Mexico is establishing itself as one of the strongest startup ecosystems in Latin America. In the past year it has positioned itself as one of the most outstanding countries in the field of Fintech innovation, the financial technology sector.
It is already the largest ecosystem in the region, second only to Brazil, with more than 350 startups. It is one of the leading drivers of financial innovation in Latin America. The Mexican ecosystem is currently 2.5 times larger than that of Colombia, the third in the region with 124 new companies, and triple the size of that of Argentina or Chile.
ALMOST 100 FINTECH STARTUPS PER YEAR
This represents an increase of about 100 Mexican startups over the last year, a rate of 40%, slightly lower than the annual growth rate in other major ecosystems in the region, such as Brazil, which grew 48%; Colombia with 52% and Argentina with 56%. However, it is above Chile, which grew 22% in the last year.
By contrast, when compared to other countries, Mexico’s startups have a better failure rate, since it is at 12% compared to the 14% recorded in Brazil.
This data is especially important because it indicates that only 29 Mexican startups ceased operations in the past twelve months. The absolute rate is therefore positive because there are far more companies being created than those disappearing during the same period of time.
According to analysts, the existence of a lower growth rate compared to other Fintech ecosystems, together with a lower failure rate, are indicators of a consolidation phase for Mexican financial startups.
The fact that there are neither great peaks of growth nor relevant failure indexes is a symptom of a stable ecosystem, which is no longer dramatically affected by the vagaries of the market. It also shows that a greater number of startups are consolidating their businesses.
MEXICO, A HYPERCONNECTED COUNTRY
There is data that helps to understand this bonanza for the Mexican Fintech. According to the World Bank, 37% of the adult population of Mexico has access to an official bank account, which implies that the rate of bank usage in the country is at 63%, higher than the average in the region (51%).
However, the market of unbanked consumers and SMEs continues to be the main target market for new Fintech companies in Mexico. According to a recent report by Finnovista, 54% of new Mexican Fintech companies direct their products and/or services to this segment, a percentage that has increased since 2017, when it stood at 46%.
On the other hand, it is interesting to note that this percentage is higher than that recorded in the rest of the main Fintech ecosystems of the region. It stands at 35% in Brazil, 45% in Colombia, 41% in Argentina and 40% in Chile.
MEXICO CITY, THE GREAT FINTECH HUB
In addition, startup accelerators are growing in terms of investment numbers and volume in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Mexico and Peru. Large corporations are strategically investing in new companies or acquiring them, especially when they offer some solution that the internal bureaucracy of large companies would take years to reach or even approve.
Mexico City is the main hub of Fintech startups in the country: 61% of all Mexican startups are in the capital, followed by Guadalajara with 9%, Monterrey with 6%, Mérida with 4% and Puebla with 2%. With respect to internationalization, 83% of companies claim to be operating in Mexico only, while 17% have reached other countries. This is, without a doubt, the weakest point of the Mexican Fintech ecosystem, the scant ambition of entrepreneurs to globalize their companies and products.
These are the five most interesting Mexican Fintech startups for PanamericanWorld. They represent in a precise way the enormous dynamism of this sector.
Prestadero (Lender) is the first legally compatible peer-to-peer lending platform, fully operational for the Mexican market. Through Prestadero, borrowers can access the lowest interest rates on consumer loans in Mexico. Lenders can access yields that currently average 16%, while massively diversifying their risk. Prestadero allows users to complete the entire credit operation online, which makes it the most efficient origination process for loans in Mexico.
It allows merchants to accept payments on their smartphone or tablet using the Clip card reader. The company offers a portable card reader that adapts to the headphone jack of smartphones and tablets. PayClip was formerly known as BlitzPay, Inc.
Sr. Pago (Mr. Payment) provides a virtual point-of-sale (VPOS) service for e-commerce. This allows online retailers to accept payments from customers at OXXO, which is the largest chain of convenience stores in Mexico with more than 11,000 stores across the country.
It is a Mexican Bitcoin exchange company and issuer of MXN balances in the Ripple Network. It is fully integrated with Compropago, a local payment service that allows Bitso users to replenish their account with cash at more than 130,000 terminals throughout Mexico, including some 7-Elevens and Walmarts. Bitso charges a 1% commission on all operations. It allows bitcoin deposit and withdrawal, the withdrawal of Mexican pesos through SPEI transfers and the use of the Ripple gateway platform will remain free.
It is based on the Uphold cloud-based money storage technology, which allows users to accumulate any currency in dollars. The service is aimed at users who want to store their earnings in dollars instead of depreciating them in some other currency. AirTM uses peer-to-peer technology to transfer money: users request dollars and pairing is done with the AirTM ATM that receives the local currency from the senders and returns the dollar amount.