Fintech & Ecommerce

Citi Invests in Colombian FinTech Supra

Citi has led a round of strategic investments in Supra, a fintech company based in Colombia.

Citi Invests in Colombian FinTech Supra

The relevant information is contained in the Citi press release, which was published last Monday, December 11. The Colombian company carries out activities to ensure cross-border payment transactions and treasury solutions. Supra provides its services to representatives of small and medium-sized businesses that specialize in import and export.

Citi’s press release notes that after receiving new financing, the Colombian company will be able to expand its operations. The firm will be able to act as a payment aggregator in partnership with intermediaries in the foreign exchange market and licensed providers of relevant services.

Emilio Pardo, CEO and co-founder of Supra says that the company he heads develops and implements advanced solutions for cross-border payment financial operations. Separately, he noted that this firm provides customers with high transaction speeds and highly competitive tariffs. According to him, the technology used by Supra is one of the first of its kind in Colombia and complies with the rules of the central bank of that country, which payment aggregators must comply with.

The press release notes that applying Citi’s technology solution will provide the Colombian company with the opportunity to scale into the domestic market. In this case, it implies an algorithm for making cross-border payment transactions and exchanging foreign currency.

Last year, the Colombian B2B cross-border payment market totaled about $134 billion. This commercial space includes more than 40,000 companies that are involved in import and export activities.

Citi’s Strategic Investment unit led the Supra funding round. Far Out Ventures and H20 Capital also participated in this process.

Aldo Alvarez, LatAm’s head of strategic business investments at Citi Markets, said that Supra’s product, business model, and collaboration with Citi will allow to creation of competitive moats in the multi-billion-dollar import and export cross-border payments market in Colombia.

For Citi, this is not the first experience of interacting with Colombian companies. In September, a financial institution granted $6 Million in debt to Colombian firm Sempli, specializing in providing working capital loans to small and medium-sized businesses.

Industry research indicates that Latin America is currently at the epicenter of the digital commerce boom, which has a kind of scale of a historically significant process within the corresponding sphere. The regional market of small and medium-sized businesses and companies offering virtual financial services is showing rapid growth. This process inevitably contributes to the transformation of the payment industry in Latin America.

Recently, another significant event was recorded in Colombia in the context of the development of the local sphere of financial services. In October, Cobre raised $13 million in investment funds. The company intends to use this funding to launch its treasury platform outside Colombia. Cobre plans to launch operations in the Mexican financial services market next year. The company also intends to update its product, which was originally intended only for large firms. Cobre is interested in starting to provide services to small businesses.

The growth potential of Latin America’s digital markets is significant. For international business, the current processes in this region are something like a historical chance in the context of expanding activities at the global level. In Latin America, a huge wave of innovation entails a rapid change and scaling of markets.

The mentioned region’s payment ecosystem has certain specifics. Latin America has a high level of fragmentation of the legal landscape. Also, the local e-commerce environment is focused on mobile devices. Another regional feature in this case is the significant prevalence of remote work practices.

The use of application programming interfaces and artificial intelligence services will allow companies to form a kind of flexibility, with which it will be easier for them to adapt to the legal and technological specifics of each Latin American country.

As we have reported earlier, Citigroup Launches Restructuring.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.