Brazil real estate startup QuintoAndar launches in Mexico

SAO PAULO, June 21 (Reuters) - Digital real estate broker QuintoAndar launched Tuesday in Mexico, the first time the brand has expanded outside Brazil, following a recent acquisition in the region.

Under the “Benvi” brand, the $5 billion startup is set to debut in Mexico’s capital Mexico City with its trademark rental scheme, which instead of charging tenants a lease-insurance, approves them based on a credit analysis.

“Selecting the country was motivated by its size and similarity [with Brazil],” QuintoAndar said in a statement, pointing to Mexico’s bureaucracy and its similarly informal management of tenants.

The move comes after QuintoAndar said in December it had bought Grupo Navent’s real estate arm, which operates in Mexico and Brazil as well as Argentina, Ecuador, Panama and Peru.

QuintoAndar operates in around 75 Brazilian cities and has 175,000 active rental contracts and 90 billion reais ($17 billion) in assets under management.

The platform announced its plan to enter Mexico several months ago, after completing a $420 million fundraise that valued it at $5.1 billion.

In April, it said it was laying-off 160 of its approximately 4,000 employees, citing the need to prioritize the most profitable business lines.

Several other high-growth technology-based companies have also announced layoffs in Brazil as a result of the deteriorating global economy. ($1 = 5.1885 reais) (Reporting by Aluisio Alves; writing by Carolina Pulice; editing by Richard Pullin)