Financial Inclusion | January 30, 2019

Accion Venture Lab backs a “neo-bank” in Brazil

Jessica Pothering
ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, January 29 – Brazilian mobile finance company Jeitto has raised an undisclosed amount of seed capital from Accion Venture Lab.The five-year-old company’s funding round is the latest in a string of recent “neo-bank” investments in Latin America, following Mexico’s Albo, Argentina’s Ualá, and Brazil’s Nubank.

Neo-banks are not banks, exactly. They’re financial services companies that “essentially do for retail consumers what banks have traditionally covered,” just primarily in a digital or mobile format and with the intention of making financial products cheaper, friendlier and/or more accessible for customers.

Jeitto is focused on the one third of Brazilians who lack a bank account; “countless more rely on low-quality, expensive [financial] products,” said Accion’s Michael Schlein. The company offers a mobile money service that approves lines of credit for paying for bills, transportation costs, phone credit top-ups, and other day to day finances. Jeitto wants to expand mobile money usage for low- and emerging-middle income Brazilians, many of whom have a smartphone, but 95% of whom don’t have a mobile money account.

Accion Venture Lab’s financing will help the company expand beyond its current customer base of 30,000 and add new financial products.