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YellowPepper’s US$15m Investment Round Ups the Ante in Mobile Payments

23 August 2013

(Puslo Social) Mobile banking and payment pioneer YellowPepper has picked up a US$15 million Series C funding round. Based out of Miami, the company will strengthen its marketing and business development efforts in its target markets throughout Latin America.

The mobile banking market is a congested one, and new players are popping up all the time. YellowPepper, however, has vet status in the industry, having been in business since 2004. It offers customized solutions to top financial groups and institutions in Latin America, enabling over four million customers to executive upwards of 25 million transactions each month. It employs more than 80 professionals in six countries in the region.

One of YellowPepper’s most recent projects is Socia, a massive mobile payment initiative in Colombia owned by Credibanco that uses YellowPepper’s technology. Poised to overhaul how financial transactions in Colombia work, Socia will enable mobile payments in 100% of the installed POS and ATM infrastructure in the country.

YellowPepper has been exceptionally successful in the investment realm from early on. In fact, it was the recipient of the first IFC equity investment in a mobile finance company in Latin America. IFC’s backing, which was reinforced in this latest round, is especially interesting given the fact that the firm recently invested in global payment solution SafetyPay – an indicator that it’s spreading out its bets in the sector.

Latin Idea Ventures

This time around, Mexico’s Latin Idea Ventures led YellowPepper’s investment round, with participation from IFC, as mentioned, and several of the company’s original angel investors. Serge Elkiner, CEO and Co-founder of YellowPepper, commented on this latest milestone:

This successful fundraising round validates our strategy and business model while providing us with the resources to greatly expand our customer acquisition efforts, positioning us to leverage our pioneering technology into a solid market leadership position.

As part of the deal, YellowPepper will add three new members to its Board of Directors, something Elkiner said he believes will enhance the company’s ability to execute its aggressive growth strategy throughout the region. Luce Veilleux, former Senior VP for Retail Products at Scotiabank, will join the board, as will Miguel Angel Davila and Alexander Rossi, Co-founders and Managing Partners of Latin Idea Ventures.

“As the rapid penetration of smartphones throughout Latin America continues, the region is poised for mobile banking and payment disruption as consumers clamor for faster and more secure payment options,” Veilleux remarked. “YellowPepper is uniquely positioned to lead this disruption with its first mover advantage, current payment infrastructure and seasoned sales and marketing team.”

Though much of YellowPepper’s focus has been on Colombia as of late, the involvement of Latin Idea Ventures indicates that Mexico ranks high on its to-do list as well. And once it gets there, it won’t be alone.