In some of the biggest news in international fintech of late, credit card leader Visa announced that it is acquiring Pismo, a Brazilian payments infrastructure company. Visa is paying $1 billion in cash for the firm, making the transaction one of the largest of its kind in the fintech industry this year.
“At Pismo, we aim to enable our clients to launch cutting-edge payments and banking products within a single cloud-native platform, regardless of rails, geography or currency,” Pismo CEO and co-founder Ricardo Josua said. “Visa provides us unrivaled support to expand our footprint globally and help shape a new era of banking and payments.”
The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and standard closing conditions. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Pismo will retain its current management team, post-acquisition. The company also insists that it will remain both rail and network agnostic, and that it will continue to offer all of its current products including banking, cards, and loans.
The deal will enable Visa to offer core banking and issuer processing capabilities across debit, prepaid, credit, and commercial cards for clients through cloud native APIs. Access to Pismo’s platform will also give Visa the ability to offer both support and connectivity for a variety of emerging payment rails – such as Brazil’s instant payments platform, Pix – for its financial institution clients.
Founded in 2016, the São Paulo–based fintech processes nearly 50 billion API calls a year and $40 billion in transaction volumes. The company powers more than 40 million issued cards and nearly 80 million accounts. In addition to serving customers throughout Latin America, Pismo is active in the U.S., Europe, India, Southeast Asia, and Australia. The fintech’s customers include banks and financial services firms like Brazil’s Itaú and Citi, as well as fintechs such as Revolut, N26, and Nubank.
The merger between Brazilian alternative lender Open Co and SME working capital provider BizCapital may not have produced as much fanfare as Visa’s acquisition of Pismo. But the combination is a boon for small businesses in Brazil, which will benefit from a new player in the B2B space with $104 million (R$ 5 billion) in unsecured credit operations for both individuals and small firms.
Interestingly, the merger was accomplished without the participation of financial capital and instead involved an exchange of stakes. Open Co CEO Sandro Reiss noted that the fact that the two companies have never been in direct competition, their “courtship had been going on for some time now.”
Open Co was launched in 2021, the product of a merger between online lender Geru and Rebel, a company that leveraged AI and bank account data to asses customer risk and financial health. BizCapital was founded in 2016 as a lender to SMEs that struggled to access funding via the country’s larger banks. Open Co serves approximately 10 million individuals; BizCapital serves more than one million small businesses.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
Latin America and the Caribbean
- Nigerian invoice financing company Zuvy raised $4.5 million in combined debt and equity funding.
- South Africa will require cryptocurrency exchanges in the country to secure licenses by year end.
- African superapp Ayoba teamed up with Adanian Labs to launch accelerator program in Nigeria.
Central and Eastern Europe
- Papara, a neobank based in Turkey, acquired Spanish neobank Rebellion.
- Belgian fintech Curvo secured €500,000 in seed funding.
- Germany’s Mambu expanded its partnership with the Google Cloud Marketplace.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- FinMont, a global payment orchestration platform, partnered with Israel-based chargeback mitigation specialist Justt.
- Monaco-based payment solution provider YowPay unveiled its SEPA instant credit transfer payment solution for Eurozone merchants.
- Bahrain-based fintech Infinios announced a partnership with U.S.-based cybersecurity firm Secureworks.
Central and Southern Asia
- MyShubhLife, an embedded finance platform based in India, forged a partnership PayWorld.
- Profit by Pakistan Today profiled Electronic Money Institution (EMI) SadaPay.
- HSBC launched its Global Private Banking offering in India.