Asia seems to be where many fintech investors’ eyes are turned these days, however there are plenty of other underbanked markets that hold just as many opportunities, possibly more, for the savvy global venture hunter.
South America is one of those markets, and its stand-out performer to date has been Nubank.
The online bank started out life wooing personal banking customers, and now counts 10 million of Brazil’s 209 million residents as customers. While its bread and butter has been a slick digital experience for retail customers, the company is now looking beyond personal banking to business banking for SMEs.
Complementing its current base of personal account holders, the new line of products will focus on self-employed professionals and individual micro-entrepreneurs, otherwise known as MEIs. Their needs are not that different to a retail account holder, and the move will no doubt increase average revenue per account holder, plus entice new customers. Around 800,000 of Nubanks clients are reported to have already requested the bank move into business banking, no doubt helping sharpen the decision around product prioritization.
This announcement from Nubank shows an understanding of the growing global trend around flexible work, and how financial services are so central to empowering this trend.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the likes of SoftBank Group are reported to be sniffing around. It’s rumoured that any financing deal Nubank undertakes, would value the company in the realm of $8 – $10 billion. According to Vox, that would make it the second most valuable fintech in the world, behind Stripe.
If Nubank can conquer Latin America (the company has just started expanding into Mexico), it seems like that valuation will be well justified.
Daily Fintech Advisers provides strategic consulting to organizations with business and investment interests in Fintech. Jessica Ellerm is a thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy and is the CEO and Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia.
I have no commercial relationship with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post.
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