Turkish Fintech Colendi Raises $65M at $700M valuation


Colendi, a Turkish fintech company, has secured $65 million in a Series B funding round, bringing its valuation to $700 million. This significant investment fuels Colendi’s ambitions to become a major digital banking player across emerging markets.

Funding Round and Key Investors

The funding round was led by Citi Ventures, the venture capital arm of Citigroup, indicating strong institutional confidence in Colendi’s fintech approach. Other notable investors included Migros Ticaret AS, a leading Turkish retailer, Sepil Ventures, Re-Pie Asset Management, Finberg, and Hedef Holding. Existing investors also participated, showcasing continued belief in Colendi’s vision.

Focus on Data Privacy and Emerging Markets

Founded by Bulent Tekmen, Colendi offers various financial services, including fraud protection, “financial passports,” and credit scoring. A distinguishing feature of Colendi is its commitment to data privacy, as the company claims it does not retain users’ personal data while delivering these services. This focus is particularly relevant in markets with stringent data privacy regulations.

Expansion Plans and Potential Unicorn Status

Currently serving 17 million users in Turkey, Colendi plans to use the Series B funding to expand into populous emerging markets such as Pakistan and Indonesia. The long-term vision includes establishing a strong presence across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) regions. With this growth strategy, Bulent Tekmen is confident that Colendi will achieve unicorn status (a valuation exceeding $1 billion) by the end of 2024. Tekmen highlighted the high demand for this funding round, which will support the establishment of Colendi Bank.

Strategic Perspective

Colendi’s recent funding and growth plans position it as a promising contender in the global fintech landscape. Its unique approach to data privacy could offer a competitive edge in markets with rigorous data protection laws. However, Colendi will need to navigate complex regulatory environments in various emerging markets it plans to enter. Additionally, the company must clearly communicate how it offers credit scoring and other services without retaining personal data to build user trust.

In summary, Colendi’s substantial funding round and strategic expansion plans mark it as a significant player in fintech. While its focus on data privacy is a key strength, addressing regulatory challenges and clarifying data practices will be crucial for achieving its ambitious goals.

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