By Riley Kaminer
Is a recession coming? Are we in a recession? Your guess is as good as ours. But one thing is clear: economic uncertainty is already here, and may stick around for a while.
One Miami-based company is helping to soften the blow of these economic contractions. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) startup KEO World has developed Workeo, a digital platform to help small businesses secure access to capital.
KEO World just announced an institutional growth equity financing round of $20 million. This injection of capital will help the company expand their operations and supply chain lending. Miami Beach-based Montreux Growth Partners led the round, with additional funding provided by Mayberry Investments and Avior alongside a debt facility from Hayfin Capital Management.
“This growth equity investment will provide the company with the funding to expand the Workeo offering to more businesses and territories, and to enhance our infrastructure and proprietary BNPL platform to support faster growth and to meet our customers’ needs,” Paolo Fidanza, KEO World’s founder and CEO, said in a statement.
He continued: “Our Workeo program fills a major gap in the working capital requirements for SMEs, and over the past year we have experienced incredible growth in transactions and SMEs using our all-digital credit solution for their inventory purchases.”
The company, which was founded in 2020, has provided financing to 16,000 businesses across 58,000 transactions from more than 4,000 merchants. But the sky’s the limit: researchers anticipate the BNPL market to balloon to upwards of $3 trillion by 2030, with a CAGR of around 45%.
In February, Refresh Miami reported that KEO World secured a debt facility of up to $500 million from repeat investor Hayfin Capital Management. This previous fundraise went towards expanding its services, with a particular focus on entering the Mexican market for small- and medium-sized businesses.
“KEO World has developed a highly innovative, B2B-focused approach to the Buy Now, Pay Later industry,” said Dan Turner, managing director of Montreux Growth Partners, who has recently been appointed to KEO World’s Board of Directors. “We’re very excited to support the company as they expand into new territories and continue to innovate their BNPL platform.”
“KEO World’s mission to digitize BNPL practices and empower SMEs is enjoying strong market traction,” Turner continued. “We are confident that this new capital will allow it to successfully expand its business into new markets across the Americas.”
Workeo, KEO World’s core product, issues business with an American Express card and credit line. This enables suppliers to offer KEO World’s B2B BNPL inventory program instantly and without needing any special integrations.
The advantage for suppliers is that this upfront, guaranteed payment enables them to sell more products without taking on any additional risk and operational burden. And for the customers, the core benefit is the ability to receive delivery of a product ASAP and pay on a flexible schedule. And the need is urgent: it is notoriously difficult for small businesses to gain access to the funding they need – a problem that could very well be exacerbated by the current economic conditions.
Photo at top of post: Some of KEO World’s team.
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