Lending startup Kala helps Latin American banks offer credit more easily

Lending startup Kala helps Latin American banks offer credit more easily

Small businesses in Latin America have received a new boost in lending support with the $4 million investment in Kala, a Colombia-based company building fintech infrastructure for lending.

The company, co-founded by Manuel Alemán, Rodolfo Lazo and Paul Cattólica in 2022, develops a vertical SaaS product for institutions, such as banks and credit unions, that wish to launch and operate their own credit products.

Alemán, who has a background in microfinance, explained that the lack of inclusion and access to capital in Latin America explains the low loan penetration figures, in many cases in the double digits.

“We turn any lender into a fintech lender,” Alemán told TechCrunch. “Our goal is to increase financial inclusion in Latin America and empower small banks and credit unions to serve underserved markets.”

Kala Loan Latin America

Kala Loans Dashboard Picture credits: Kala

Kala was officially launched in July 2022 and in the first six months, three customers, two in Colombia and one in Mexico, have used the product and distributed it to over 50,000 customers. Kala charges SaaS fees and is already generating revenue, Alemán said.

Now flush with capital, the company joins other fintechs – for example, Kredito, Mono and Marco Financial – offering companies ways to access credit.

The new funding, which closed in December, brings the company’s total funding to $6 million. It was led by Cometa and included existing investors Canary, Acrew, Clocktower and 99 Startups.

The company currently has 28 employees and will deploy the capital in expanding its product, technology, customer acquisition and customer support teams. Kala will also continue to focus on Colombia and Mexico this year.

“It’s the perfect time for Kala because banks understand how difficult it is to launch a credit product,” Alemán said. “We can do it in weeks, not years, and we aim to become the standard for fintech lending in Latin America.”

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