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Arc Labs Invests US$20 in Smartphone Credit Financing PayJoy

1 November 2018

Arc Labs made a US$20m debt investment in PayJoy, a Mexican fintech serving the underbanked. Arc Labs previously made a US$10m debt investment in Creze, a Mexican startup providing financial services to small businesses backed by  DILA Capital and Mountain Nazca.

(Press Release) Today PayJoy, a company leading credit access in emerging markets via smartphone financing, signs a $20 million debt-financing deal with Arc Labs, a venture partner to innovative companies serving the underbanked. PayJoy’s patented, pay-as-you-go financing system helps consumers with not only mobile device financing, but also unsecured lending, by using a customer’s phone for underwriting data and as collateral. PayJoy will use the funding from Arc Labs to spread financial inclusion and alternative financing options nationwide in Mexico.

PayJoy invented pay as you go mobile financing with its proprietary Checkout tool which underwrites the underbanked, and Lock technology which blocks access to apps on a phone, except for emergency calls, when a customer does not make a payment.

PayJoy is taking the entry point to economic inclusion with a smartphone one step further by inventing the phone equity line: after paying-off a smartphone with PayJoy, they often qualify for an additional $100 loan collateralized by the device.  Also, paid up underbanked customers usually attain an average credit score of 615 points, enough to apply and get approved for a credit card. PayJoy therein establishes a process to create financial identities and entrance to the formal financial sector for the base of the pyramid worldwide.

“We’re excited to be partnering with PayJoy, and believe their unique technology will democratize access to smartphones by providing financing to borrowers previously excluded from the banking system,” said James Sagan, Arc Labs Managing Partner. “We’re honored to be working with the entire PayJoy team in achieving this important mission.”

PayJoy plans to make its credit access ubiquitous in Mexico, where it currently offers its own monthly payment plans and third-party licensing in 31 out of 32 states and 1600 active merchants. The funding will help close the final gap in Mexico where 60 percent of the population lacks a bank account and only 13 percent have established credit.

“PayJoy has invented a new type of investment vehicle — a pool of financing contracts collateralized digitally via software,” says Linda Chew, PayJoy’s Head of Finance and the lead on the deal.  “Having reviewed the solid repayment performance of our contracts over the last several years, Arc Labs has recognized what our finance partners worldwide have recognized as well — that our locking and underwriting technology enable consistent originations and returns.”

“Fundraising is truly one of the hardest aspects of our business. You need to find the right investor, and that is often not only one who is comfortable with our metrics and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), but also one that shares the company’s mission,” said Mauricio Cordero, General Manager, Latin America. “We found that partner in Arc Labs and hope we can continue growing together and creating synergies for many years.”

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About PayJoy: PayJoy’s mission is to make smartphones affordable worldwide through a unique technology that enables people who lack credit to purchase their first smartphone on a weekly or monthly installment plan. Today, PayJoy’s secure locking technology and proprietary data science deliver affordable smartphone financing to underbanked segments worldwide. PayJoy maintains the long-term goal of reaching 1 billion people in emerging markets. PayJoy is a team of 75 people with premier tech and lending experience from StanfordMIT, Wharton, Google, Facebook, Amazon, PIMCO, McKinsey, Prosper, and Merrill Lynch. PayJoy was founded in San Francisco and funded with over $50M in equity and debt capital from top fintech investors including Union Square Ventures.

About Arc Labs: Arc Labs is an early-stage credit fund based in San Francisco focused on providing creative debt capital to innovative technology-enabled startups. Arc Labs is headquartered in San Francisco and invests in North AmericaLatin America and Asia.


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