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Klar raises $57M in debt, seed funding to launch Mexican challenger bank

Klar, a mobile challenger bank based in Mexico, said it raised $7.5 million in seed funding and $50 million in debt to launch a fully digital alternative to traditional credit and debt in that country. 

The funding was led by Quona Capital, which has a strategic relationship with Accion, as well as participation from Santander Innoventures, aCrew (formerly Aspect Ventures), FJ Labs, Arc Labs and Western Technology Investment.  

The company plans to launch in 2020 with a product that has Mastercard-backed consumer cards linked to the Klar app, with no minimum balance requirement or transfer fees. Applicants can get credit through reviews of their account history without the need for traditional credit scores in a market where many are underbanked and don't have access to credit. 

"Klar is the future of banking and the good news is that it's open to all Mexicans, not just a few," Stefan Moller, co-founder and CEO at Klar, said in a press release. "Today just 15% of adults in Mexico have access to a credit card and only 3% of applications from middle class consumers are approved."

The company's co-founders include Daniel Autrique, a Stanford educated economist in Mexico, and CTO Gianluigi Davassi, who helped launch N26. 

Cover image courtesy of Klar.