Carilend plans Jamaican expansion for 2024
Regional fintech Carilend Caribbean will be deepening its partnership with the VM Group to expand the reach of its service in the Jamaican market come next year.
The company recently advertised the position of a country manager for Jamaica on LinkedIn, and in a blog post co-founder and CEO Mark Young confirmed the search.
“Carilend will be continuing to grow rapidly its consumer lending platform in Jamaica in 2024 in partnership with VM Group,” the post dated December 20 stated.
“We are looking for an experienced country head, Carilend Jamaica, to be the public face of Carilend in Jamaica and lead and oversee the work of employees in our operations. You will be responsible for ensuring the efficiency of business operations as well as setting strategic goals for the future,” it continued.
While noting that the “company is in the growth phase”, Young also indicated that the ideal candidate should prepare to promote and expand the company’s commercial activity which will generate revenues and lead to sustainable growth.
This move to expand comes two weeks after Young told Barbados’ Business Authority — a publication of Nation News Barbados, a newspaper — that Carilend had received its first institutional investment in Bajan dollars from Cayman Islands-based Proven Wealth, who provided BD$10 million (approximately US$5 million) in funding.
The company had previously received capital funding from VM Group and Massy Finance in Trinidad and Tobago.
In pointing out that the partnership with Proven Wealth — a subsidiary of Proven Group in Jamaica — was a good fit for Carilend, Young told the Bajan publication that investment firm was “making other strategic investments” around the Caribbean and could set up shop in Barbados.
“They are expanding like we are, they like our aspiration to grow further, they have got aspirations to grow further. So let’s see what that partnership alongside our other partners at VM and Massy take us. We are still working with not just with Proven but with others to bring other large partners on board,” the Carilend co-founder added.
So far, Carilend has deployed BD$8 million in loans.
Young said that Proven Wealth had done its due diligence and seen how Carilend has maximised the funds of over 1,100 retailer investors, some of whom received an average 8.37 per cent return on investment this year.
Since beginning its operations in 2017, Carilend has disbursed some 6,200 loans amounting to $150 million. The company’s loan default rate is around 2.69 per cent.
Although Young disclosed plans to expand into the Eastern Caribbean and Trinidad and Tobago, he did not speak to much activity for Jamaica.
“I think where we are going to see most growth is in Trinidad next year. We’ve seen rapid adoption over the last year from Trinidadians and Trinidad is actually a very big consumer financial space, much bigger than Barbados and in terms of value. I believe it’s actually bigger than Jamaica, even though Jamaica has more people,” he informed Barbados’ Business Authority.
“Then the second thing would be getting our business up and running and open probably in the second half of 2024 in the Eastern Caribbean,” he continued.
For 2023, the Carilend CEO said the company grew between 65 and 70 per cent per annum across all its markets.