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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 May 05 - Bancolombia launches digital asset platform

TWIF LatAm May 05 - Bancolombia launches digital asset platform
Sunrise in Panama City, Panama. Photo by Lorena Buzón

Hola amig@s fintech,

Today, Panama heads to the polls for its general elections, underscoring the nation's significance within the region. As a key player in Central America, Panama's political landscape influences broader dynamics throughout Latin America. Beyond the electoral process, democratic principles serve as fertile ground for advancing other vital initiatives, including financial access and inclusion.

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

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📊 Stat of the Week

80% of Argentinians demand changes in public transportation payment methods, with half preferring mobile payment options. Among Generation Z (18 to 29 years old), 60% favor using their phones for payments (Source).

📖  Read of the Week

The “Global Fintech Guide 2024,” by Chambers & Partners and Morgan and Morgan, addresses the regulations and legal framework, business models, and emerging trends in the Panama market. It also provides a detailed analysis on robo-advisors, payment processors, Blockchain, among others.

🦉 Post of the Week


🎙️ Podcast of the Week

💸 Venture Financing

💸 Equity

🇨🇱 Reuse, the Chilean startup dedicated to the sale of refurbished tech through a circular economy model, raised a  $4.5 million Seed round, led by Seaya Cathay Latam. The round had the participation of Dalus Capital, Ignia, Ángel Hub, and Compusoluciones Ventures, as well as the American fund Silence VC and the founders of Cornershop.

💵 Debt 

🇧🇷 Qred, the Brazilian online lending startup for SMEs, raised $394,000 through a credit rights investment fund (FIDC) structured by Nau Capital.

💰 Venture funds 

🌎 Caricaco, the Costa Rica-based VC investment fund, announced it will begin the investment process to allocate $100,000 in ten Central American startups, also providing them with support in key business areas such as strategy, marketing, and capital raising

☯️ Exits

🤝 M&A - Fintech

🇧🇷 Nayax Ltd., the US-based leading provider of commerce and payment solutions, announced the acquisition of VMtecnologia, the Brazilian retail market. This $27 million deal marks Nayax's entry into the Brazilian market to enhance automated self-service technology and impact 2,400 retailers.

🏦 M&A - Bank and FinServ

🇲🇽 Femsa, the Mexican multinational beverage and retail company, announced the acquisition of the assets that enable Oxxo Pay, from the Conekta payment platform. These assets enable Oxxo to receive cash payments at convenience store checkouts. The amount of the purchase was not disclosed by the firms.

🇲🇽 414 Capital, the corporate financial advisory platform with presence throughout the American continent, announced the acquisition of RIóN, the middle-market mergers and acquisitions sector’s company in Mexico.

🚀 Product Launches & Partnerships

💻 Fintech 

🇧🇷 Neon, the Brazilian digital bank, announced the introduction of a revamped app with advanced functionalities geared towards bolstering profitability through targeted cross-selling. The company introduced a competitive CDB product offering 150% of the CDI rate.

🇨🇴 Bold, the Colombian payment solutions platform, announced the launch of Bold account, complementing their dataphone service by allowing direct deposits and offering a debit card.

🇵🇪 Máximo, the Peruvian tech company building a banking retail, and Alfintech, the Peruvian digital banking enhancement platform, part of Alfin Banco, announced a partnership to offer a new digital banking experience in Peru. Through this partnership, Máximo introduces Ahorro Max, an interoperable savings account, promoting financial inclusion and accessibility in the Peruvian market.

🇧🇷 Nubank announced the introduction of payroll loan portability option in Brazil. Customers can transfer loans from Siape and INSS from other institutions, starting at 1.40% monthly interest. 

🌎 Plenti, the Colombian crypto stablecoin solution, announced the introduction of national and international payment facilitation, enabling quick transfers and recharges between the US and Colombia.

🌎 Yuno, the Colombian global payments orchestration platform, and Kushki, the Ecuador-based payment technology provider, announced a partnership to streamline transaction processes, increase security, and improve the overall user experience for users in LatAm.

🏦 Financial Services & Banking

🌎 Bancolombia, the Colombian financial institution, announced the launch of a digital asset trading platform through its subsidiary Wenia, enabling clients to buy, sell, and exchange various digital assets. Wenia, backed by Bancolombia's Investment Banking arm, operates as a provider of digital asset services. 

📜 Policy

🇦🇷 The Central Bank of Argentina announced the introduction of its first API to simplify access to information. This API of Principal Variables is part of a series aimed at efficient access to the institution's data, fostering Open Finance and enhancing transparency and interoperability within the financial system.

🌎 FinTech México, the association representing over 180 leading companies in the sector, signed the Principles for Women's Empowerment (WEPs) by UN Women and the UN Global Compact. 

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🔦 Spotlight on Rocío Aluminé Díaz, Head of Legal, Compliance & GR Latam at Pomelo.

Rocío Aluminé Díaz, Head of Legal, Compliance & GR Latam at Pomelo

Q. Can you give us three words to describe yourself?

A: Zealous, Perseverant, Empathetic 

Q. What made you get interested in financial innovation after your career experience in more traditional legal roles?

A: My shift to the dynamic field of financial innovation stems from a strong commitment to progress by collaborating with visionary entrepreneurs leading transformational change. 

Even during my tenure in the energy sector, I found myself captivated by the potential of renewable energy projects and electromobility initiatives, recognizing their pivotal role in spearheading solutions for a sustainable future.

I believe that innovation transcends mere technological advancements; it encompasses fostering social inclusion and effecting meaningful change on a global scale. By embracing financial innovation, I see an opportunity to contribute to this transformative narrative, leveraging my legal background to support initiatives that not only drive economic growth but also address pressing social [and environmental] challenges.

Q.Which has been your greatest professional challenge?

A: Certainly, my time at Pomelo stands out as a pivotal period in my professional career, where I embraced the daunting challenge of building a regional regulated tech company from the ground up, alongside inspiring colleagues. 

The journey demanded and still demands strategic decision-making, resource allocation, innovative problem-solving, and relentless perseverance. Balancing the demands and challenges of regulatory compliance, talent acquisition, and financial constraints requires creative thinking and meticulous planning, as well as the ability to rapidly adapt to a change of strategy or scenery. Despite the obstacles, witnessing the company flourish and the team thrive in such a complex and challenging environment remains a testament to our team's collective resilience and determination in turning an idea or vision into reality on a regional scale. 

Q. What is your opinion about the fintech industry in Latam?

A: The fintech industry in Latin America has been experiencing rapid growth and transformation over the past decade, due to its diverse market dynamics and unique challenges. 

Latin America boasts a large population with increasing access to smartphones and the internet, creating fertile ground for fintech adoption. This, coupled with a relatively underbanked population in many parts of the region, means there's a significant untapped market for financial services. This growth has attracted substantial investments from both global and local venture capitalists, supporting the rapid expansion and innovation of fintech startups across the region.

The regulatory frameworks across Latin America are evolving. Some countries have established more fintech-friendly regulations that encourage innovation and competition. However, inconsistency in regulations across borders may pose a challenge for scaling operations regionally.

Overall, the fintech industry in Latam holds significant growth potential and is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the region's financial landscape. Latin America’s vibrant entrepreneurial spirit, growing digital infrastructure, and supportive regulatory environment bode well for its continued expansion and development. With effective strategies and collaborations between the private and public sectors, fintech companies hold the potential to drive financial inclusion, foster economic growth, and improve the lives of millions across Latin America.

Q. What advice would you give to young people that are starting their careers in the fintech industry?

A: I highly recommend  young professionals to stay curious and keep up-to-date with industry trends, regulations, and market developments, while actively networking to build strong connections within the fintech community. Connecting with industry experts to learn from, mentors to guide you, and peers to share experiences can provide invaluable insights, guidance, and opportunities for collaboration. Also, think creatively! Fostering an innovative mindset is vital, as the industry thrives on disruptive ideas. Lastly, I would encourage them to remain resilient and adaptable, since these qualities are essential traits for navigating the fast-paced nature of fintech, enabling individuals to overcome challenges and seize opportunities for career growth and advancement. 

📚 Deeper Reads

Fintechs are taking over traditional banks in Latin America (ES)

How fintechs can succeed on campus and grow with Generation Z

LatAm’s Mercado Libre plows ahead with 50M fintech clients

📣 LatAm startup alum who have been impacted by layoffs and recruiters looking for top talent, check out the Startups Alumni and Layoffs Brasil databases.  

If you’re looking to hire from a group of 10,000+ smart, motivated fintech professionals, come pick up a Collective Pass and post a job here.  If you’re looking for your next adventure at one of the best fintech companies, check out the open roles here!

Made in LatAm with 💛 by Elena, Daniela, and Lorena

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