We’re excited to announce that our portfolio company OmniLatam, cofounded by Diego Caicedo and Andres Abumohor, was acquired by Greensill Capital, a London-based fintech startup backed by General Atlantic and Softbank.
This acquisition will further Omni’s mission of helping solve working capital needs of the region’s SMEs. From the Bloomberg article:
“We realized Latin America requires very special skills, and yet at the same time the region has a very significant working-capital gap that we estimate to be on the order of $750 billion,” Greensill founder and Chief Executive Officer Lex Greensill said in an interview. “So we found a company, a team, a technology that is a perfect fit considering the values and the approach of the Greensill organization.”
Omni, founded in 2018 in Bogota, has provided about $300 million in digital working-capital products to small and midsize businesses that supply large companies in Chile and Colombia. The firm collects data such as invoices and tax forms to help make credit decisions based on the prospective borrower’s clients, sales and employees.
“We don’t ask for the company’s financial statements, which will only tell you about the past,” Omni CEO Diego Caicedo said. “We’re seeing the movie in real time here,” he said, adding that “small companies’ situations change very fast, and in a world in a pandemic crisis like today, it changes even faster.”
Magma has been an investor since late 2016 when it was called Portal Finance, which won our Latin America-wide fintech competition and received a pre-seed investment, and we continued to follow on in every round until the acquisition. We’re excited to see how Diego and Andres continue on their mission to help SMEs in Latin America continue to grow, while helping SME owners build wealth and create jobs in Latin America, with their new partner Greensill Capital.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s powerful quote has been on our minds this week.
When we started Magma, our goal was to empower entrepreneurs who were getting overlooked in Latin America. We’ve made anti-racism, anti-classism and anti-gender bias a core part of our investment thesis. We still have much to learn.
That’s why we’re committed to listening to and supporting the work of those who are fighting to make our world a better place.
From protests in Chile and throughout Latin America, to an unprecedented global pandemic wreaking devastation throughout the world, 2020 has seen so much already. George Floyd’s murder is a tipping point.
Throughout it all, we ask: What can we do?
We can keep learning and educating ourselves on the issues affecting our community, our friends, families, investors, and the founders we support. Listen, ask questions and think about we you can be the change we want to see in the world.
Outside of education, one can also hire and wire if one is in a position of power. Make the hire, make the investment. We’ll continue to invest in and be allies to underrepresented founders across Latin America.
As he says, “Racism is an insidious cultural disease. It is so insidious that it doesn’t care if you are a white person who likes black people; it’s still going to find a way to infect how you deal with people who don’t look like you. Yes, racism looks like hate, but hate is just one manifestation. Privilege is another. Access is another. Ignorance is another. Apathy is another. And so on. So while I agree with people who say no one is born racist, it remains a powerful system that we’re immediately born into. It’s like being born into air: you take it in as soon as you breathe. It’s not a cold that you can get over. There is no anti-racist certification class. It’s a set of socioeconomic traps and cultural values that are fired up every time we interact with the world. It is a thing you have to keep scooping out of the boat of your life to keep from drowning in it. I know it’s hard work, but it’s the price you pay for owning everything.”
Here are some other resources we are turning to in this time:
Another way to help is to give to those organizations who are making deep change. Here are some of the organizations we have made donations to. We encourage you to do the same:
#BlacklivesMatter. There is a better way. And we all have a shared responsibility to help find it.