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The Front Page of Global Fintech

The the largest fintech community in the world. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on the latest in news opinions, and all things financial technology.

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TWIF Latam August 06 - 🏦 Colombia’s Central Bank to regulate the instant payment system 🇨🇴

TWIF Latam August 06 - 🏦 Colombia’s Central Bank to regulate the instant payment system 🇨🇴
Argentina’s Perito Moreno Glacier. Source

$1.26 million in fintech funding (equity and debt)

Hola amig@s fintech,

August has kicked in and while some are soaking up the final rays of summer up north, remember you can always flip the script – winter in one hemisphere, summer in the other – just hop across the globe. Try to make the most of your season or consider a getaway. Speaking of travel, don't miss the chance to join us from October 18th to 20th for a deep dive into the Mexico City fintech scene, where we'll bring together 30-50 fintech enthusiasts for an immersive experience, working with our partner Quona

📣Interested in joining? Let us know: Attendee Application Form here.

Please find below this week’s front page of Latam fintech news. If you’re reading this on the web, we’d appreciate your support by sharing and subscribing.  

💜 Until next weekend. Até a próxima!

  • Lorena
Got any feedback? Feel free to always reach out! This week we're Daniela on exits, and product launches & partnerships; Elena on stat, podcast, read of the week, other news, and deeper reads; and Lorena on funding, policy, and editing. For this month's Spotlight we thank Bárbara González Briseño from Bitso.

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📊 Stat of the Week

Latin Americans owning an account nearly doubled from 39% to 73.5% between 2011 and 2021, however alternative payment options and access remain a major challenge in the region, driving financial innovation and purchasing online. (Source)

🎙️Podcast of the Week

📖  Read of the Week

The fintech industry, currently valued at $134 billion, is projected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2030, matching the size of traditional financial services. AWS and This Week in Fintech, in their analysis Evaluating the Global State of Fintech, explore the industry’s evolution, innovation, and future prospects.

💸 Venture Financing


🇸🇻 Cubo, the Salvadorian card payments and QR code transactions company, received a $750,000 investment from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to boost financial inclusion for micro and small businesses in Central America. This funding is part of a $3.5 million seed round and aims to expand Cubo's solutions addressing low financial access rates in the region.

🇧🇷 Quadra, the British cryptocurrency fintech, raised a $500,000 investment led by Kadmotek and a group of Brazilian co-investors. This funding aims to enhance security and reliability in the cryptocurrency market in Brazil. The startup had previously concluded a $1 million round.

💵 Debt 

🇨🇴 Avista, the Colombian payroll loans company, secured up to $12,000 in debt from Bancolombia, which aims to enhance financial accessibility for seniors in the country.

☯️ Exits

🤝 M&A - Fintech

🌎 Rapyd, the UK-based payment platform, announced the acquisition of PayU's Global Payment Organisation (GPO), the European payment provider, to expand its fintech-as-a-service platform. The $610 million deal enhances Rapyd's card-acquiring capabilities across Latam and Europe. No further details were disclosed.

🇲🇽 Albo, the Mexican challenger bank, announced the acquisition of, the Mexican business finance management platform, for $20 million to enhance its credit offerings for SMEs. Albo aims to expand its platform to offer debit accounts, financing, and salary payment solutions. No further details were disclosed.

🚀 Product Launches & Partnerships

💻 Fintech 

🇨🇱 Pomelo, the Argentinean platform for cards and to launch financial services, announced its expansion to Chile, offering its digital card solutions to banks and financial entities. The company already operates in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and Mexico.

🇲🇽 Klar, the Mexican digital credit card platform, announced the introduction of new savings and investment products. With the  license to operate as an electronic payment fund institution, the company can now venture into those segments, offering users returns of up to 14% annually for investments and 10% for savings.

🇦🇷 Ripio, the Argentinian crypto trading platform, launched UXD, the first Latam stablecoin linked to the US dollar. Known as "CryptoDollar," UXD provides an alternative solution for protecting users' savings from inflation and economic crises. The stablecoin, available to Argentine users on Ripio's digital wallet app, allows cost-free transactions.

🇲🇽 Capitaria, the Chilean investment trading company, announced its expansion to Mexico, following its launch in Chile, Peru, and Uruguay. The company aims to acquire over 200 clients in the first year and conduct transactions worth $500 million.

🇧🇷 Ramp, the US-based finance automation platform, announced its expansion to Brazil to drive crypto adoption in Latam. With a focus on Web 3.0 projects, Ramp aims to tap into Brazil's growing openness to financial innovation and its position as the seventh-largest country globally in terms of cryptocurrency adoption, boasting over 16 million crypto users.

🌎 Bitso, the Mexican cryptocurrency exchange, and Payoneer, the US-based SMEs financial services platform, announced a partnership to simplify fund conversion to cryptocurrencies and enhance access to virtual assets with competitive fees.

🏦 Financial Services & Banking

🇧🇷 Bradesco, the Brazilian financial institution, and IBM, announced a partnership to explore post-quantum cryptography. The Brazilian bank will utilize IBM's Quantum Safe technology in a pilot project focused on its Open Finance platform to identify potential vulnerabilities in its cryptographic systems and prepare for the future impact of quantum computing on data security.

🇨🇴 Davivienda, the Colombian financial institution, and Siigo, the Colombian accounting and administrative software, announced a partnership to facilitate credit access for over 300,000 SMEs in Colombia. This partnership aims to simplify and expedite the credit application process for small businesses.

📜 Policy

🇨🇴 Colombia's Central Bank released a regulatory proposal for the country's instant payment system. The draft is open for public feedback until August 18th, aiming to establish guidelines for Interoperability in Low-Value Immediate Payment Systems. This move is set to enable transactions and payments from any account or financial institution, round the clock, all year long. 

🇨🇴 Bold, the Colombian company creating entrepreneur-friendly POS devices, was authorized as a financing company by the Colombian financial regulatory agency (financial Superintendency). 

🇨🇴 Bancupo, the Colombian digital credits for students company, was fined with $56,000 by the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) for exceeding legal interest rates. The SIC also mandated Bancupo to refund excess interest charges to customers who entered credit contracts with them since August, 2020.

🇲🇽 Sodexo Servicios Operativos, the Mexican meals and gas vouchers subsidiary of the French multinational, was authorized by the Mexican financial regulatory agency (CNBV) to operate as an Institution of Electronic Payment Funds (IFPE) under the Fintech Law. 

🇧🇴 Representative Mariela Baldivieso introduced a legislative bill in Congress to lift the ban on cryptocurrencies in Bolivia. The bill allows the government to establish relevant regulations, with participation from crypto ecosystem members and other sectors in a working group.

📰 Other News 

🇦🇷 Mercado Libre, announced the launch of Mercado Play, a free ad-supported streaming service, which will be available exclusively for Argentina. Expansion to other countries is expected.

🇧🇷 Loft, the Brazil-based residential real estate marketplace, raised $100 million from ADQ, a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund.

🌎 Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (GFLAC), Earth University, Ecovalores, and SVX, announced the First Edition of the Women's Program for Sustainable Finance in Latam, with the objective to generate knowledge and awareness about the role played by banks public and private commercial banks in the energy transition.

🌎 Google Cloud and Finnovista announced “FINNOSUMMIT Challenge 2023: Artificial Intelligence”, focused on startups that develop fintech solutions with the use of AI.

🌎 Google announced the "Google for Startups Accelerator: Climate Change Latino Founders" program focused on Seed a Series A startups based in Latin America and the US with a Latino founder.

📚 Deeper Reads

Fintechs in Latin America take on the challenge of serving immigrants

How Can Companies Harness the AI Revolution to Optimize Their Businesses?

How banks could fit into Elon Musk’s plans for an ‘everything app’

Sequoia and Brookfield prep for VC secundaries boom

Will fintechs use blockchain? (PO)

The Race for Enterprise Tokenization on Blockchain (ES)

Will Twitter start to compete with banks? (ES)

🔦 Spotlight on Bárbara González Briseño, CEO for Mexico at Bitso

Q. Three words to describe yourself. 

A. Resilience, grit, and care.

Q. What was your biggest challenge in your transition at Bitso from Global CFO to General Manager for Mexico? 

A. The biggest challenge was letting go off the team I had so passionately built during 4.5 years. I arrived at Bitso when the Finance team was small, and our operations were very limited. After my tenure, we transformed our function into a very strategic one in the company, playing a very important role in Bitso’s success. As I ventured into the new opportunity, I did not know if I would miss the finance role too much and I was unaware of the challenges ahead. However, it has proven to be the most remarkable challenge, getting me outside of my comfort zone, allowing me to venture into places of the organization I was not aware I was missing, and getting me closer to our team and customers.

Q. We know that you have talked about women and inclusion in several forums, what is your take on the role of women in fintech? 

A. We have so many amazing women in fintech! If you look left and right you can find so many remarkable professionals, who happen to be female, working on transforming the financial industry in Latin America. However, women have very little visibility in the ecosystem. People usually know the usual suspects and are missing out on getting to know many of these incredible women. We need to give them a platform to share their stories.

Q. What advice can you give to female entrepreneurs looking to scale their startup? 

A. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. And that is the fun part! If we wanted to have it easy, we would not have chosen entrepreneurship or operator journeys. Enjoy the challenges and be flexible to adapt to whatever your projects need from you at each stage. Most likely, you will need to reinvent yourself more times than you would think, and that is beautiful. Also, if you are a woman in a position of power, it is your responsibility to create opportunities and conditions for other women to thrive. We must help each other rise.

Q. How do you feel about the fintech industry in Latam and specifically the regulatory status of digital currencies in Mexico? 

A. There has been so much progress in the last few years. However, there is still so much more to do. We need our regulators to understand the fact that fintech is here to help provide optionality to people who historically have not had access to financial services across the region. We are their allies. And the use of technology by companies like us, only incentivizes the incumbents to embrace innovation and improve their products for customers. Customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of the disruption, which is the objective: making people’s lives better.

Made in Latam with 💜by Elena, Daniela, and Lorena

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