Xepelin, co-founded by Sebastian Kreis, MBA 18, rocketed to No. 3 on Poets & Quants’ 2023 Top 100 MBA startups list this year. The company, based in Mexico City, has raised $567 million so far and will use the funds to invest in new markets in Latin America.
Haas News asked Kreis a few questions about his startup’s success.
Tell us about Xepelin. Xepelin was founded in 2019, the year after I graduated from Haas. Our aim is to be the “digital CFO” for small- to mid-size companies, offering an online platform that helps businesses organize their accounts and automate payments to suppliers and payment advances from customers.
You’ve had quite a lot of success getting the company funded over the past year. Tell me a little about that.
Last year, the company secured $150 million in equity and a $140 million credit line from Goldman Sachs that we are using to expand software, payment, and working capital services in Mexico. We are headquartered in Mexico City and now have 400 employees.
How big is the market for your services and what’s your expansion plan?
The companies we are targeting account for over 60% of Latin America’s GDP. These companies present an enormous opportunity for us, with more than $10 trillion in unmet needs. High acquisition and servicing costs have kept them underserved. Xepelin is committed to equipping these companies with efficient access to software tools, payments, and working capital.
The companies we are targeting account for over 60% of Latin America’s GDP.
What resources at Haas helped you become an entrepreneur?
There were two resources I tapped at Haas: learning from entrepreneurs and investors in the Bay Area who had already built successful startups, and working on fintech projects with Lecturer Greg La Blanc. I traveled to Mexico several times while I was at Berkeley because of the size of the market. I studied the metrics, such as credit and software market penetration, before committing to building a regional company, starting in Mexico and Chile.