Bloomberg Línea — Mexico-based fintech Clara has secured a new funding round of $60 million led by GGV Capital, and Hans Tung, managing partner of the Silicon Valley venture capital fund, has joined the startup’s board of directors.
Clara did not disclose the terms of the deal or its valuation when questioned by Bloomberg Línea.
In 2021, Clara achieved ‘unicorn’ status, boasting a one-billion-dollar valuation after raising $70 million in a Series B with Coatue. Since then, venture capital investments in Latin America have plummeted due to rising interest rates, and the fintech has not disclosed any further valuation numbers.
An investor familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Línea that “any money is good in these days.” In a challenging market situation, investors select companies they believe are worth continuing to invest in. Clara appears to be such a case, with new investors joining the round, such as Acrew Capital, Citius, Citi Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, Ethos, Commerce Ventures, Goanna Capital, Bayhouse Capital, Fluent Ventures, and LAGO Innovation Fund.
Existing investors such as Monashees, Coatue, Picus Capital, DST Global Partners, Alter Global, General Catalyst, and angel investors also participated in the latest funding round, but other funds that previously invested, such as Kaszek, Canary, Avid Ventures, and ICONIQ Growth, did not follow suit.
Mexico’s answer to Brex, Clara is an expense-management platform for businesses in Latin America, offering corporate cards, fee-free payment accounts, and loan solutions. Clara says it has 10,000 business clients in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Like Brex, part of Clara’s clients are startups. Clara offers its product to Mexico’s unicorn Kavak.
The fresh money will be invested in technology, consolidating the company in the Latin American market, and hiring executives for engineering, product, and risk areas, according to a statement.
Clara has brought in former executives from Meta, Nubank and American Express.
Raquel Hernández, former Meta engineering manager, will be Clara’s VP of engineering, and Eduardo Moore, with experience at Bitso and Nubank, will be Clara Brazil’s product director. Alberto Ramos and Nicolas Caccaviello have been appointed director of operations and revenue and director of fraud and acceptance, respectively. Tina Reich, former credit director at American Express, has joined as an observer on the board and risk consultant.
In March, Clara announced it had received a credit line of up to $90 million from Accial Capital to expand operations in Colombia.
In November 2022, the company raised an undisclosed amount of venture financing from Soma Capital with participation from Bossanova Investimentos, according to PitchBook, five months after cutting 10% of its employees to reduce costs.
Clara claims to have received $160 million in capital funding to date. In August last year, Goldman Sachs granted a $150 million loan to the fintech founded by Gerry Giacoman.
The PitchBook algorithm that predicts exit possibilities believes Clara has an 86% chance of being acquired versus 7% of having an IPO.