This week’s key fintech and digital banking news: Bitso becomes the first crypto ‘unicorn’ in Latam; Ame acquires Nexoos; Brazilian banks launch WhatsApp Pay, and more
With a Series C investment of USD $250 million led by Tiger Global and Coatue, Bitso has become Latin America’s first cryptocurrency unicorn, a title given to unlisted startups valued at over USD $1 billion. The Mexican platform, valued at USD $2.2 billion, plans to expand its operations throughout the region.
Brazilian P2P lending startup Nexoos has been acquired by Ame, the financial division of retailer Lojas Americanas and tech firm B2W. Thanks to its hybrid model and its focus on small business lending, Nexoos also lends between people and offers lending as a service, models that Ame will now offer to its users.
The Fintech Brazilian Moeda has been selected for Mastercard’s acceleration program, Start Path. The blockchain–based platform will seek to expand its financial services, as well as its investment solution. Moeda facilitates transactions for more than USD $18 million (R $ 100 million), approximately, annually.
Major Brazilian banks, including Banco do Brasil, Banco Bradesco, and the Sicredi cooperative, as well as the Visa and Mastercard networks, announced this week that many of their clients can now start using WhatsApp Pay. The service will be rolled out gradually among users, and is set to have a massive impact on the market, considering that the messaging app is installed on more than 90% of Brazilians’ phones. You can read our latest report on the arrival of WhatsApp Pay in Brazil here.
In the last year alone, 65% of consumers in the region have used a digital payment channel for the first time, according to a new report by Mastercard. The study notes that access to omnichannel payment methods and enthusiasm for emerging payments have increased.
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