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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 June 4 - Banco Afirme launches digital bank Billú 🇲🇽, crypto bill advances in 🇨🇴

TWIF Latam June 4 - Banco Afirme launches digital bank Billú 🇲🇽, crypto bill advances in 🇨🇴
People forming the largest image of a bicycle Santiago, Chile, to promote the upcoming Pan American Games2023. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

$50 million in fintech funding (debt)

Hola amig@s fintech,

Yesterday, the Mexican states of Mexico and Coahuila elected their governors. The State of Mexico made history by appointing its first-ever female governor, with both candidates being women. The world is gradually changing, and as the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made”.

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

💛 Until next weekend. Até a próxima! - Lorena

Feedback? Reach out to us anytime! This week we're Lorena on funding, exits, policy and editing. Daniela on product launches, partnerships, and ClimateTech Corner, and Elena on other news, stat, quote and reads of the week.

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📊 Stat of the Week

Pix now accounts for 30% of payment transactions in Brazil 🇧🇷. (Source)

📖  Read of the Week

Per the Fintech Iberoamerica 2023 report published via a collaboration amongst fintech associations from around Latam, 1 out of every 4 fintechs in the world is from the Ibero-American region (Latin America and/or Spain).

💸 Venture Financing

💵 Debt

🇲🇽Stori, the Mexican consumer lending app, raised a $50 million credit line from Community Investment Management (CIM) to expand its credit card offerings. This funding will enable Stori to approve credit for more users in Mexico. The company also celebrated reaching the milestone of 2 million users.

🚀 Product Launches & Partnerships

💻 Fintech

🇦🇷 Littio, the Colombian company offering financial systems for emerging economies, launched its app in Argentina to offer digital dollar solutions with interest rates above 5%. Users can convert pesos into USDC, a stablecoin tied to the dollar, spending capabilities with a Mastercard debit card, and investment options.

🇲🇽 Mendel, the Mexican B2B debit/credit card and expenses platform, and Uber for Business announced a partnership to streamline invoice recovery for Uber Eats orders. This partnership automates the process and eliminates manual management.

🇨🇴 Quipu, the Colombian platform specialized in working capital for small businesses, and Claro Pay announced a partnership to provide a digital credit option to small merchants, offering productive loans starting from $100. The partnership enables businesses to easily apply for loans via WhatsApp, utilizing an AI-powered virtual assistant.

🇧🇷 Nubank and Uber announced a partnership to introduce NuPay as an exclusive payment method, allowing Nubank customers to use an extra credit limit for Uber rides without tapping into their pre-approved card limit. The integration will be gradually rolled out to all Nubank customers in Brazil.

🇧🇷 Bunge, the multinational agribusiness company, launched Fincrop, a new rural credit fintech in Brazil. With $500 million available, Fincrop facilitates credit operations between re-sellers and producers.

🏦 Financial Services, Banking & Incumbents

🇲🇽 Monterrey-based Banco Afirme launched its own digital bank, Billú, with a $17 million investment, aiming to grow its customer base by targeting gamers and leveraging blockchain technology. Billú offers various banking services, including account opening, transfers, cashback rewards, digital debit cards, and payment for services and school fees.

📜 Policy

🇦🇷 Argentina’s Central Bank approved new regulations to enhance cybersecurity and fraud prevention in digital financial platforms, establishing minimum requirements to cover transaction monitoring, digital identification, protection against identity theft, and prevention of fraudulent accounts and fake websites.

🇧🇷 Mercado Bitcoin, the Brazilian cryptocurrency broker, was authorized by the Central Bank to operate as a payment institution. With this approval, the company introduces MB Pay, offering a cost-free payment account for financial transactions using funds already deposited by exchange customers. The company also plans to launch a debit card in the upcoming months.

🇨🇴 The Sixth Commission of the Colombian Senate approved, in a third debate, the crypto bill, which seeks to establish regulations for crypto exchange service providers in the country. It also creates a Crypto Assets Exchange Platform (PIC). The bill is now awaiting a full session of the Senate to finalize the process, known as the fourth and final debate.

🇲🇽 The Mexican agency in charge of protecting financial services users, CONDUSEF, reported that 38 financial institutions were victims of identity theft during April and May 2023. These institutions reported cases where individuals or "companies" illegally used their identity to deceive or financially harm individuals seeking credit.

📰 Other News

🇧🇷 Nu gradually increased its participation in the loan market, currently has less than 6% of personal loans in Brazil and will start offering payroll loans as an opportunity to continue growing.

🌐 JP Morgan, the multinational investment bank, develops IndexGPT, an AI-powered investment advisory service similar to ChatGPT. By utilizing cloud-based software, IndexGPT will analyze and select securities based on clients' needs. Other banks like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, are also working on similar AI technologies.

🌐 American Express plans to partner with leading AI companies to validate transactions, approve lines of credit, analyze customer sentiments, and predict their finances.

🌐 Quona Capital impacted 5 million people in Latam, through the companies in which it has invested, which registered combined income of 906 million dollars. The variables that were considered are: access (who had an impact), quality (what and how much impact was had) and markets (the contribution made to the ecosystem).

📚 Deeper Reads

2023's challenges and opportunities in crypto

How the fintech sector helps with financial inclusion

This is why Starbucks app is actually a banking app

The impact of ChatGPT and open banking cannot be underestimated

Hey look unicorns are rare again

Fintechs: from challengers to minibanks (ES)

🌱 ClimateTech Corner by Daniela

Latam is blessed with a third of the world's water resources, thus it holds a significant advantage in the realm of ClimateTech. With nearly four times the global average of water per capita, the region possesses abundant water reserves.

However, despite its water riches, Latam faces significant challenges. Approximately 150 million people, a quarter of the population, reside in water-scarce areas, and over 400 million lack access to safe sanitation. Climate change exacerbates these issues, disrupting the water cycle and threatening water security.

To forge a sustainable path forward, it becomes critical to develop hydraulic infrastructure, preserve watersheds, and invest in underprivileged areas for equitable water access. Emphasizing efficient water use and management, strengthening institutions and implementing robust governance systems are vital.

And how does water intertwine with ClimateTech?
Natural Carbon Capture: Aquatic ecosystems like mangroves, wetlands, and seagrasses capture CO₂, playing a crucial role in the global carbon cycle. Preserving these ecosystems is vital for maintaining their carbon sequestration capabilities.
Water-Based Renewable Energy: Hydropower harnesses flowing water to generate clean electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Latam's vast water endowment fuels the greenest electricity production worldwide, with 45% generated through hydropower.
Water-Energy Nexus: Efficient water management technologies reduce energy consumption in treatment, distribution, and wastewater processes. Smart water grids, desalination, and wastewater treatment systems conserve water and lower energy demands.
Water Security and Adaptation: Climate change affects water availability and quality. Innovative solutions like rainwater harvesting, water recycling, and sustainable irrigation techniques ensure water security and enable adaptation.
Below some interesting news this week about water and ClimateTech:

🌐Waterplan, the Argentine SaaS platform to manage water availability, raised $11 million in Series A to address global water security issues. The startup combines company data with satellite imagery to assess the financial impact of water consumption, using AI and machine learning. Waterplan aims to accelerate the transition to a water-secure world by incentivizing water savings and conservation.

🇨🇱 Kimenko, the Chilean water management tool for businesses, announced the development of a water consumption monitoring innovation. With the use of machine learning, their software tracks real-time water flow in households, businesses, and schools, detecting and alerting irregularities, losses, or supply damages. Kimenko's technology aims to address Chile's severe water scarcity crisis.

Made in Latam with 💛 by Elena, Daniela, Lorena, and Christine

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