What Nubank's IPO means for the future of LATAM fintech
Nubank's rise to fame says a lot about the potential of fintech in LATAM.
A message for non-paid subscribers
Read the full article, all previous ones, and the next 6 exclusive op-eds with a free trial.
On December 9th, 2021, Brazilian start-up Nubank went public on the New York Stock Exchange, raising more than $2.6 billion in the process. Nubank, a “neobank” offering a fully-digital banking experience for users across Brazil, Colombia and Mexico is often seen as the poster boy for Latin America’s recent “fintech boom”.
Nubank was founded in Brazil in 2013 by a Colombian (David Velez), an American (Edward Wible), and a Brazilian (Cristina Junqueira). The impetus to found the company came from Velez’s complicated and lengthy experience opening a bank account in Brazil, which he theorized could be done entirely online. As the Nubank prospectus states:
“All three of us saw a massive opportunity, using technology, data, and truly thoughtful service to eliminate the complexities and anxieties that customers face every day dealing with Latin American banks, by creating a truly new experience, not just a digital copy.”
Kickstarted by some initial investment from renowned VC firm Sequoia Capital, for which Velez previously worked, Nubank was founded with the ambition to disrupt the highly concentrated Brazilian banking market, where five major banks control four-fifths of the space.