This week, Tiger Global and Citi have both made investments in Latin America. Is this the start of a rebound for the region’s slowdown? We talk to the CEOs of both fintechs. The head of Nomad – the Brazilian fintech which raised a Series B led by Tiger – gives us a read on how the panorama for capital raising has changed since their last round. And the CEO of Rextie – which nailed the Citi investment – explains how the deal is a win-win.
In other news, Falabella closes its digital wallet, BTG Pactual doubles down on crypto, and Itaú sheds its Argentina operations.
PLUS: It’s your last chance to nominate an outstanding female innovators in financial technology for our Las Disruptoras Awards 2023. Submit your nomination by August 31, here.
I’m not crying, you’re crying 😭🎻
Before we get into the news, though, we wanted to thank you so much for being part of iupana‘s English-language community. This is the very last Friday Briefing that we’ll be sending in English. It’s a sad moment for sure – but before you break out the violins, remember that our exclusive and insightful coverage continues stronger than ever in Spanish and Portuguese.
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Read the main note here: Nomad raises $61m in series B as Tiger Global returns to Brazil
#Strategic Plays 📊
Falabella is closing its digital wallets in Chile and Peru
The Falabella group will close its Fpay digital wallet in Chile and Peru. Starting in September, the wallet’s functionalities will be integrated with the group’s banking application. Fpay will continue as a payments processor for ecommerce retailers in Chile, Colombia and Peru.
Meanwhile, Credicorp officially announced this week its plans to launch its Yape wallet in Bolivia. iupana brought you the scoop earlier this month.
- Closing wallets, opening wallets…. What’s the way forward for success in the digital banking game? We’re speaking to experts from Nequi, Mastercard and FluxIT on Tuesday to unpack what users want from their finance apps – and how banks can make it happen. Sign up here.
Banco Macro buys Itaú Argentina
Argentina’s Banco Macro has agreed to buy the retail banking operations of Itaú in Argentina for USD$51 million. Itaú plans to continue serving corporate and high net worth clients after the sale, Reuters reports.
Corporate cross border payments will happen in real time (eventually)
“Sooner or later” cross-border payments for corporates will happen in real time, just as domestic payments are moving to instant settlement, according to Ruddy Castellanos, Citi’s head of cross-border payments for Latin America. More standardization of sanctions, regulations, reporting and FX is needed to make that happen, though. The comments came in a iupana event this week on the future of cross-border payments. More highlights from the event, here.
- Tomay-to, Tomah-to. Argentina’s Wilobank has been renamed Uilo by its new owner, Ualá, which bought the company in June 2022 and has been merging banking services ever since.
BTG Pactual launches crypto custody platform
Brazilian investment bank BTG Pactual has launched BTG Prime, a platform specialized in cryptocurrency custody for corporate clients. BTG says it will focus on security and compliance, and expects that, as crypto technology and regulation evolves, more funds will add virtual assets to their portfolios.
- Binance Pay arrives in Brazil. The exchange presented its wallet to process cryptocurrency payments, saying that they hope it will be relevant to businesses and businesses. They highlighted that Brazil is one of the countries that shows the highest rate of crypto adoption.
Credicorp appoints new Tyba CEO
Felipe García was appointed as the new CEO of tyba, the micro-investment application of the Credicorp group. Garcia will assume leadership in Colombia, Peru and Chile. The executive held the position of regional leader of the affluent segment at Credicorp Capital.
Chilean regulator names central bank director for innovation center
Chile’s finance regulator, the CMF, named Claudia Sotelo as head of its Center for Financial Innovation, a new department which seeks to deepen connections with regulated institutions to promote the use of technology in the industry. Sotelo is a commercial engineer and comes from the Central Bank, where she led the technology observatory.
Ebanx announces new VPs
Ebanx appointed Kalecser Kurtz as VP of product and engineering and Valério Zarro as VP of governance, risk and compliance. With this, the company seeks to strengthen its technology and governance initiatives.
Is it enough to move the team to Brazil to be successful? Mexican fintech Clara is moving half of its executives to Sao Paulo to strengthen its operations; However, this country presents challenges beyond the language barrier, which must be conquered by fintechs that seek to profit from the most mature market in the region.
- Clara has hired Francisco Simon, who brings experience in companies such as Facebook and Uber, as a country manager in Brazil
- The Mexican unicorn wants Brazil to be its main market in 2024, after consolidating in its country of origin.
- Colombian fintech Treinta says that to compete in Brazil you have to make an effort to understand the user and adapt to local regulations.
To know more about the challenges and opportunities that fintechs face as they look at the Brazilian market, read our iupanaExclusive