Breaking Barriers: Meet Iliana de Silva, the Trailblazing Visionary Transforming Latin America’s Fintech Landscape

Screenshot 2023 07 28 at 3.39.51 PM

According to the International Monetary Fund, women represent less than 10 percent of leadership, both as founders and as members of executive boards, of fintech firms.

According to Forbes, a study conducted by Statista across 27 countries in Latin America found that just 3% of CEOs of the world’s largest companies were women.

And according to, data from Crunchbase revealed that funding for female-only founded startups in Latin America went from $14 million in 2019 to zero in 2020.

All of this provides inspiration for Iliana de Silva, co-founder of the fintech startup Techreo.

“There are some investors who won’t look me in the eye because I’m a woman,” Iliana said. “They’re not used to having a woman around who can be like them.”

But she does not let the actions of others deter her from achieving her potential while continuing to build a startup that is poised for expansion outside of Mexico.

“This makes me work harder, but that should not be the case,” Iliana said. “We shouldn’t have to work harder than anyone else just because we are women. It is kind of frustrating, the need to prove yourself everyday. But I am also very proud of my work, because I know I am a role model for some women who are very close to me.”

Iliana added, “In a world led by men, women have a great opportunity to do things differently.”

With groundbreaking innovation transforming the economy of Latin America, Techreo is rewiring fintech and harnessing technology for the greater good.

Techreo provides a one-stop destination for financial transactions and plays a critically-important role in serving Mexico’s underbanked. With just a mobile phone and valid Mexican ID, Techreo’s users can:

  • Set up accounts.
  • Pay utility bills.
  • Pay for phone data usage.
  • Transfer funds between accounts.
  • Apply for a small business loan.
  • Open a savings account.
  • Buy insurance.

Techreo offers a “Digital Marketplace,” which allows merchants to expand customer bases beyond their local communities. The startup is also building apps for financial companies and co-branding the endeavor.

Despite the challenges facing women in fintech, success with Techreo has come rapidly for Iliana. The app launched in January 2022 and has already established a user-base of 300,000. The company is an outlier among startups in that it is profitable in just a year and five months of operation. And Techreo prides itself on the role that women are playing at the startup—the management team is 60% female and 40% of the entire company is female.

“What really drives me is making a difference in terms of financial inclusion,” said Iliana, who takes great pride in having graduated from a public school, the National University in Mexico City, with her undergraduate and graduate degrees. “Doing something different, that no one has done in Mexico and in Latin America, in order to give the opportunity to people to improve their way of living, because they have access to financial services.”

Iliana after graduating with her master’s degree took a job at Bansefi, a development bank in Mexico. While there, she learned about low income segments of the population and how they could be helped through banking. Iliana switched her focus to housing microcredits and microfinance, and each of these things set the stage for her role at Techreo.

“I have been in this sector for 20 years and I really love it,” she said.

Iliana lauded the Techreo team for its unrivaled work, day-in and day-out, and for the strong bond each employee shares with each other and the firm.

“Everybody is engaged,” she said.

Techreo Head of Marketing Adriana Martínez Treviño said Iliana is quite passionate about her work.

“Her passion and knowledge of the business, and how she enjoys all the work she does, motivates us very much,” Adriana said. “It makes us better employees.”

Visit to learn more.

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.