we invest is the positive societal impact of our portfolio companies, who provide access to financial services for consumers and SMEs. This commitment lies at the core of our sustainability practices.

Leading the way, our portfolio companies like SME lender Konfío in Mexico and digital wealth management platform Mahaana in Pakistan are making financial services accessible to underserved groups. In India, secured lending platform Rupeek provides credit to consumers at more affordable rates, while in Brazil Solfácil supports the green transition through their solar panel financing ecosystem. Each contributes to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in their respective communities.

Fintech’s transformative power goes beyond the products it is reshaping. It’s transforming the opportunity and lives of SMEs and consumers, empowering them to chart their own success stories,” says Helena Caan Mattsson, General Counsel and Head of Sustainability at VEF.

Konfío: Revolutionizing access to credit for Mexican SMEs

Konfío, VEF’s second-largest portfolio company, stands out as a true impact champion. Konfío helps underserved SMEs in Mexico boost their growth by providing access to credit and other financial services. In a country with over 7 million SMEs, where only 2 out of 10 are estimated to have access to formal credit, Konfío’s credit-first approach has been transformative. Today, Konfío offers working capital loans, credit cards and digital payment solutions.

Remarkably, over 80% of Konfío’s customers are completely new to credit. With their digital-first approach, Konfío extends its reach to small businesses across Mexico, including remote and rural areas, female-led businesses, and young entrepreneurs, all typically underserved.

Konfío is opening up growth opportunities for SMEs and sole traders who have historically been constrained by lack of access to formal financing. By offering loans to customers typically overlooked by traditional banks , Konfío is driving significant economic growth and inclusion in Mexico.

Konfío exemplifies the core principles of our impact investing strategy, showcasing tangible results and sustainable growth from both a business and impact perspective. The opportunity for Fintech in emerging markets signifies not only an attractive investment case, but also represents the opportunity to improve the lives of millions of people,” says Helena Caan Mattsson, General Counsel and Head of Sustainability at VEF.

Read more in VEF’s Sustainability Report 2023 and Sustainability Bond Impact and Allocation Report 2023.