Bloomberg Línea — Tribal, a payments and financing platform, announces its arrival in the Brazilian market as part of its expansion strategy; the company is also preparing cryptocurrency transfers and raising $60 million in an investment round led by Softbank to accelerate its financing plan for small and medium businesses, or SMBs, in Latin America.
“The funds we raised will be intended to continue investing in expansion, growth and consolidation in Mexico,” Tribal’s regional manager for Latin America, Sonia Michaca, told Bloomberg Línea.
Coinbase Ventures joined the round, which also included BECO Capital, QED Investors and Rising Tide.
In addition to the $60 million Series B, Tribal turned to secondary equity to capture investors such as Circle Ventures, AGE Fund, Third Prime, Canas Capital and Acuity Ventures.
The funds will be used to develop its plans in the five countries in which it operates, in addition to increasing its customer base in more than 22 countries. The company is also considering investing in employees, products, platform development and infrastructure.
“We have a roadmap on integrating different functionalities that are relevant to each of the markets,” said Michaca.
For the platform, arriving in Brazil represents a strategic choice. The company is currently considered the largest fintech ecosystem in the region; however, there are challenges in terms of corporate credit and global payments.
Tribal seeks to create more than 100 direct jobs in Brazil by the end of this year. The company currently has 230 employees across different parts of the world.
Tribal also seeks to streamline processes for SMBs through the use of dollar-backed stable cryptocurrency transfers, better known as USDC stablecoins.
“We know that all payments that companies need to make to suppliers cannot be made with a card,” explained Michaca, who recalls that last year the company launched a method that allows payments to be made with national and international transfers to suppliers.
To effect the process, in December Tribal carried out the first hybrid round in Latin America: in USDC stablecoins and fiat currency. In addition, the company has established an alliance with Bitso and the Stellar Development Foundation, which will help make payments or transfers through stablecoins.
“We closed a $40 million round – this is one of the first hybrid rounds in Latin America”Sonia Michaca, regional manager for Latin América at Tribal
Michaca explained that the movement of SMBs to their suppliers is done through an Interbank Electronic Payment System, or SPEI, or with the use of a credit line.
An international transfer can take up to 72 hours to be completed through the series of processes carried out by financial institutions, but with the option of using stablecoins, the process is reduced to five seconds.
The hybrid debt issuance also enabled Tribal to begin its expansion in Colombia, Chile and Peru in November 2021.
The company is based in San Francisco, California, but operates in Mexico. Tribal offers solutions such as multi-currency corporate credit cards, both physical and virtual, in addition to an expense management network focused on small and medium businesses.
The Fintech serves small and medium businesses in several industries, such as food, travel, education, real estate and transport, but the main segment is the service, e-commerce and fintech industry.
Its list of clients includes restaurant chain La Casa de Toño, Ben & Frank optician, Grupo Anderson, Mora Mora, Cerveza Rrëy, SkyAlert, Chop Chop Bikes, Wax Revolution, Mi Águila, Frubana, TUL and Crehana.
For Tribal, 2022 is a time of growth and consolidation. Michaca said that in 2022 the company will begin to understand the different markets in Latin America, which it has expanded into.
“In Mexico we have more than 1,000 customers and we are looking to continue growing rapidly in all markets. At the end of last year, we launched operations in Colombia, Chile and Peru, so now we’re just grasping these opportunities to get those numbers.”
--This story was translated by Bianca Carlos, localization specialist at Bloomberg Línea.