Tech at Credijusto in 2018: What we’re up to and why you should jump in

Credijusto is a financial technology company striving to solve the credit access gap for Mexican small and medium-sized businesses. We want to do for Latin American fintech what SpaceX did for rockets: use cutting-edge technology to lower barriers to access and costs, revolutionizing the industry in the proces. We are recruiting the most talented and hardworking group of engineers and data scientists that we can to help us achieve this goal.

Our current product, Crédito Simple, is a fixed-term, fixed-rate loan made to borrowers who are able to offer a collateral guarantee. Starting in mid-February, Specialized Equipment Leasing, will lease industrial equipment and other capital goods to our customers without borrower-supplied collateral, significantly enlarging our addressable market. Vehicle leasing and revolving credit lines will further diversify our portfolio of financial products and allow us to make our initial push into consumer services in mid-2018. At 80% profitability and with 19% month-on-month loan placement growth through 2017, investor interest in our upcoming series-A round has surged here in Mexico, the USA, and internationally.

We are super excited for 2018.

These are bread and butter financial products. We believe in being the solution to our customers’ most pressing pain points and access to basic business financing in a Mexico’s ultra low (even by regional standards) credit penetration market is one of the most important ones. If you were to judge innovation based on the structure of our products we don’t offer a ton to capture the imagination. But you gotta to look under the hood. We innovate in how we make credit decisions and how we leverage technology to scale our operations while continually shortening credit delivery times. Risk management and operational efficiency have been our focal points through 2017. In 2018 we will increasingly emphasize using technology to enhance our customers’ online experience as well.

Two core principles define our approach at the Credijusto tech team. The first is to seek the most efficient possible combination of human and machine intelligence. The best chess players in the world aren’t machines or human grand masters. Rather, they’re human experts working with computer algorithms to combine the computational muscle of a machine with the abstract reasoning capacity of a human. Any fintech who pitches you a fully end-to-end automated credit product for Mexico’s SME space is either bullshitting you or building a losing portfolio. Giving businesses the capital that they need to thrive while controlling the portfolio’s exposure to risk is a fascinating challenge that begs for a marriage between data-driven decision making and human intuition. It’s messy, but seeing it come together is a blast.

The second core tenet is to make every product, customer interaction, and internal operational process great by building our technology from scratch. In the “build versus buy” tradeoff we land squarely in the “build” camp. As I said at the beginning, our aspiration is to do for Latin American fintech what SpaceX did for rocket technology: do as much as possible in house, investing in vertical capacity while controlling costs, reducing dependence on vendors, and maximizing innovation. We’re seeing the fruits of this approach. If watching your code going into production and having an immediate operational impact every sprint is something that excites you, you should think about joining our team.

A quick word about how “data science” fits in to technology at Credijusto. We believe in calling things like they are, and aren’t ones for buzzwords and hype without substance. In that vein, here are some things we don’t do at the moment: “Big Data,” “AI,” or “deep learning.” Ask most financial companies in Mexico who claim that they do any of these to explain what they’re talking about and few, if any, will have a real answer. Here are a few of the things we do practice: predictive analytics on large data sets using xgboost and other weak learning ensembles; sophisticated task dependency management and data pipelining; continuously deployed dashboarding and custom analytics to support operations in all departments. In the short-term we need help with distributed, elastically scalable computation and actuarial/survival analysis for risk modeling. Our emphasis has been on building the core software necessary to generate and organize valuable data. As we move into 2018 with a strong product foundation we have a growing interest in leveraging the power of this data in innovative ways to support the Credijusto mission. Data science and product engineering function as members of the same integrated team. If you come here as a data scientist we will train you to be both a better statistician and a better engineer. And if you come here as an engineer and you want to acquire analysis skills we will help you to develop them. And when we turn our attention to big data engineering and convolutional neural networks we are going to crush those problems, too.

What’s it like to work on our team? When it comes to how we treat one another as teammates our core values are Excellence, Accountability, and Collaboration. Be awesome at what you do. Understand that others are counting on you and manage your time accordingly. Leave your ego at home and be willing every day to learn from your teammates. We focus on managing energy and productivity, not time. When it comes to exercising autonomy versus careful vetting and group planning we have a set operating principles that revolve around impact, urgency, and reversibility. All team members absorb these concepts, apply them in their daily work, and challenge other members of the team during team planning sessions. We’re “agile” at our core, but not dogmatic about this. Remote work has not historically been a big part of our culture: we believe in the power of face-to-face interaction when it comes to solving tricky problems. When you need that personal time, just take it. Every few months we fly somewhere cool for an off-site work week. This builds the team and changes the scene. The “scene” on a daily basis is pretty great, though: In February we are moving a penthouse suite in Polanco, near Museo Soumaya, with a gorgeous 360 degree view of the city. You won’t have to travel far to clear your head or catch a breath.

When it comes to hires we invest in depth and are willing to pay for quality. Our salaries lead the Mexico City dev market, and we negotiate benefits packages with each team member that ensure they’ve left nothing critical behind when transitioning from a previous role. But for every member of our team this isn’t what really matters. Rather, it’s the thrill of seeing your creative energy come to life, being a part of an exceptional group of technologists, and continuously honing your your skills.

If this sounds cool to you hit us up at careers@credijusto.com. If you’re an awesome dev or data scientist we’ll probably be looking for you. I hope we’ve at least caught your attention. Have an amazing 2018!

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Aaron Polhamus

Working with Team Vest to transform how retail investing is done throughout the Americas 🌎