Lana, a brand new startup primarily based in Madrid, is seeking to be the subsequent huge factor in Latin American fintech.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Pablo Muniz, whose final enterprise was backed by one among Spain’s largest monetary providers establishments, BBVA, Lana is seeking to be the all-in-one monetary providers supplier for Latin America’s gig economic system staff.
Muniz’s final firm, Denizen, was designed to supply expats in international and home markets with the monetary providers they would want as they started their new lives in a distinct nation. While the goal buyer for Lana will not be the identical center to upper-middle-class worldwide traveler that he had beforehand hoped to serve, the challenges gig economic system staff face in Latin America are a lot the identical.
Muniz truly had two revelations from his work at Denizen. The first — he would by no means attempt to launch a fintech firm along with a giant financial institution. And the second was that fintechs or neobanks that concentrate on a really area of interest phase can be profitable — as long as they will discover the proper area of interest.
The largest area of interest that Muniz noticed that was underserved was truly within the gig economic system area in Latin America. “I knew a number of individuals who labored at gig economic system corporations and I knew that their companies had been booming and the trade was rising,” he stated. “[But] I used to be involved in regards to the inequalities.”
Workers in gig economic system marketplaces in Latin America typically don’t have financial institution accounts and are paid via the apps on which they listing their providers in siloed wallets which are unique to that exact app. What Lana is hoping to do is grow to be the pockets of wallets for all the completely different corporations on which laborers listing their providers. Frequently, drivers will work for Uber or Cabify and ship meals for Rappi. Those staff have wallets for every service.
Lana desires to unify all of these disparate wallets right into a single account that will function like a fee account. These accounts might be opened at native service provider retailers and, as soon as opened, staff could have entry to a debit card that they will use at different areas.
The Lana service additionally has a invoice pay characteristic that it’s rolling out to customers, within the first evolution of the product right into a market for monetary providers that will enchantment to gig staff, Muniz stated.
“We wish to grow to be that account during which they obtain funds,” he stated. “We are nonetheless iterating the worth proposition to gig economic system corporations.”
Working with corporations like Cabify, and different, undisclosed corporations, Lana has plans to roll out in Mexico, Chile, Peru and, finally, Colombia and Argentina.
Eventually, Lana hopes to maneuver past fundamental banking providers like deposits and funds and into credit score providers. Already a whole lot of shoppers are utilizing the corporate’s service via the distribution partnership with Cabify, which ran the preliminary pilot to find out the viability of the corporate’s providing.
“The thought of making Lana was initially examined as an inside challenge at Cabify,” Muniz wrote in an e-mail. “Soon Cabify and a few potential traders noticed that Lana might have a better influence as an unbiased firm, with the ability to serve gig economic system staff from any trade and determined to start out over a brand new entrepreneurial challenge.”
Through these connections with Cabify, Lana was ready to usher in different traders just like the Silicon Valley-based funding agency Base 10.
“One of the issues we’ve been focused on is in inclusion typically and in fintech particularly,” stated Adeyemi Ajao, the agency’s co-founder. “We had gotten very near investing in a few fintech corporations in Latin America and that’s as a result of the chance is large. There are a number of million individuals going from unbanked to banked within the area.”
Along with a couple of different traders, Base 10 put in $12.5 million to finance Lana because it appears to be like to increase. It’s a market that has few actual opponents. Nubank, Latin America’s largest fintech firm, is providing credit score providers throughout the continent, however most of their finish customers have already got a longtime monetary historical past.
“Most of their finish customers aren’t unbanked,” stated Ajao. “With Lana it’s really gig staff… They can begin by being a pockets of wallets after which give clients merchandise that assist them finance their vehicles or their scooters.”
The final thought is to get staff paid quicker and supply a window into their monetary historical past that may give them extra alternatives at different gig economic system corporations, stated Ajao. “The imaginative and prescient could be that somebody can plug of their monetary data for providers. If they’re working for Rappi and have by no means been an Uber driver they usually wish to be an Uber driver, Lana can use their monetary historical past with Rappi to supply a mortgage on a automotive,” he stated.
That monetary historical past is totally inaccessible to a standard financial institution, and people established monetary providers don’t care in regards to the historical past in-built wallets that they will’t management or observe. “Today when you’ve been a gig employee and also you go to a financial institution, that’s price nothing,” stated Ajao.