In our monthly analysis of LatAm fintech news, Thiago Paiva looks at M&A, investments, trends, partnerships for the region’s startups.
In April, Tencent makes its first investment in Argentina as LatAm’s lending startups attract attention.
Latin America’s fintech startups kept up the pace of investment in April, attracting seven deals with a total disclosed amount of US$ 44.6 million in investments. That was less than the investment amount disclosed in March, but on par in terms of number of deals.
Although new investments keep flowing in, we have only seen one fintech exit so far this year – Rappi’s acquisition of Payit. Last year, we saw two celebrated fintech IPOs (PagSeguro and Stone), so it would be great to start to see a few fintech exits in the months to come – and perhaps even beat the good results from 2018.
As for the investments, Brazilian fintechs captured 95% of the investments of the month, in a total of US$ 42.8 million. Argentinian neobank Ualá received an investment from the Chinese titan Tencent, but the amount invested wasn’t disclosed.
Unsurprisingly, lending fintechs are a hot segment in the region. They keep raising more money to change how people and SMEs access credit. Factoring has been a specific interest for investors this month, with the Brazilian factoring Weel receiving the largest round of the month, US$ 30 million, and the Chilean Facturedo receiving a US$ 500,000 investment.
Last, but not least, the Mexican payment company, Conekta, received the end of last month a US$13 million follow-on investment, which I missed reporting but it’s done now.
Well, let’s jump into the relevant fintech deals and news of April, and stay tuned to the next Fintech Snapshot next month!
Special thanks to Eduardo Morelos from Startupbootcamp Fintech in Mexico and Bruno Diniz from the Fintech Committee at ABstartup in Brazil.
- Argentina – Neobank Ualá, which closed a US$ 34 million investment last year, just received an undisclosed investment from none other than Tencent, the Chinese giant, in its first investment in Argentina
- Brazil – The factoring fintech Weel closed a US$ 30 million investment round from Franklin Templeton to grow in Brazil and start its regional expansion
- Brazil – Bom Consórcio, a secondary marketplace for consumer debt, received a seed round of US$ 640,000 from the fund Criatec 2.
- Brazil – FinanZero, a financial loan aggregator, received US$ 10.7 million of investment from Atlant, Dunross, and Vostok
- Brazil – Zen Finance, a Fintech-as-a-Service solution, closed a US$ 1.35 million Series A from Global Founders Capital and angels.
- Mexico – The Mexican car insurance startup Crabi received US$ 1.3 million investment from Redwood Ventures
- Chile – Facturedo, a Chilean factoring fintech, closed an investment round of US$ 500,000 lead by Latinia
There were no fintech exits in April, let’s hope that changes in the following months!
- Brazil – The Brazilian competition authority, CADE, is prosecuting 4 of the largest banks in Brazil for anti-competitive actions against Nubank
- Brazil – Bacen, Brazil’s central bank, just released guidelines for open banking in the country.
- Colombia – Delivery company Rappi made a partnership with Visa to foster digital payments in the region
- Mexico – Amazon and OXXO came together to expand Amazon Cash payment to thousands of OXXO stores. At the same time, Oxxo ended a deal with Banorte by which the bank’s customers could make deposits at the convenience store.
- Argentina – Mercado Libre and Mastercard are aiming to become the leading players in mobile payments in the region
- Brazil – BitcoinTrade and the giant web portal IG are launching a bitcoin brokerage service together
- Brazil – The brokerage firm Genial Investimentos together with the fintech Vexter is launching a social media platform for investors
- Brazil – Distrito and Parallax Ventures are partnering to invest up to US$ 2.5 million in Brazilian fintechs
Thiago Paiva is a partner at Liquia Digital Assets, an investment bank for the digital assets economy. He is passionate about the intersection of finance and technology.
He has 8+ years working with startups and innovation, investing in more than 60 startups through global accelerators Wayra (Telefonica’s global accelerator) and Startupbootcamp Fintech. He worked closely with more than 20 fintechs from 8 different countries for the past five years.
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