TWIF Latam 08 Jan - Fiserv acquires Yacaré, a16z's guide to growth metrics, $11 million in equity funding
Happy 2023 dear readers! Two things are plaguing my newsfeed lately: Fintech predictions for 2023, and the most creative ways ChatGPT can help you work smarter. Do you have a favorite? send them over, and I’ll do the proper shoutout 😉
Please find below this week’s front page of Latam fintech news. If you’re reading this on the web, we’d really appreciate your support by sharing and subscribing.
💛 Y’all be good out there. ¡Saludos! Até a próxima!
Feedback? Reach out to us anytime! This week we're Daniela on Stats, Exits and Other News, Lorena on Policy, Elena on Product Launches and Partnerships, Deeper Reads, and yours truly on Financing, Venture Funds, quotes, tweets and editing
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📊 Stat of the Week
A16z recently launched the Guide to Growth Metrics. A fun, interactive way to understand which metrics actually matter.
💬 Quote of the Week
“Great talent in a downmarket can build sustainable and durable fintech companies, so 2023 will separate the good from the great.”
📖 Read of the Week
🦉 Tweet of the Week
💸 Venture Financing
Aviva, the Mexico-based consumer lender, raised a $2.2 million pre-seed round led by Wollef Ventures, joined by Newtopia VC, Seedstars, 500 Startups, Magna Capital, Xtraordinary VP, and a group of angel investors. The company installs video call booths in small communities, approving loans of up to $50 in minutes. Aviva determines creditworthiness while filling out a credit application using spoken words.
Bricksave, the Argentinian real estate crowdfunding platform, raised a $3.2 million seed round led by Graphene Ventures. the company allows users to invest across 19 countries and disclosed having channeled $25 million in assets through its platform.
Pods Finance, the Sao Paulo based structured products platform for crypto assets, raised a $5.6 million seed round from Fourth Revolution Capital, Framework Ventures, IOSG, Republic, Tomahawk.VC, and more. The company offers users an alternative to yield on crypto assets and assists DeFi protocols to diversify their treasury into low-risk strategies.
💰 Venture funds
Legal Paradox, the Mexican legal firm specializing in fintech and blockchain, announced the launch of its investment arm Paradox Ventures. This new fund aims to support Latam startups seeking to reach Mexico.
🏦 M&A - Bank and FinServ
Fiserv, the US-based financial services giant, announced the acquisition of Yacaré, the Argentinean wallet specializing in QR codes. Details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Banco Itaú received authorization from the central banks of Brazil and Uruguay for the acquisition of a 30% of Uruguayan Prex and Paigo. Prex offers local and international transactions as well as personal loans and financial management. Paigo offers financial services to the unbanked. Details of the transaction were not disclosed
🚀 Product Launches & Partnerships
Bankuish, the Mexico-based banking platform for gig workers, announced its expansion to Chile to offer personal loans, vehicle financing, insurance, and credit card.
WALO the Canada-based gamified mobile application that allows parents to teach their children about finances, and dale! Colombia-based neo-bank, announced a partnership to create a digital wallet with a Visa card in Colombia.
U-Payments, the Chile-based digital banking, and Fintoc, the Chile-based mobile banking application for payment verification, announced a partnership that will allow U-Payments’ customers to transfer money to their prepaid accounts through Fintoc, providing an experience that streamlines this type of transactions.
Tapi, an Argentina-based pay-tech, announced the start of operations in Peru, allowing any company to offer recurring payments to its end users in all Latin American countries.
Tenpo, a Chile-based neo-bank, announced the launch of new business lines for 2023: Tenpo Business account focused on startups; an account for children under 18 focused on financial education; cCredit cards; and digital insurance in conjunction with Chubb.
🏦 Financial Services & Banking
Tricolor, the US-based Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), and Flourish FI, the US-based financial wellness and engagement platform for financial institutions, announced a partnership to launch a financial wellness and loyalty program to drive financial inclusion for Hispanics that live in the USA.
MoneyGram, a global payment services company, announced the launch of MoneyGram Online in Brazil, allowing money to be sent in real time and with no service fee per transaction.
📰 Other News
Kavak’s CEO and co-founder, Carlos García Ottati, returns to lead the operation of the startup in Mexico. After a series of restructurings, the CEO returns to focus on the Kavak operation in Mexico to strengthen its business in times of economic crisis. The company's focus is to reach profitability and strengthen its operations.
Fiduciaria Bancolombia, the subsidiary investment arm of Bancolombia, lost a lawsuit that 10 people filed due to breaches in the Balsillas de Tolú real estate project. The project was abandoned halfway done in 2016, as the builders ran out of resources to continue financing the housing project.
FEMSA, the Mexican multinational beverage, and retail company, announced talks with Chilean regulators in response to a lawsuit for the purchase of OK Market, a chain of convenience stores. OXXO, the largest chain of convenience stores in Latam owned by FEMSA, acquired OK Market in February 2022. The National Economic Prosecutor's Office considers that FEMSA failed to comply with the mitigation measures that were a requirement to approve the transaction.
Unifin Financiera, the Mexican lender, was declared bankrupt for which a conciliation stage was activated with its creditors. The subsidiaries Unifin autos and Unifin credit also received the declaration of commercial bankruptcy. The restructuring and recapitalization process is expected to be completed in the year's first half.
What happened between the end of December 2022 and the first week of January 2023?
Brazil. President Bolsonaro published the bill regulating crypto assets. Meanwhile, the CVM, regulatory agency, aims to accelerate innovation regarding cryptocurrencies and DeFi. The CMV published Resolution 175 before 2022 ended, establishing that funds can invest up to 10% of their equity in crypto.
Brazil. Pix new rule began the first week of 2023. The Central Bank had changed transaction limits and night time use of the tool.
Chile. The Financial Market Commission (CMF), responsible for supervising the financial services mentioned in the Fintech Law, made public its work plan regarding the new regulations. The Law was published on January 4 in the Official Gazette.
Ecuador. The Organic Law for the Development, Regulation and Control of Technological Financial Services (Fintech Law) was published in the Official Gazette 215, on December 22, 2022.
Mexico. Before 2022 ended, Fintigo was the 44th fintech company approved by the authorities as a crowdfunding institution under the Fintech Law.
If you want to know more on the state of Fintech in Latam, here are two interesting reads:
📚 Deeper Reads
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