Albo, a Mexican financial technology company offering consumers a digital account with a prepaid Mastercard to receive, transfer, and spend their money, announced today it has raised $7.4 million in a Series A round of investment led by Mountain Nazca, and joined by the impact investment firm Omidyar Network, and Greyhound Capital. The funding round comes in a crucial moment for Albo, since Mexican fintech companies will face new challenges due to new regulatory processes to take effect this year.
“We are really proud to have led this round along with other internationally recognized and experienced venture investors,” said Hector Sepulveda, cofounder and Managing Partner of Mountain Nazca. “Among the opportunities in the fintech sector in Mexico, we have identified Albo as the one with wider potential impact in the country and are convinced that Albo will be the leading challenger bank and the solution that will move the needle on financial inclusion in Mexico.”
Only 47% of the Mexican population among 17 to 70 years old has access to a bank account. Excessive fees and predatory practices have been a target of proposed legislation to improve competitiveness in the traditional financial sector this year only. Of the 1.2 million complaints received by CONDUSEF, the Mexican consumer protection agency, as of June 2018, confusing communication, deficient customer service, and erroneous bank charges are the most common issues faced by financial services customers in the country.
Aiming at changing this scenario, Albo’s founder Ángel Sahagún has worked in the tech sector since 2010, pushing to radically transform the user experience of Mexico’s financial services. His vision is to improve people’s lives through services that boost financial education and inclusion in the country, creating tech solutions that leverage data to empower people to better manage their finances without having to rely on traditional financial institutions. A recent study by BMI Research has found that Mexico’s financial inclusion is set to reach 60% of the population by 2026 due to the advent of innovative financial solutions such as Albo.
“With this investment, we want to take Albo to every corner of the country and enhance our products so that every person in Mexico can have access to a personalized, fair, and 100% digital financial experience when it comes to getting financially healthy”, said Ángel Sahagún, CEO and founder of Albo. “This round of funding will help to significantly advance that goal, coming in at perfect timing, helping us comply with new government regulations, which validate the fintech sector.”
Mexico is the second most populated country in Latin America, with around 129 million inhabitants, out of which 86% own a smartphone. This represents a huge opportunity for Albo, who offers access to any person with a smartphone the possibility to open an account in less than three minutes and better manage their money with the help of features such as real-time notifications for every transaction, card blocking and unblocking through the app, automatic categorization of expenses and easy to read reports. All of that at zero cost, with no hidden fees or account minimums.
Albo is further differentiated from other traditional banks and similar entities by its financial education component. Through the app, any user can see categorized expenses and income reports, an important first step in better understanding your finances and developing better financial habits.
Albo’s investment round illustrates the sustained growth of the sector and shows the confidence of investors in the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem. With this investment, Albo will also work to comply with a wide range of technical elements that will enable the company to become a regulated fintech institution, as per Mexico’s newly released fintech law.
Albo offers consumers in Mexico the possibility to have a digital account with access to an international Mastercard and an app to receive and transfer money, as well as make payments seamlessly, with minimal fees and in a fast and efficient way. Since 2016, Albo has become a financial ally for its users, constantly improving its platform and offering tools to help them to better manage their finances and improve their financial health. Visit www.albo.mx for more information.