Mexico City, February 25, 2021 – Consumer fintech Stori announced today that it has raised $32.5 million Series B funding led by Silicon Valley-based Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from existing investors Vision Plus Capital, BAI Capital and Source Code Capital. The new financing will support the company’s rapid growth as it is quickly becoming a top credit card issuer in the country. This round brings the company’s total funding to $50 million to date and brings together an investor set with deep global consumer fintech experience.
In the middle of the pandemic, Stori has been working tirelessly to meet Mexico’s huge, growing demand for flexible consumer credit and reliable digital financial services. Stori has focused on providing access to credit cards first because of the strong value the product offers consumers, including the ability to make online and in-store purchases, manage short term or emergency cash needs, and build a credit history.
Currently, less than 15% of Mexico’s adult population have access to a credit card. Meanwhile a country like Brazil with similar GDP per capita sees three times higher penetration. In Mexico, credit cards are concentrated with high-income customers, leaving out the massive middle- and emerging middle-class populations. One big challenge is that most of those consumers do not have a solid credit history yet. Providing access for thin- and no-file applicants requires innovative, tech-enabled underwriting that is constantly updating and improving. Another challenge during COVID-19 is that many consumers are hesitant to visit a bank branch to apply for a credit card in person. In January 2020, Stori launched its credit card product complete with a fully-digital in-app experience. The reaction from the market has been incredible with the company already reaching one million credit card applicants.
Stori is growing its customer base fast and is well on the way to transforming the credit card landscape in Mexico. “By tailoring global best practices in underwriting, technology and user-friendly design, combined with rapid iterations, we’ve found the right formula to deliver a compelling product and experience to the large underserved population in Mexico,” says CEO and Co-Founder Bin Chen, who previously worked at Capital One and Mastercard in both U.S. and emerging markets. “Our goal is to become a leading digital bank for the underserved population in the region. The new investment will support our fast growth and will enable us to further strengthen our leading capabilities. In addition, we are benefitting from our investors’ extensive experience building category-defining fintechs like Affirm, Ant Financial and Webank.”
Stori’s co-founder, Marlene Garayzar, said, “It has been amazing to watch our team deliver such huge progress even during the pandemic. Our people and our capabilities are truly differentiated from what I have seen in 15+ years of financial service experience in Mexico.”
Stori will continue to leverage its customer-centric, tech-driven approach to provide access to digital financial services for millions of new customers. The company has built a scalable data infrastructure with feedback loops and iterations that are constantly accelerating to set the company ahead.
“Mexico is the fastest growing e-commerce market in the world. It has one of the top 15 economies in the world. Yet, less than 15% of Mexicans have access to credit cards,” said Mercedes Bent, Partner at Lightspeed. “We’re thrilled to lead Stori’s Series B financing and partner with the team as they continue to expand access to credit cards and build flexible digital financial products for people in Mexico.”
“We have a structural thesis on digital fintech models and are investing in these models globally, particularly in emerging markets. Vision Plus led Stori’s series A round and continues to super pro rata in this round. We are impressed by the team’s execution and excited by the local market opportunity as evidenced by the rapid growth.” said Yiran Liu, Partner at Vision Plus Capital.
“We are very excited to continue supporting Stori. Stori’s strong team has led it to become one of the fastest growing digital credit card provider in Latin America. We look forward to their continued success and growing adoption by users” said William Zhao, Managing Director at BAI Capital.
“Fintech innovation has huge opportunities in Latin America, and it is also one of the segments we focus on in emerging markets. Stori has achieved rapid progress through strong execution and capabilities. We look forward to their greater success.” said Di Yuan, Source Code Capital.
Stori is building the leading digital financial service provider in Mexico and is currently focused on expanding access to credit cards for Mexico’s mass-middle and emerging-middle income populations. Stori is fully-tech enabled and leverages global best practices in product design and underwriting to meet the needs of underserved customers. With Stori, customers have access to not just a universal digital payment card, but also fair credit. For more information, visit https://www.storicard.com/en/aboutus.
Lightspeed Venture Partners is a multi-stage venture capital firm focused on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the Enterprise and Consumer sectors. Lightspeed and its affiliates currently manage more than US$10 Billion across the global Lightspeed platform, with investment professionals and advisors in India, Silicon Valley, Israel, China, Southeast Asia and Europe. For more information, visit https://lsvp.com/.
Vision Plus Capital is a VC fund created in 2015 by a number of partners from leading investment institutions and internet companies. Vision Plus Capital focuses on early-stage investments including consumer internet, Enterprise services/SAAS, FinTech, Digital Health and Advanced Computing. In Fintech, Vision Plus Capital focuses on inclusive financial services brought by technology innovations, and has invested in startups from multiple countries in Asia and Latin America, including Stori, Advance.Ai and iPaylinks. For more information, visit http://www.vplus.vc/en/.
BAI Capital is a leading Venture Capital fund with nearly 200 portfolios with 10+ IPOs & 20+ unicorns. Designated a top 3 fund in Fintech investments in Asia, BAI supported leading Fintechs such as Lexin Group (US.LX), Yixin Group (HKEX.2051) and Linklogis Group. BAI focuses on sectors including Urbanization and Demographic Change, Financial Services, Social/ Media/ Content, and Tech & Infrastructure. Backed by Europe-based Bertelsmann Group, a media, services and education corporation that operates in 50 countries around the world, BAI supports its portfolio company’s growth with not only long-term capital, but also Bertelsmann Group’s vast global resources and channels. For further information, visit http://www.baifund.com.
Founded in 2014, Source Code Capital is a leading TMT-focused VC investing in both early stage start-ups and growth stage companies. With USD $1.5 billion and RMB 9.8 billion under management, Source Code Capital has successfully partnered with close to 200 technology founders since inception including Bytedance, Meituan, and Ke Holding Inc. Source Code is focused on its investment theses of “Big 3” fundamental innovation drivers, which are Internet+, AI+, and Global+, and invests in sectors such as media and entertainment, consumer services, enterprise, finance, retail, transportation, housing, education, and healthcare. For further information, visit https://sourcecodecap.com/en/.