Brazilian fintech startup REBEL raises $42.2 million to offer personalized loan using machine learning and big data
Last year, we wrote about REBEL when the Brazilian fintech startup raised $4 million in Series A funding. Today, the online personal loan platform announced it has raised another $42.2 million (R$ 167 million) via securitization of financial loans. The new fund is ten times greater than the $4.22 million (R$ 16.6 million) it raised in 2018. Issued by the securitizer VERT Capital, the papers were purchased by XP Asset Management, Franklin Templeton, and other players.
Founded in 2016 Andre Botelho Bastos, Paulo Asterio Nunes, and Rafael Pereira, REBEL is a data, tech and analytics-driven online platform led by technology and finance entrepreneurs. It’s mission is to lead a transformation of financial services in Brazil. REBEL offers its customers fast, easy and trust-worthy credit of up to 50,000 reais for up to 24 months at interest rates as low as 2.9% per month. In addition, REBEL offers consumers free access to its proprietary REBEL Score, a credit score designed to transparently explain an individual’s credit profile and to suggest actionable steps to improve financial health.
The company uses Machine Learning and Big Data to offer personalized loan proposals, and it is the only fintech in the Brazilian market to use blockchain to certify contracts. With the start of its operations in 2017, REBEL has already accumulated R$ 4 billion in loan applications, and in 2018 it raised US$ 7 million with investors, led by the Monashees fund. In the second half of 2019, the company is preparing a new round of capital-raising, series B.
In addition to the higher volume, the cost of raising capital was lower in this second offering: CDI rate plus 5.75%, compared to 6% for the previous offering. For the CFO of REBEL, André Botelho Bastos, “The size of growth in the amount of the issuance in such a short period of time is a rare occurrence in the Brazilian market, and shows investor confidence in REBEL and in the quality of the assets that we are creating.”
The securitization allows the startup to service more consumers: “It is the fuel for us to continue accelerating. We have very advanced loan-analysis models that use Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. This allows us to assess and price every loan request precisely in just a few minutes, which guarantees us a default rate that is substantially lower than that of the market,” Bastos explained.
The second issuance is just the beginning of a new phase for REBEL, with a focus on improving the client’s experience. The company innovates so that it can offer even lower rates and more benefits to the consumer, in addition to offering profitability with governance for investors. “Banks usually say they are obligated to charge high interest rates because non-payment is high, causing a vicious and negative cycle. We want to create a virtuous cycle that inspires more confidence, security, and improved loan proposals in Brazil,” Bastos concluded.