Brazilian Challenger Nubank Hauls in $400 Million

Followers of Finovate Global, our weekly look at fintech innovation around the world, are likely familiar with the story of Brazilian challenger bank Nubank. But with news of the firm’s $400 million Series G round – announced today – we suspect there will be quite a few fintech fans brushing up on the fintech industry in Latin America.

Company founder and CEO David Velez said that the funding will help Nubank grow and diversify its client base, as well as fuel expansion. He added that bringing more products to market is key to becoming the kind of “full service financial institution for clients” that Latin American consumers need. Nubank currently offers a digital savings account, and a no-fee credit card, as well as personal loans. A recent acquisition of Brazilian broker Easyinvest last fall, Nubank’s third of 2020, suggests that investment products also may soon be among the challenger bank’s offerings.

Headquartered in Brazil’s largest city São Paulo, NuBank has earned a valuation of $25 billion with its latest investment. The Series G was led by GIC, Whale Rock Capital Management, and Invesco, and featured participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Tencent Holdings, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Ribbit Capital. The investment more than doubles Nubank’s previous valuation, based its July 2019 funding. The funding also takes the company’s total capital to $1.2 billion and places Nubank among the top five financial institutions in the region.

Nubank serves more than 34 million customers in Brazil and Mexico, and recently expanded to Colombia. The company is part of a growing neobank movement in the country – and the region – that is taking advantage of the inefficiencies of incumbent banks. This, in fact, was a major motivating factor for Velez, as he explained last fall announcing the move into neighboring Colombia.

“Nubank was born out of the conviction that through technology, design, data science and a customer-centric vision we could create a new generation of financial services that make people’s lives easier, with no complexity and no bureaucracy,” Velez said last fall. “All Latin Americans deserve a more simple, transparent and human banking experience. Today, I’m proud to announce the arrival of Nubank in Colombia, my motherland. Our goal is to have a positive impact in the life of millions.”

Founded in 2013, Nubank participated in our developers conference, FinDEVR New York in 2016. At the event, Nubank co-founder and CTO Edward Wible and Principal Software Engineer Lucas Cavalcanti dos Santos led a presentation titled, “Our Money, Our Rulebook,” that explained how they build an in-house accounting system based on functional programming principles. For the past two years in a row, Nubank has been named by Forbes magazine as the Best Bank in Brazil, and Fast Company has dubbed Nubank the “most innovative company in Latin America.”

Photo by C. Cagnin from Pexels