Beyond the layoffs: slow hiring and lower wages
If there’s one thing keeping the global tech industry on edge, it’s wave after wave of layoffs. Those professionals being shown the door are facing a complex job market.
Weak economic growth and sluggish investment flows are weighing on recruitment processes and salaries are not what they were a couple of years ago.
“Today, startups are more strategic when it comes to hiring talent, since they are constrained financially and have more difficulty raising capital,” Daniel Inca, director of technical recruitment at Talently, a company
specializing in recruiting talent for tech companies, told iupana.
Whereas in 2021 developers were being offered monthly salaries of US$10K to US$12K, that’s no longer the case. Experienced professionals have had to lower their pay expectations, which is pitting them against more junior workers.
In 2022, there were close to 161,000 layoffs in the technology sector globally. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the tally for 2023 has already reached almost 109,000, according to the platform layoffs.fiy. Although there isn’t a detailed list for Latin America, Brazilian companies PagSeguros, Nubank, and XP are known to have recently cut back their workforce.
Betterfly, a Chilean insurtech, has fired a significant number of its workers. Its CEO, Eduardo della Maggiora, acknowledged the company hired more quickly than it should have and incurred higher-than-planned expenditure.
However, Talently is optimistic the end of the layoff season is in sight. “We view this as a period of market
readjustment of approximately one year. We expect hiring to increase again in the middle of the second half of 2023,” says Inca.
“There will always be a need for maintenance, project development, new startups, but within a budget that’s different from two or three years ago,” he says.
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Rappi launches savings accounts in Colombia, but how’s business in Peru?
Rappipay announced plans to offer savings accounts in Colombia promising competitive returns, as it seeks to improve its position in an increasingly dynamic digital account segment.
In Peru, however, the outlook for its digital banking service, Rappibank, appears less auspicious. Its partner in the venture, Interbank, hinted that it might end their alliance. Interbank CEO Luis Felipe Castellanos said Rappibank hasn’t produced the expected results with regards to client numbers and the monetization of its credit card. In an earnings call with analysts, he said they are ready to “kill” initiatives that don’t have sufficient traction.
In response to iupana’s request for comment on position, Rappi referred us to Interbank, which it said made the statements unilaterally. Interbank didn’t respond to our request more information.
Daviplata offers digital credits to micro-businesses in Colombia
Banco Davivienda’s digital wallet, Daviplata, will expand its product offering to include, among other things, loans for micro-businesses in Colombia, such as taxi drivers and shopkeepers. It said the move responds to the needs of its 15.8 million users.
Mercado Pago launches credit card in Mexico
Mercado Pago introduced its Visa credit card in the hotly
contested Mexican market. Ualá launched its card a few weeks ago, following in the footsteps of Brazilian rival Nubank. Mercado Pago will roll out the product gradually, with approvals depending on the profile of each applicant. Mercado Pago debuted the card in Brazil in 2021.
- In Mexico, the Oxxo store chain established an alliance with the insurance company Chubb to offer
car insurance to Mexican drivers visiting the United States.
- Also in Mexico, Minu merged with voucher card startup Plerk, with a view to integrating its grocery and gasoline voucher service into the platform.
- In Peru, blockchain technology company EthicHub signed an agreement with agricultural firm Argos to provide financing to small farmers in the country.
- In Chile, crypto exchange Buda.com and AI software firm Shinkansen announced a new fiat money withdrawal system.
Exclusive: Colombia sets up body to oversee payment ecosystem
Colombia’s Regulatory Projection and Financial Regulation Studies Unit (URF) said in an exclusive interview with iupanaPro that it is drawing up plans for a National Payments Council. The body will steer public policy for the instant transfer system being developed by the central bank.
‘Closed QRs’ and ‘failures’: Argentine fintechs warn of resistance to Transferencias 3.0
Large fintechs such as MODO, Mercado Pago, Naranja X and Ualá warned of obstacles to a genuine interoperability of QR payments in Argentina. Wallet companies accuse each other of encouraging customers to only use their QR codes, while banks say they have been partially locked out of the platform.
Peru’s Yape moves towards interoperability
Yape, the biggest wallet company in Peru, said its platform will be interoperable by the end of March, the deadline established by the Peruvian regulator.
“We are currently in the final phases of the project’s implementation, guaranteeing that the more than 12 million yaperos and all wallet users will receive fast, simple and secure functionality,” Miguel Ibáñez, product owner of Yape, told iupana.
Separately, the wallet, which is owned by the Credicorp group, is calling on users who opened accounts using their ID to migrate to a new digital account with additional features. Customers have until April 1 to make the switch.
- Chile’s Datamart, which provides data processing for credit profiles, raised US$6.3 million to expand its operation to Mexico. The round was led by Moonvalley Capital and three corporate venture capital funds: Grupo Santander, Falabella and Grupo BICE.
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Asia and Africa are the new frontiers for Latin American digital payment giants, such as dLocal and EBANX. We spoke to the paytechs about their motivations for doing business on the other side of the planet.
- Asia and Africa have structures similar to LatAm in terms financial inclusion and growing adoption of digital proposals.
- dLocal notes that these regions will see fast population growth in the coming decades.
- EBANX highlights the importance of mobile money, the most popular means of payment in Africa.
Interested in learning more about the experience of Latin unicorns in other latitudes? Read this week’s iupanaExclusive.