It’s a good week to be a fintech in Latin America. Uruguay-based fintech dLocal made its Nasdaq debut, raising more than $617 million in an IPO that gave the firm a valuation of $6 billion. The company, founded five years ago, offers a payments platform that enhances the ability of global merchants to operate in emerging markets. With customers ranging from Amazon.com to Uber, dlocal will use the capital from the IPO to add new features to its platform as well as enter new markets, according to an interview with Reuters.
Also this week, Latin American open finance API platform Belvo announced that it had secured $43 million in Series A funding. The round featured participation from new and existing investors – including investment angels like David Vélez, founder and CEO of Brazilian fintech Nubank. Belvo will use the new capital to “scale and enhance” its data enrichment solutions in particular, as well as launch its bank-to-bank payment initiation offering in both Mexico and Brazil. Adding to its 70-person workforce is also part of the company’s plans, with a goal of doubling headcount by the end of the year and “hiring more than 50 engineers in Mexico and Brazil in the coming months.”
Elsewhere in Latin America, Mexican payment gateway Prosa is reportedly considering a sale that could bring the company a valuation of more than $1 billion. The firm is one of the region’s biggest payment processors, facilitating more than 4.5 billion transactions in 2020. Also this week, EVO Payments announced that it had agreed to acquire Chilean e-commerce payment gateway Pago Fácil.
As Angela Strange and Matthieu Hafemeister noted this spring in their report Latin America’s Fintech Boom, “there is an enormous amount of untapped opportunity in Latin America for financial services of all types.” The authors cite five reasons to be optimistic about the demand for financial services, factors ranging from the region’s size to the opportunity to replace largely cash-based systems, as well as four reasons why Latin American fintech may be at a “tipping point.”
“As is often the case,” the authors wrote, ” growth appears gradual for a long while, then happens suddenly, seemingly all at once. Latin America is currently experiencing an explosion in fintech activity, and this is just the beginning.”
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Stake, a mortgagetech platform based in Dubai, raised $4 million in seed funding in a round led by Combined Growth Real Estate.
- CTech featured 11 Israeli fintech unicorns.
- Telda, a digital banking services provider based in Egypt, secured $5 million in pre-seed funding.
Central and Southern Asia
- Jai Kisan, an Indian fintech dedicated to bringing financial services to rural Indians, announced an investment of $30 million.
- Pakistani fintech Tag raised $5.5 million in pre-seed funding; the company also announced that it will join the Summer 2021 cohort of the Y Combinator accelerator.
- Eaisypaisa, a Pakistan-based fintech, launched its API developer portal.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Ecuador-based financial infrastructure company Kushki secured $86 million in Series B funding.
- Latin American open finance API platform Belvo raised $43 million in Series A funding.
- Information Age interviewed Uruguay’s first fintech unicorn, dLocal.
- Malaysian money service business operator Merchantrade chose IDEMIA to enhance the onboarding process for its mobile customers.
- Vietnamese DeFi startup Rikkei Finance secured $5.6 million in new funding.
- Indonesia-based P2P lender Amartha announced a fundraising of $7.5 million from Norway’s Norfund.
- Chipper Cash secured an investment of $100 million in a Series C round led by Silicon Valley Bank.
- Ugandan fintech Emata wins the Best Catapulter Award at the Catapult: Inclusion Africa 2021 digital bootcamp.
- ACI Worldwide extended its partnership with South African retailer Pick n Pay.
Central and Eastern Europe
- German digital insurance company Wefox raised $650 million in new funding, earning the company a valuation of $3 billion.
- Latvian global account data analytics provider Nordigen secured $2.55 million (EUR 2.1 million) in funding.
- Revolut announced that it will now facilitate money transfers to Ukraine.