Posted In:

Latam, Neobanks, COVID-19

Copa America


Jun 26, 2021


Posted In:

Latam, Neobanks, COVID-19


Jun 26, 2021



Stimulus programs across Latin America have boosted the region’s challenger banks last year. According to a Mastercard study, over 100m people transitioned from cash to digital banking.

Distributions in Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina were particularly impactful. According to EY, all three countries offered some form of cash disbursement to their poorest citizens who, in many cases, received these proceeds via digital upstart banks (as opposed to state-owned financial institutions), as this entailed higher convenience and fewer restrictions on withdrawals.

Latin America’s most notable unicorn - Nubank - increased its customer base by 65% to 33m. Furthermore, 500k Brazilians received government stimulus money directly via its platform. In Colombia, 3m people, or 6% of the population, opened bank accounts for the first time. Colombian digital payments provider Movii increased its user base by 600%, as many opened accounts to put their government stimulus to work.

The massive adoption of digital banking products foreshadows a broader shift to digital insurance, Buy Now Pay Later, and consumer lending. Consumers are excited by the prospect of access to financial services under fairer (and faster) terms than those of legacy providers.

But maybe not as excited as Nubank itself. As if a Warren Buffet investment and rumored US IPO weren’t enough, the digital behemoth upped the tempo this week by adding Brazilian pop star Anitta to its board. With or without Carnaval, Brazilians surely know how to spice things up!

Portfolio News

IMMO Capital launches first European single family residential (SFR) portfolio to retail investors - Portfolio company IMMO digitally sourced and evaluated over €500m worth of deals, to assemble a highly curated portfolio of fully refurbished SFR units delivering market-beating returns and achieved full leasing occupancy within days. This was done through the Exporo platform and was successfully placed within hours of issue. Read more

MoneyLion adds three accomplished media and tech executives to its board of directors - The board members have extensive experience in consumer engagement and brand building and include: Matt Derella, global VP of revenue and content partnerships at Twitter, Lisa Gersh, co-founder of Oxygen Media and a veteran of public company boards, and Michael Paull, president of Disney+ and ESPN+. Read more

Dee Choubey talks upcoming IPO, future of personal finance - Portfolio company MoneyLion’s CEO spoke to Cheddar this week saying "we're excited that our ticker is going to be "ML". If you remember, 10 or 15 years ago, ML (Merrill Lynch) represented the old guard of American Financial Services, and we love the symbolism of a technology company like MoneyLion, reclaiming that ticker and representing The future of finance for all Americans." Read more

FISERV - NYDIG partnership brings crypto to banks everywhere - Fiserv partners with portfolio company NYDIG to offer bitcoin brokerage to their broad base of bank customers. One such customer, California's First Foundation Bank, is already in the process of bringing this new service to its platform. Read more

NYDIG and Q2 announce collaboration to offer integrated bitcoin solutions for financial institutions via Q2’s digital banking platform - Portfolio company NYDIG partners with Q2 to bring their 18.3m users access to Bitcoin brokerage services. Read more

Copa America

COVID-prompted government stimulus drove millions to open new bank accounts in Latin America - COVID-19 related government stimulus in Latin America drove digital banking adoption as millions put their government aid checks to use. Nubank, LATAM''s most valuable FinTech, increased its number of users in 2020 by 65% and enabled 500k users to access emergency cash. Read more

Nubank names Rio pop star Anitta to board, sparking controversy - Brazilian pop star Anitta joined the board of Latin American financial start-up Nubank to help market its credit cards, loans and checking accounts, but the choice of a critic of President Jair Bolsonaro angered his supporters. Read more

Industry News

The tyranny of spreadsheets - A long-form read from the FT on the origin of Excel and how one of our most powerful tools has became one of the most misused. A recent example saw 16,000 positive Covid cases disappear completely from the UK’s contact tracing system. Why had the cases disappeared? Apparently, Microsoft Excel had run out of numbers! Read more

Visa buys Swedish fintech Tink for more than $2b - Visa purchased Tink, a European bank account connection platform, in a move that highlights their willingness to keep up with open banking. This acquisition comes after antitrust regulators blocked Visa's planned acquisition of Plaid in the US. Read more

Egypt eyes surge in fintech investment after new laws - New regulations in Egypt -- the largest country in MENA -- are revving up the country's Fintech ecosystem centered around the new central bank law, and regulations for digital wallets. Read more

Chaka, the first startup to receive SEC license for digital stock trading in Nigeria - After months of uncertainty regarding regulations, Chaka has received a license from Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to operate its digital platform for buying and selling stocks. Read more

$5.5b fintech firm Revolut’s losses mounted in 2020 but crypto gave it a big boost - 2020 revenues rose 57% YoY at Revolut and reported a $232m loss. Gross profits (which exclude customer onboarding) were up significantly, however, rising 300% YoY to c. $170m. Crypto asset windfalls of $50m+ helped results as well. Read more

Fifth Third acquires fintech startup Provide - Fifth Third, a $27b market cap regional bank, acquired Provide, a fintech provider of lending and other financial services to healthcare practices. Provide’s product suite includes lending, core banking, and payments. Read more

Cross River buys Peer IQ - New Jersey based Cross River, a commercial bank, extended their fintech acquisition record with the purchase of PeerIQ, a next generation provider of risk management tools, loan data and data verification features. Read more

Select Financings

Amber Group - Hong Kong based crypto trading firm raised $100m in Series B funding led by China Renaissance at a pre-money valuation of $900m. Read more

Atom Finance - New York City based consumer finance research platform raised $28m in Series B funding led by SoftBank at a pre-money valuation of $122m. Read more

Chainalysis - New York City based blockchain data platform raised $100m in Series E funding led by Coatue at a $4.2b valuation. Read more

Deserve - California based credit card-as-a-service software platform raised $50m in Series D funding from Mission Holdings, Mastercard, and Ally Ventures. Read more

Gotrade - Singapore based fractional trading app raised $7m in seed funding led by LocalGlobe. Read more

Habi - Colombia based data-driven residential real estate platform raised $100m in Series B funding led by SoftBank. Read more

Hoggo - France based insurtech platform raised €11m in Series A funding led by Partech. Read more

Hawk AI - Germany based AI-based anti-money laundering platform raised $10m in Series A funding led by BlackFin Capital Partners. Read more

Lendbuzz - Boston based AI-based auto finance platform raised $60m in Series C funding led by Wellington Management at a pre-money valuation of $140m. Read more

Lower - Ohio based home finance platform raised $100m in Series A funding led by Accel. Read more

MAJORITY - Texas based mobile banking service for migrants raised $19m in seed funding led by Valar Ventures. Read more

Mollie - Netherlands based payments startup raised $800m in Series C funding led by Blackstone Growth at a pre-money valuation of $5.7b. Read more

Myos - Germany based AI-based lending platform raised €25m in Series A funding led by Fasanara Capital and Xploration Capital. Read more

Securitize - Florida based marketplace for digital asset securities raised $48m in Series B funding co-led by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value and Blockchain Capital. Read more

RoadSync - Georgia based logistics-focused financial platform raised $30m in Series B funding led by Tiger Global. Read more

SmartAsset - New York City based marketplace for financial advisors raised $110m in Series D funding led by TTV Capital. Read more

Sporttrade - Pennsylvania based sports betting platform raised $36m in Series B funding led by Nasdaq Ventures. Read more

Taptap Send - UK based mobile money transfer service raised $13.4m in Series A funding co-led by Canaan Partners and Reid Hoffman. Read more

Tesseract - Finland based digital asset management platform raised $25m Series A funding led by Augmentum Fintech. Read more

Toss - South Korea based financial services super-app raised $410m in funding led by Alkeon Capital Management at a pre-money valuation of $7b. Read more

Zeller - Australia based fintech serving SMBs raised $38m in Series B funding led by Spark Capital. Read more


FinTech Collective Newsletter

Curated News with Context

Delivered every Saturday, the weekly newsletter, produced by our team, provides a tightly edited rundown of global fintech news, along with a bit of our original analysis.