The legal security of the country invites different companies to venture into the financial system, but not exactly in the banking system. In the last three months Different companies entered the Uruguayan market with new options so that both people and companies can access capital outside banks.
Coffee & Business spoke with two companies that —in different ways, and for different target audiences— offer new proposals to obtain credits.
Mariano Antonovich worked for more than two decades in banks in Argentina, and when he decided to step aside, he did so with a clear idea to create his business: “I saw that the bank —and in general the entire traditional financial system— pours a impressive amount of business,” Antonovich told Coffee & Business. Then, With a focus on companies that banks neglect, he founded Trend Capital in Argentina, a non-banking financial entity whose business model consists of making loans to liquidity-hungry companies.
Trend Capital’s target audience is especially SMEs that have collections to receive in their portfolio, but that need short-term working capital. Avoiding the financial gaps that SMEs have—that is, the gaps of time without operating—is the purpose of the company, because the banks—due to the management times they handle in the assignment of credits— cannot cover them. “This delay is what we take advantage ofAntonovich said.
According to the CEO, the most common instrumentation of the operations offered by the company is the deferred payment check. “The SME sold a product or service to her client and he paid her with post-dated checks. The company gives it to us, we take the discount at the rate that we operate and the net of that discount we transfer to the client’s account”, explained Antonovich.
After operating for ten years in Argentina, Trend Capital landed in Uruguay.
“We believe there is a lot of business potential,” said the founder. Their financial projections are for an active portfolio of US$10 million in the first year, which generates the idea of adding a minimum of ten monthly clients. They have been operating for a month and have already granted loans to companies that supply construction companies and mutual insurance companies.
“If we manage to meet the first goals we set for ourselves, in three years we can be an interesting player in the Uruguayan market”, he concluded.
Mercury is a connector between retail and credit investors who lend money for consumption. Although consumer credit is a very common financing instrument in Uruguay, this platform has been working with small capitals for investors who want to acquire a loan portfolio.
When a person decides to invest, they sign a credit assignment with the originator. From that moment —and within a period agreed by both parties—, the originator delivers the debtors’ vouchers to the investor and that person begins to receive capital every month for the credits they have acquired. The vouchers include installments and maturities that the debtors are going to pay.
The company offers the possibility of generating passive income on a monthly basis because debtors pay monthly interest and repayment of the loan. Terms range from 12 to 36 months. During this time, Mercury is fully responsible for collection management.
“We have been operating for three years with large capitals, and months ago we began to open up to small capitals,” he told Coffee & Business Mercury’s commercial manager, Camilo Sánchez. Since the service was extended to the general public, the company has delivered approximately US$700,000 in credits.
According to Sánchez, there are two main types of clients. On the one hand, people who do not know about the subject but who find it curious. On the other hand, those who were accustomed to the credit assignment mechanism and choose the company for its technological imprint. In his vision, the most novel aspect of this option is “the automation of the creation of an investment account and the possibility of choosing available credits from a list found on a platform” and thereby accessing the debtor’s risk profile and of the profitability that can be obtained from that credit without the mediation of a third party.
Mercury has an internationalization project to reach more countries with the same mechanism that is not yet exploited in the region.