Smartphones are key to the digital economy for people with limited economic resources. Providing them with financing favors financial and digital inclusion.
Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, announced today its investment in the U.S. based financial PayJoy, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Mexico. This is the 15th investment made since InnoVentures was founded three years ago with $200 million in funding.
PayJoy has developed a novel technology that facilitates credit approval for high-end smartphones for people without a credit history or banking relationship, which helps promote financial inclusion. The startup analyzes the applicant´s working mobile number, valid photo ID and Facebook to provide a credit opinion account and turns the phone itself into collateral through its proprietary secure locking technology. The phone can be locked remotely in case of non-payment. PayJoy currently offers this service at thousands of points of sale in the United States and Mexico.
Manuel Silva, Head of Investments, Santander InnoVentures said: “Investing in PayJoy shows Santander InnoVentures’s constant search for great teams pushing the boundaries of fintech. It also shows our increasing interest in models that are relevant to emerging markets and the underbanked.” He added, “PayJoy’s mission is to help the less privileged join the digital economy and climb the economic ladder. PayJoy rethinks a basic financial service through the lens of innovation, technology, and data, and brings a simple and fair new offering to those who need it the most. We are impressed by PayJoy’s passion and vision and are thrilled to support them in their next chapter.”
PayJoy CEO Doug Ricket was inspired by the challenge facing half of the world’s population who lack access to credit and cannot afford a smartphone. “Strategic investors have offered to introduce PayJoy through their long-standing deep regional business networks, which I believe will be tremendously beneficial in accelerating our business partnerships and getting millions of customers onto smartphones in 2018.”