Progreso Financiero Receives $30 Million in New Funds from BlackRock Kelso Capital
Investment Partnership Will Fuel Growth of Financial Services Leader in Hispanic Community
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – (October 25, 2011) – Progreso Financiero, a financial institution dedicated to the economic advancement of lower-income Hispanic families, today announced that it has secured a $30 million mezzanine debt facility from BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: BKCC).
Progreso Financiero provides loans without collateral to clients who lack a credit history using a proprietary risk scoring system. They are on the path to becoming the banking partner of choice for the millions of Hispanics in the U.S. who need access to empowering financial products and services. Since its founding in 2005, Progreso Financiero has loaned approximately $210 million through more than 195,000 microloans to underserved Hispanic customers, helping them join the financial mainstream and attain financial security. With this round of capital, the company has secured $120 million of debt capital to help support continued growth in its loan portfolio.
"The new partnership with BlackRock Kelso is an acknowledgement of our growth and success as a financial partner to the Hispanic community over the past five years," said James Gutierrez, CEO and founder of Progreso. "The BlackRock Kelso investment will help Progreso extend its reach even further to generate widespread and lasting social and economic impact. It also shows that mainstream financial institutions are increasingly acknowledging the value we bring to the market by expanding access to financial products for unbanked and underbanked households in the United States."
More than 23 million Hispanics in the United States are unbanked or underbanked and have virtually no opportunity to access mainstream credit products from larger banks. Progreso Financiero fills this gap in today's financial system by helping individuals with thin or no credit files establish credit and fulfill their banking needs using its sophisticated risk scoring system and by emphasizing the moral collateral of its clients.
The typical Progreso Financiero borrower begins with no credit history, yet after three successful small loans that each average approximately $1,000 for ten months, they can build to a credit score of 660. This allows them to qualify for more traditional products offered by larger lenders and financial institutions. Since its founding in 2005, Progreso Financiero has made more than 195,000 loans, extending approximately $210 million in capital to underserved Hispanic families and expanding to 69 locations across California and Texas.
William Blair & Company served as financial advisor on the transaction. More information about Progreso Financiero and its loan offerings is available at the Progreso Financiero website.
About BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation
BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation is a business development company that provides debt and equity capital to middle-market companies.
The Company's investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. The Company invests primarily in middle-market companies in the form of senior and junior secured and unsecured debt securities and loans, each of which may include an equity component, and by making direct preferred, common and other equity investments in such companies.
About Progreso Financiero
Progreso Financiero aims to be the banking partner of choice for the 23 million Hispanics in the U.S. who need access to empowering financial products and services. Unlike mainstream institutions, Progreso provides loans without collateral to clients who lack credit history with its sophisticated risk scoring system that emphasizes a client's true capacity to afford a loan. Progreso Financiero engages with customers in their neighborhoods, in their language, and with familiar faces from the community in order to build relationships of trust that lead to a lifetime of growth and prosperity. Progreso Financiero is a for-profit institution that believes in the moral collateral of its clients and is committed to providing opportunities to help its clients achieve their dreams. Since its founding in 2005, the company has made more than 195,000 loans, extending $210 million in capital to underserved Hispanic families through over 75 locations across California and Texas and helping improve credit scores for over 87 percent of its loan customers. For more information, please visit: www.progressfin.com
For Progreso Financiero