PayJoy has closed $6M of new investment with strategic partners who will help PayJoy phone financing further expand internationally throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The investment was led by Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, and ITOCHU Corporation, one of the largest Japanese general trading companies in Asia. Other strategic partners joined from Brazil, Nigeria, Mexico, China, Vietnam, and Europe. This investment brings PayJoy’s total equity and debt financing to $30M since its founding in 2015.
Manuel Silva, Head of Investments, Santander InnoVentures said: “Investing in PayJoy shows Santander InnoVentures’s constant search for great teams pushing the boundaries of fintech. It also shows our increasing interest in models that are relevant to emerging markets and the underbanked.” He added, “PayJoy’s mission is to help the less privileged join the digital economy and climb the economic ladder. PayJoy rethinks a basic financial service through the lens of innovation, technology, and data, and brings a simple and fair new offering to those who need it the most. We are impressed by PayJoy’s passion and vision and are thrilled to support them in their next chapter.”
PayJoy CEO Doug Ricket was inspired by the challenge facing half of the world’s population who lack access to credit and cannot afford a smartphone. Ricket reflects on the company’s new partnerships: “PayJoy’s approach is to partner with the major players in the mobile industry to achieve scale. These strategic investors have offered to introduce PayJoy through their long-standing deep regional business networks, which I believe will be tremendously beneficial in accelerating our business partnerships and getting millions of customers onto smartphones in 2018.”
PayJoy, a FinTech startup based in San Francisco with offices in Mexico City, focuses on enabling the purchase of high-end smartphones for underbanked populations. Currently available in thousands of points of sale throughout the USA and Mexico, PayJoy is able to approve applicants without a formal credit history or banking relationships by leveraging a unique underwriting process. PayJoy analyzes an applicant’s working mobile number, valid photo ID, and Facebook account, and turns the phone itself into collateral through its proprietary secure locking technology.
Banco Santander is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and among the top banks on a global basis. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.51 trillion in managed funds, 13,000 branches and 194,000 employees at the close of 2015. In 2015, Santander made attributable profit of EUR 5,966 million, a 3% increase with respect to the previous year. Santander InnoVentures is a fintech venture capital fund fully-owned by Grupo Santander. The fund is stage-agnostic and invests both capital and resources in companies globally. It focuses on start-ups that can increase the value proposition to Santander customers across the Group’s 10 major geographies, while creating value for the companies it invests in.
About ITOCHU Corporation
ITOCHU, based in Japan, is one of the leading general trading companies. ITOCHU engages in domestic trading, import/export, and overseas trading of various products such as textile, machinery, metals, minerals, energy, chemicals, food, general products, realty, information and communications technology, and finance, as well as business investment in Japan and overseas. ITOCHU was originally founded in 1858, and has approximately 120 bases in 63 countries.