The foundations of our theses are deeply rooted in the past and the experiences of Kalonia Venture Partners (KVP) partners. As Latinia operators, a successful infrastructure and applications software company for financial institutions founded in 1999, we noticed in 2017 the increasing interest and curiosity of banks in the emerging fintech world. That curiosity soon became a need. So, we were in the pole position to grasp the opportunity.
At Latinia, we had the experience of having spent more than 20 years developing and selling our solutions among the leading banks in Latin America. We understood that this was an asset that could add value to both ends of the fintech ecosystem: on the one hand, knowledge on how to sell and market products and services to financial institutions for fintechs, and on the other hand, visibility and contacts of the best and most specialized fintechs for banks, whose needs and pains we perfectly recognize because of our past.
Simultaneously, from day one, we identified both the need and the potential for the development of health and financial inclusion in the region. It began with appetite for credit and extended into the customer's journey through savings, investment, and insurance, all of it boosted by technology.
And in fintech, where?
At KVP, we have a rich and diversified representation of various fintech verticals, always focusing on B2B profiles. This spans from software for financial institutions, management accounting for SMEs, new and disruptive means of payment, blockchain infrastructure, alternative scoring systems, Lending-as-a-Service, Insurtech, Regtech, Proptech, to Open Finance.
We continue to explore daily for other verticals where we can add value—verticals that emerge as the market matures and financial inclusion increases in the region. All within the realm where technology plays a transformative role, both technologically and humanly.
With over 20 years of experience as operators in the development and selling of financial solutions in Latin America, Kalonia Venture Partners leverages all this knowledge to drive and propel fintechs, as well as providing value to financial institutions, while promoting health and financial inclusion in the region.
Our expertise, encompassing not only commercial but also technological knowledge, is well-suited to this business model—business-to-business (B2B) sales, specifically when selling, marketing, or integrating fintech solutions to corporations, mostly banks. This is where we feel comfortable and can guide the startup on its journey to the heart of a bank and its decision-making centers. Our mistakes serve as our learning experiences, representing the most valuable contribution we can offer to those embarking on the same path today. Our experience is our greatest legacy.
Why Early Stages?
As a former startup, Latinia went through the pains, challenges, and needs of a fintech in its earlier stages—pre-revenue, even pre-product market fit. Assisting them in finding their market niche, product tunning even aiding if pivoting is needed, is something familiar to us as a startup that experienced a similar journey. 'Failing fast is failing cheap,' we always emphasize, both for the startup and the investor supporting.
We started investing in LatAm as a VC in 2019, but even earlier, as LPs, we had sensed that something extraordinary was happening in the region: rampant digitization was fostering financial inclusion, allowing the underbanked to deepen their banking experience. A mobile phone as a gateway to progress—it was a space where we felt extremely comfortable and excited to be part of, contributing with our knowledge and financial resources
Born in Spain, at Latinia, we always had the option to expand throughout Europe or make our own way in LatAm. However, the decision to focus on Latin America over 15 years ago shaped our VC DNA: a region rich in resources and population, with an energy that continues to inspire us daily. That's why we aim to be the go-to VC for Europeans looking to follow the path to LatAm, assisting them in an entry that, despite seeming natural and frictionless, is not without risks and challenges
Whether as origin or destination, Mexico must be an integral part of the raison d'être for any Kalonia-backed fintech, either by DNA (Mexican entrepreneur) or by having the country in its roadmap. Remember the expression 'all roads lead to Rome'? Well, for us, all roads lead to Mexico. Why? Due to the country's size, making the effort to create a product to be more profitable than in other geographies. Scaling a product in Mexico opens avenues to move north or south. Additionally, it's the vitality and size of its economy, and, of course, the passion of its entrepreneurs.
Let’s talk about money...
We invest—often taking the lead—in providing funding following the presence of initial private investors (BAs, business angels), taking on the baton—and responsibility—of guiding the company to the next stage of financing.
Our initial tickets range from $100,000 to $300,000, always aiming to participate in at least two investment rounds of the portfolio company.
At this point, you may wonder, do we invest outside these theses? The answer is... it's possible. In fact, within our portfolio, we have companies in AI and cybersecurity that may operate in Europe or the United States (and not in LatAm). However, as we always say, we bet on the rider (entrepreneur), not just the horse (product).
We like to think that entrepreneurs choose us, that they should be able to decide with whom to share this journey, their journey. We believe alignment should not only exist in the project but also in the values it is built upon.
At Kalonia, we prefer to be partners, not just investors.