Memory is the basis of the feeling of identity, guides decisions and, often, life stories. Nothing more true for Suzy Ferreira. A financial crisis, resulting from the impact of abusive interest charges, led her family of small entrepreneurs from Iturama, Minas Gerais, into bankruptcy and forged in the eight-year-old girl an early determination to learn to deal with credit.
An instrument used by the family to re-establish itself, the credit also guaranteed the payment of part of the master’s degree in England and transformed a lawyer with a postgraduate degree in International Financial and Banking Law from UCL Londres into a successful businesswoman. It bets on the “invisible bank” – fintech Dinie created simultaneously in Europe and Latin America – which offers instant credit integrated to the digital platforms where borrowers trade their products.
Dinie, which Suzy set up with co-founder Andrea Burattini in November 2019 and has also co-founder Vinicius Cibim at her complete command, announces this Wednesday the capture of US$3.8 million, about R$20 million. The resources should benefit more than 15 thousand micro, small and medium-sized Brazilian companies in the next 18 months. The investment round is co-led by the Accion Venture Lab e K50 Ventures with the participation of Flourish Ventures, Tribe Capital, Scale-up Ventures, Capital Lab e Latitude, between others.
With this round, the total investment in the company rises to around US$ 5 million. Dinie has also completed a credit portfolio financing structure with Empirical Investments, a private credit manager with R$ 4.2 billion under management, which gives fintech the ability to originate a volume of up to R$ 100 million in revolving credit.
Created months before the Covid-19 pandemic, Dinie made 1,500 loans in less than 18 months. The 20-fold growth in the first year of activity yielded his selection for the Scale-up Fintech, acceleration program of the Endeavor Brazil, also an investor in the current investment round.
In an interview with EXAME IN, Ferreira says that, at the beginning of the pandemic, investors were cautious, but the proposal of the Credit Account – with a revolving limit – gained momentum by ensuring liquidity to micro, small and medium-sized companies.
“On-demand capital, mobile-accessible liquidity, when the company needs it, where it needs it, is our principle,” he says. “Making a short-term investment or paying a bill, directly from our application, proved to be an important solution. And our team decided that instead of waiting for the economy to stabilize, we were going to accelerate growth and serve as many companies as possible. We quickly adjusted the product with lower limits and shorter payment terms so we could serve more companies and lower the default risk. As we didn’t have a legacy portfolio to worry about, our focus became 100% acquisition, testing and product interaction,” explains Ferreira, CEO of Dinie.
Although focused on small entrepreneurs, the German-Brazilian fintech partners with renowned online platforms, including companies in the e-commerce markets and payment providers, such as those signed with iFood by Movile, Elo7 and the Uruguayan unicorn of payment methods dLocal. In these partnerships, Dinie makes the Credit Account available as a means of payment revolving credit card directly in the digital payment account, used for transfers, payment slips or online purchases.
“We pre-approved rotating limits of up to R$100,000 for companies that are selling or buying on digital platforms. The average ticket is R$15,000. As the limit returns to the Account again as soon as each installment is paid, within a year this company takes a multiple that is much higher than the average ticket. We have seen usage rates and high return to accounts, indicating high engagement,” says Ferreira.
The CEO adds that, since the beginning of the pandemic, interest charged to borrowers rose to something between 3.5% to 5.5% per month, depending on the profile of the company. “When compared to substitute products, credit card and overdraft, companies that use the Dinie Limit have important savings, especially when taking into account the excessive extra fees and the snowball effect of these traditional products”, says the businesswoman who started her career in 2008, in England, as an intern in the Structured Credit Products and Securitizations department at Santander UK. Suzy Ferreira became an entrepreneur in education technology and specialized in payment methods.
Vinicius Cibim, also co-founder of Dinie and CFO, this round of investment showed that fintech is on the right path and “has given us confidence to continue improving our integrated solutions in large digital ecosystems”.
“Affordable credit is essential for small businesses to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in the most affected countries like Brazil. Dinie is embedding credit offerings into platforms that small business owners already use, to provide them with the financing they need to keep the doors open and support their families,” said Michael Schlein, Accion’s president and CEO.
Frederico Gomez Romero, director of Latin America Investments at Accion Venture Lab, says Dinie’s business model is emblematic of scalable, secure and cost-effective integrated financing to lend to small businesses lacking capital. Ryan Bloomer, founder and managing partner of K50Ventures, claims that Dinie is the only fully digital, end-to-end integrated financial agent – “embedded”.
In addition to Endeavor Brasil, which brings together references from the business world such as Jorge Paulo Lemann, Beto Sicupira and Fábio Colletti Barbosa, Dinie is supported by two important international entities for entrepreneurship: Accion Venture Lab and K50 Ventures. Accion Venture – a global non-profit organization – advocates financial inclusion and has invested for 60 years with more than 160 partners in 55 countries. Since 2016, K50 has supported more than 150 companies in the United States and emerging markets as an investor.
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