Nearshoring and fintech: Stripe opens operations center in Mexico
Digital payments processor Stripe this week opened an operations center in Mexico, a market it hopes will become a regional service hub for other countries, including the United States.
The company said it will put together a 100-strong team over the next three years, including cybersecurity and customer service specialists, to meet the demands of local and international consumers. The decision follows the trend of multinational companies looking to establish a base in Mexico to take advantage of the country’s skilled, low-cost labor force and its proximity to key markets such as the US.
Desmond Mullarkey, Stripe’s head of revenue and growth, said the platform expects the nearshoring trend will lead more businesses to invest in Mexico, thereby increasing the firm’s potential client base.
“COVID forced many companies that were not in e-commerce to enter it in an accelerated way, because if they didn’t have a marketplace maybe they weren’t going to survive,” Mullarkey said in a press briefing this week, adding: “It turns out that they saw the benefits of e-commerce to extend their products and services to global markets.”
According to a survey by Stripe, 79% of Mexican companies are planning to expand into other countries.
The paytech, which counts Uber and Amazon among its clients, also said it’s seeing faster growth in digital businesses that aggregate subscription-based products and services, a vertical that exploded during the pandemic. Stripe said that while “hyper-accelerated pandemic growth has slowed,” subscription models continue to outpace others in the online economy, with recurring payment volumes processed by the platform 16% higher one-time payments.
Tiger Global seeks liquidity through asset sales
US investment firm Tiger Global is looking to divest part of its asset portfolio to shore up liquidity, according to data provider Pitchbook. Tiger invested $1 billion in the Latin America fintech sector last year, putting it ahead of the likes of Kaszek Ventures and Monashees. The firm’s portfolio includes global fintechs with a presence in the region such as Revolut, as well as Brazil’s Swap and Zippi. It wasn’t immediately clear which parts of the portfolio the fund is looking to offload.
Meanwhile, Tiger raised US$2.7 billion for its 16th fund, less than half of the initial US$6 billion target.
New US$40M fund for Europe and LatAm
Boost Capital Partners, a new VC fund focused on early-stage startups in Europe and Latin America, was launched in London this week. Founder Alvaro Alvarez says investors have committed US$35 million of the targeted US$40 million.
Accenture invests in Web3 company
Global consulting firm Accenture invested an undisclosed sum in technology company Parfin as it looks to tap into demand for Web3 infrastructure among financial institutions in Latin America. Parfin is currently developing Parchain, a blockchain platform designed to enable regulated entities to participate in decentralized finance (DeFi) and asset tokenization.
Rappibank adjusts risk model in Brazil
The financial vertical of superapp Rappi is adjusting its credit card strategy in Brazil. This week, card users took to social media to protest that their cards had been unilaterally cancelled. Rappi confirmed this was the case for some customers and said those users had been notified. “We need to review and analyze credit profiles due to adjustments to technological platforms and a new positioning in the market, among other factors,” the company told newspaper Valor Economico. Credit cards have proven to be a challenge for Rappi, which has lagged the growth of other issuers.
In Mexico, meanwhile, Rappi inked an agreement with Flink under which the superapp will provide customers with cashback on their monthly membership payments that can in turn be invested in the wealthtech platform.
Loans granted by fintechs continue to grow in Argentina
Argentina’s central bank said financing by fintechs grew 4% in the second half of last year, compared to the first half of 2022. More than 10 million people accessed financing through fintechs last year.
- Accesa obtained a fintech license in Mexico.
- Nubank received a payments initiator license in Brazil, which allows it to enter open finance.
- Mercado Pago Mexico added the USDP stablecoin to its wallet.
- Ualá formed an alliance with Western Union in Mexico to receive remittances.
This week, we analyze Santander Mexico’s new credit card offensive as it seeks to close the gap with competitors such as Nubank and Rappi by simplifying digital onboarding for its LikeU and Samsung cards.
- Santander wants to step up credit card issuance by emulating methods used by Rappi.
- Its plan involves reducing the size of credit lines to applicants in order to up the pace of approvals.
- Santander’s alliance with Samsung allows it to compete with other payment platforms such as GPay and Apple Pay.
Learn more about Santander Mexico’s strategy in our weekly report.