Since its inception, Tenpo’s goal was to become the first 100% digital bank in Chile. And although they have not yet achieved it, in December the Credicorp Group’s fintech company will take a key step in that direction. They will partner with Colombia’s Tyba, which will allow them to add a transcendental tool to meet that goal: investments.
Apart from its digital account -which already competes with Mach, from BCI; Chek, from Banco Ripley; and Superdigital, from Santander- they will allow their 780 thousand clients to invest (from $1,000) in seven mutual funds customized and managed by Credicorp Capital Asset Management.
“The user will know exactly what he will be investing in. Each of the funds is balanced and will have national and international assets,” explains Arturo Aldunate, general manager of Credicorp Capital Asset Management.
Tyba, founded in Bogota by Valdemaro Mendoza and Juan Pablo Garcia in 2019, is one of the main investment platforms in Colombia. Chile will be the second country in their internationalization plan, after Peru, where they have been operating independently since May. And just like Fintual and SoyFocus (their indirect competition on national soil), their focus is to democratize savings and digital finance.
Although they do not have an exact date to start operations, Arturo Aldunate says it will be in December. Its arrival will be leveraged with Tenpo, which means that its services will be within the Chilean platform. “It didn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel, so we decided to have one app within the other,” explains Mendoza.
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Tyba and Tenpo are part of Krealo’s portfolio
Both Tyba and Tenpo are part of the portfolio of Krealo, the corporate venture capital of Grupo Credicorp, the largest financial holding company in South America with presence in Peru, Bolivia, Panama, Colombia, and Chile.
The origins of this subsidiary date back to 2018 when Credicorp, as part of its strategic regional expansion plan, decided to create a space to develop fintech companies. The goal, one hears in the corridors of the firm, is to impact more than 100 million people.
The Credicorp model, explained Valdemaro Mendoza, works like this: first Krealo thinks of a business, then decides to develop it in a given country, then signs executives to materialize it and at the end they are handed a check. “From there you have to manage, it’s a startup in every sense,” he confesses.
So far Krealo has developed five fintech companies: Tenpo (digital accounts), Culqi (payment methods), Tyba (digital investments), Wally (acquiring), and Lumingo (marketplace). One is Chilean, one is Colombian and three are from Peru.
Are there more to come? Fernando Araya, CEO of Tenpo, said: “Of course, that is their role: to continue developing new businesses in Chile and in the region. But all this from an investment point of view, not from the management of the companies”.
From Multicaja to Tenpo
In 2019 Credicorp, through Krealo, bought (for approximately $19 million) the digital business area of Multicaja, the financial services company founded in 2007 by Javier Etcheberry, former president of BancoEstado and former Minister of Transportation during the administration of Ricardo Lagos.
That same year, in the midst of the social outburst, they bet on Tenpo. The objective was to create a digital account application that would later become a neobank (such as Nubank). That was when they hired Fernando Araya (former marketing manager of Bci) to take charge of the project.
So far they have invested US$ 40 million, which, according to the CEO, have generated good results. They already have more than one hundred workers and 780 thousand clients. “In a year and a half we managed to compete with big players in the industry,” he says.
Krealo SpA was registered in Chile in January 2019. That same year they increased the share capital to $ 8,522,400,000, the following year to $ 20,845,040,000 and in 2021 to $ 31,267,560,000.
Innovation with credit
Tenpo’s next step towards becoming a neobank is to enter the credit industry. Regarding this, Araya advances that during 2022 they will announce a credit card. “It is the last segment we have left,” he says.
The executive adds that the company’s great challenge is to reinvent banking: “We aspire to awaken the interest of the majority of Chileans who do not feel that a traditional bank makes sense to them. We want to close next year with more than one million users”.
And although Grupo Credicorp is Tenpo’s sole shareholder, Araya does not rule out adding others in the future. “What is clear to us is that they will be with us in the long term. In no way are we thinking of an exit,” he confessed.
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First published in DF MAS, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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