This Week in Fintech Latam (9 Jan 2022)
Hola Amig@s Fintech,
Tudo bem? Feliz año nuevo! It’s so good to be back with you. I came in ready to rock but Mexico City air quality had other plans and I’m nursing a bit of a cold (negative test, isolating) so apols this newsletter is a few days late. It’s a friendly reminder, however, to listen to your body and take it easy as and when needed. 💆🏽♀️ I have a feeling it’s going to be sage advice for 2022!
Please find below Latam fintech financings and exits from the past two weeks. A bit of housekeeping:
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And, to ring in the new year, we’d love to see you at our 🇲🇽 CDMX Fintech Happy Hour 🎉 on Thursday 20 Jan, sponsored by Galileo and Neivor, and featuring pre-event networking exclusively for women in the industry. Proof of vaccination is required. Please RSVP here.
💛 Y’all be good out there and stay healthy! ¡Saludos! Até a próxima!
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💼 Open Roles Spotlight
Pangea Money Transfer is hiring for various roles in Mexico City including Customer Experience, Engineering, and Marketing: check out the list here.
📊 Notable Stat
💸 Venture Financing
SuperSim, the Brazilian microcredit provider for the underbanked, raised a $4.4 million Series A from IDC Ventures. The company uses cell phones as a guarantee to offer personal loans to low-income customers. In November the platform hit a single-day record of 5,000 loans.
Impesa, the Costa Rican fintech software developer, raised a $2.7 million Series A led by Invermaster Ventures to fund growth to the US, Mexico, and South America. Impesa serves more than 25 banks in six countries. Current products include the chatbot Layla, Wallet Monibyte, Brainert, and Kipo.
MetaMap (formerly known as Mati), the digital trust and identity management platform, raised a $70 million Series B led by Tribe Capital with participation from Craft Ventures, Alameda Research, Titan Capital, and notable angel investors such as Jerry Murdock of Insight Partners. Its client base of 370 companies has been heavily focused on Latin America and this financing will go towards growing its client base in India as well as adding a tech hub
💵 Debt Financing
Tribal Credit, the US-based B2B financing and payment platform, raised $40 million in debt via fiat and stablecoins from Partners for Growth and Stellar Development Foundation. The debt facility will be used to fund receivables for customers throughout Latin America.
Enjoy the quiet fundraising news cycle while it lasts. Meanwhile check out PitchBook’s Analyst Note: 2022 US Venture Capital Outlook, which predicts that US VCs will continue to invest in to emerging markets, with Southeast Asia and Latin America being key targets.
💰 Venture funds
Ribbit Capital announced a new $1.15 billion fund. This is the firm’s seventh fund as it continues to invest in fintech across the US, Latam, and expands to additional markets. Portfolio companies in the region include Cora, Gorila, Guia Bolso, Nu, and Ualá.
Brasil Venture Debt announced plans to raise its second fund of $44 to $53 million to offer venture debt to startups. The fund is led by Gabriela Gonçalves who invested $25 million via the firm’s first fund into 11 startups including Ambar, SoluBio, Digibee, and Dr. Jones.
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) announced it has raised a fresh $9 billion across its Venture, Growth, and Bio Funds. This is in addition to the $2.2 billion Crypto Fund and $400 million Seed Fund raised in 2021.
🤝 M&A - Fintech
Conta Azul, the Brazilian cloud-based ERP startup, announced the purchase of Swipe, a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will allow Conta Azul to integrate and offer financial services to more than 100,000 customers.
XP Inc., the Brazilian provider of low-fee financial services, announced an agreement to buy a minority stake in Grupo Suno, the research company that includes a news portal and data sites, as well as an asset management business. The amount of the transaction was undisclosed.
XP Inc. also announced a proposed deal to buy Banco Modal S.A., valuing the bank at $528.5 million. Together, the companies aim to democratize access to high-quality and low-cost financial services to its combined 3.8 million active clients.
🏦 M&A - Banks & FinServ
Santander announced the finalization of its acquisition of Uruguayan point-of-sale (POS) company New Age Data, which will be operated under the Getnet franchise. The agreement was originally announced in August 2021.
Topaz, the financial solutions arm of Brazilian Stefanini Group, announced the purchase of a majority stake in US-based banking software company Cobiscorp. The latter has a notable portfolio of clients in South America including Banco de Valores in Argentina, Davivienda in Colombia, BanEcuador, and Santander Mexico. The acquisition will diversify Topaz’s product offering and support its expansion across Latin America.
💻 IPOs & SPACs
🚀 Product Launches & Partnerships
Argentinian digital wallet Tap announced it will launch a pre-paid virtual card with Visa.
Montreal-based global payment tech provider Nuvei announced a new capability that allows international merchants to accept local payment methods in 10 Latin American countries.
📰 Other News
Bitso, the cryptocurrency exchange, announced a three-year sponsorship deal with Brazilian soccer club São Paulo Futebol Clube. Along with featuring its logo on jerseys, the organizations are working on enabling purchases and tickets via cryptocurrencies.
Goldman Sachs announced it will expand its Latam operations after booking a record year including its work on the Nubank IPO. It plans to hire for equity research, sales, operations and derivatives.
After recently announced plans to double down on opportunities in Latin America, Sequoia’s first investment in Mexico goes to Draftea, the first Spanish-language fantasy sports app. The company came out of stealth mode as it raised a $13.2 million round led by Kaszek, with participation from Sequoia, Bullpen, and Nigel Eccles, the founder of sports-betting giant FanDuel.
Goldfinch, the decentralized lending protocol, raised a $25 million Series A extension led by Andreessen Horowitz. Goldfinch provides lending companies in developing countries with access to global capital via individual investors who put crypto into the platform to earn yield.
The Banco Central de la República Argentina (BCRA) announced that it will require digital wallets regulated as Proveedores de Servicios de Pago (PSPs), such as MercadoLibre and Ualá, to maintain 100% of customer deposits on reserve with the central bank. The Camara Argentina Fintech (Argentinian Chamber of Fintechs) opposed the change that would impact more than 25 million virtual accounts.
In its annual report, the Mexican banking commission (CNBV) detailed having received 127 applications for the fintech license: 78 for the IFPE license (depository institution), 42 IFC (crowdfunding), and 7 for new models (modelos novedosos). Of these, 58 have been authorized, 23 rejected, 23 withdrawn, and 23 remain in-process. Amongst the 58 authorized by the banking commission, Banxico reported that only 24 have been fully licensed (14 IFPE and 10 IFC), with the remainder in process of resolving requirements of their provisionary approvals.
Mexico announced plans to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC) by 2024. It joins Peru and Brazil as Latin American countries working on the development of CBDCs.
Check out our weekly global policy edition by Ben White here.
🦉 Notable Tweets
📚 Deeper Reads
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