Hi TrueFi community,
Cauris is a mission-driven investment firm that provides private credit to financial technology companies in emerging markets. Working across the Global South — with financings in Africa, Asia and Latin America — Cauris partners with fintechs that are making financial inclusion a reality for tens of millions of consumers and small businesses.
What we do
Leveraging Decentralized Finance, we aim to facilitate efforts that extend financial services to 100M people because we believe access to credit is key to empowering individuals and small businesses: by enabling economic growth in emerging markets we can accelerate the growth of the middle class and reduce global income inequality.
We are looking to manage a pool of financing on TrueFi and to bring at least US$100M in diversified lending opportunities on the TrueFi protocol over the next year.
About our portfolio
For our first portfolio, we are looking to raise $10M in USDC stablecoin in order to support emerging markets fintech companies making loans to underserved borrowers. The portfolio term will be 365 days with an average borrower interest rate of 8%. We are also requesting $TRU incentives for interested lenders to provide a combined rate (Interest Rate + TRU Incentives) of 18%. The proposed incentives have been analyzed in conjunction with the TrustToken team in their review of potential interest across DeFi and TradFi investors.
The first proposed loan made in this portfolio will be to ALMA, a fintech company using innovative technology to provide creative debt financing to companies with a positive social impact. ALMA provides debt capital globally to high-performing companies in sectors including small business and consumer credit, climate finance, sustainable/regenerative agriculture and more. ALMA is also the first fintech borrower to commit to making its entire DeFi pool carbon neutral and “carbon transparent.”
We look forward to establishing a long-term strategic partnership with TrueFi and the broader community.
We’re excited to work together to bring more real-world opportunities to DeFi investors!
Can you give a little color on how you’ve leveraged defi to issue your loans previously?
Thanks for the question! Cauris has deep experience leveraging DeFi to issue loans and, in fact, DeFi is central to our business model.
Since inception, we have leveraged DeFi as our primary source of capital for lending to best-in-class financial technology (fintech) companies. To date, Cauris has committed nearly $100M in debt investments—all of that raised from DeFi protocols—to fintechs on three continents (Africa, Asia and North America) and in six countries (India, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mexico). We’ve done this by working across multiple DeFi protocols to raise multiple rounds of funding.
This is because we founded Cauris with a clear mission: enable fintechs that drive financial inclusion to scale their operations with flexible, frictionless growth capital. But when we looked at the state of fintech financing, we found a significant gap. Fintechs pay a fortune to access traditional financing, when financing is even available, and the World Bank suggests that there is a ~$5T funding gap at the base of the economic pyramid.
Consequently, we knew that we needed innovative solutions to support fintechs’ growth aspirations. It’s our belief—and indeed our experience—that DeFi attracts communities of investors seeking to deploy their capital where it has the most impact. As such, DeFi offers the best opportunity to unlock capital that can finance fintechs while simultaneously driving financial inclusion.
We think of our role as bridging the gap between DeFi and real world assets through our unique experience and expertise in DeFi, fintech and financial inclusion. Therefore, we’re excited to bring the TrueFi community high-quality investments in high-growth fintechs working in markets where financial inclusion yields enormous economic opportunity.
I’m strongly supportive of providing incentives here. This is a perfect example of the kind of innovative manager we’d like to make successful in order for us to scale TrueFi to the trillions of off-chain lending. I can’t think of any better uses for our incentive pool, this is how we get to the big leagues.
Just a question from me. How does Cauris assess the credit risk of the fintechs that you lend to? Who are your key customers and what type of fintech do they engage in?
Thanks for the question! Cauris originates deals to fintechs that offer consumer lending, gig worker and small business lending (with a focus on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), productive asset financing and trade finance. We have a growing partner pipeline across three continents (Africa, Asia and North America) and many countries (India, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Mexico). We partner with market leading fintechs like Branch, LipaLater, Float, Asaak, Jetstream and YoFio (these are all deals that are in the public domain; see our website for more information: https://caurisfinance.com/).
Cauris works with fintechs characterized by strong management teams, scalable portfolios, a track record of strong performance and backing by marquee equity investors. The typical profile of our partners is the following:
- Fintechs in Asia, Africa and Latin America with positive track record of origination
- Management teams with relevant experience in the lending sector
- Use data-driven approach in their underwriting and portfolio management efforts
- Provide financing to consumers, gig workers or micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
- Have a well-performing loan book to use as collateral
- Provide short/medium-term loans (less than one year)
- Are in compliance with all regulatory, legal and licensing requirements
- Are supported by marquee VC, PE and strategic investors
Cauris completes extensive due diligence to assess potential partners’ business model, future growth opportunities, risk dimensions and potential to drive financial inclusion. Significant time is also used to structure transactions to protect our investors. We use a combination of strong asset-level underwriting, structural/legal protections and advanced analytics to secure our debt investments in all fintech partners.
Strong asset level underwriting
- Evaluation of fintech strategy
- Due diligence of operations (underwriting, disbursement and collection policies) & management team
- Historical portfolio & financial Analysis
- Perfected security interest in assets of fintechs
- Robust collateral coverage covenants
- Bankruptcy remoteness of issuer
- Investment diversification across geographies and types
- Peer set analytics to inform underwriting decisions
- Dynamic monitoring of compliance with covenants
- Predictive analysis to anticipate losses
- Visibility into asset performance
Thanks for all the great info. What other defi protocols have you borrowed from before Trufi?
You’re welcome, we’re glad the responses have been helpful! Cauris also partners with Goldfinch and Centrifuge.