By Carolina Mandl
SAO PAULO (Reuters) - SoftBank-backed financial technology firm Creditas, which operates a digital platform offering consumer loans, has reached a valuation of $4.8 billion in a new funding round, Chief Executive and founder Sergio Furio said in an interview on Tuesday.
Furio said Creditas decided to raise more capital to safeguard its growth this year and next year, as uncertainty mounts for tech companies amid concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve will become aggressive in controlling inflation.
"Markets are a bit chaotic, so we decided it would be good to bring money in" said Furio, adding he found tech investors very concerned about the macro environment.
Creditas has raised $260 million in its sixth funding round to expand its collateralized loan business in Brazil and Mexico. Founded in 2012 by Furio, a Spanish former consultant, the fintech has specialized in loans secured by assets like homes, autos and salaries, credit lines shunned by Brazil's biggest lenders.
Fidelity Management & Research LLC joined as the key investor of this round, along with Spanish fintech fund Actyus and Greentrail Capital. Existing investors such as SoftBank Vision Fund 1 and Wellington Management also invested.
"With collateralized lending they have taken on a complicated problem in a complicated market," said Will Pruett, managing director at Fidelity, in a statement.
Furio added Creditas plans to use the proceeds mainly to expand its current portfolio of products.
Creditas has grown at a fast pace. Its revenue reached 551.4 million reais in the first nine months of 2021, more than doubling from a year earlier, while its loans nearly tripled to 2.9 billion reais ($531.90 million). Still, it posted a loss of 215.8 million reais.
($1 = 5.4522 reais)
(Reporting by Carolina Mandl in Sao Paulo; Editing by Matthew Lewis)