Brazil, one of the largest economies in Latin America (LatAm), has become over the years a breeding ground for some of the largest and most successful fintech companies in the region, a growth that’s been driven and facilitated by the country’s rising smartphone penetration, a supportive regulatory environment and its large unbanked population.
These startups are seizing the opportunity to cater to the needs of a diverse population and banking sector, providing innovative solutions that bridge the gap between traditional financial services and modern digital capabilities, bringing banking solutions to those with limited access, and helping incumbents in their digitalization journey.
Today, we explore some of the country’s biggest fintech startups, focusing on private digital finance companies that have grown rapidly over the past years to become some of Brazil’s leading fintech ventures.
Founded in 2019, C6 Bank is a digital bank based in Brazil serving individuals and businesses. C6 Bank operates entirely online and offers a range of financial services through its mobile app and website. These products include personal checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, investments, and payment processing.
Last year, it did, however, begin opening brick-and-mortar branches in the country to increase client engagement by providing more detailed and customized customer experiences, Reuters reported in October 2022. With the physical branches initiative, C6 aims to increase its share in the high income market, which it expects to cover some 5 million people in the country. The move came on the heels of the launch of Carbon, a platform focused on the roughly 20 million account holders who have an income of more than BRL 15,000 (US$2,862) per month or more than BRL 150,000 in investments.
C6 Bank is said to be serving more than 20 million customers. The company has raised more than US$2 billion in funding so far, data from Crunchbase and Fintech Global show. It’s valued at US$5.05 billion, according to CB Insights.
Founded in 2012, Creditas is a digital lending platform. The company provides a complete offering to its customers including fintech solutions, digital insurance and consumer solutions, using proprietary technology to deliver superior customer experiences.
Creditas’ loan portfolio includes real estate, vehicle, and payroll-collateralized loans, providing access to different solutions and services with integrated financing and refinancing options.
In consumer solutions, Creditas offers home renovation solutions, a proprietary online used car retail platform called Creditas Auto, and after its strategic investment in Voltz Motors, next generation electric vehicles (EVs), motorcycles and scooters. In digital insurance, the company claims it is the largest independent insurance broker in Brazil providing auto, residential and employment insurance in partnership with more than 16 carriers.
Creditas has raised US$917 million in funding and is valued at US$4.8 billion, according to CB Insights. The company says that between Q1 2022 and Q1 2023, its gross profit rose by 163.3%, growing from US$9.1 million to US$24 million.
Founded in 2013, CloudWalk is a global payment network built on modern technology and proprietary blockchain. The company provides a payment ecosystem for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and operates the InfinitePay brand, which has been in operation since 2019 with products based on blockchain technology, including digital banking, loans, cashback cards, online sales, digital wallets and card machines.
CloudWalk claims more than 1 million customers in over 5,400 Brazilian cities. Since its inception, it says it has brought more than US$500 million in fee savings to its retail partners.
CloudWalk has raised US$365.5 million in investments and is valued at US$2.15 billion, according to CB Insights. In 2022, CloudWalk was the only Brazilian fintech to be featured in the “The Retail Tech 100” ranking by CB Insights, under the “Protection Solutions for Payments and Frauds” category.
Founded in 2014, Dock is a leading technology company for payments and digital banking in Latin America. A pioneer in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, Dock aims to drive the acceleration of digitalization in the financial sector, democratize access to financial services and promote inclusion for the region’s unbanked and underbanked individuals.
Dock offers Dock One, an end-to-end platform in Latin America that brings together card issuance, digital banking, credit, risk management, and acquiring solutions. The company manages technology, operations, and regulatory complexities, allowing customers to focus on expanding their businesses.
Dock claims it operates 70 million active accounts and processes over seven billion transactions annually. The startup has raised US$280 million in funding and is valued at US$1.5 billion, according to CB Insights.
Founded in 2016, Neon is a digital bank that offers customers a full range of products and services, including debit and credit cards without annual fees, personal loans, payroll loans, simple investments in certificates of deposit, cashback in debit, various forms of payment, and other products. In addition, through its MEI Facil brand, the company offers financial services and education to individual micro-entrepreneurs throughout Brazil.
Neon achieved last year a valuation of US$1.6 billion after its US$300 million Series D fundraise. The round brought the company’s total funding to US$726 million. With the proceeds, the company said it would invest in technology, marketing, products and capital.
In 2021, Neon grew its revenue by 3x, its total credit portfolio to US$270 billion and says it had reached 15 million customers. The company claims it handles more than BRL 5.8 billion (US$1.2 billion) per month in transactions.
Neon’s rapid expansion has been made possible in part by strategic acquisitions such as MEI Facil, which offers financial services and education to individual micro-entrepreneurs; Magliano Invest, which was the first stock brokerage on Bovespa, the Brazil Stock Exchange Index; ConsigaMais+, a payroll lending company; and Biorc, a company which holds a Credit, Finance and Investment Society (SCFI) license.
Founded in 2012, Ebanx a leading payments platform in LatAm. Ebanx’s main goal is to facilitate access to international e-commerce for LatAm consumers by offering various payment solutions to global and regional companies.
Initially, Ebanx started by providing cash vouchers as a payment method to international e-commerce sites that wanted to sell goods in the region. As the company grew, it expanded its offerings to include a digital wallet called Ebanx Go, and Ebanx One, a platform that connects all its payment solutions through a single integration. This innovative platform allows global and regional companies to have hybrid combinations of operating models across LatAm.
Today, Ebanx has a presence in 15 LatAm countries and serves as a bridge between over 35,000 global and regional companies and millions of LatAm customers.
Featured image credit: Edited from freepik