2017, a great year to Latin American Fintechs

fintech, latin america, payment, blockchain, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, disruption, innovation, bank

What’s in it for me:

  • Learn what is happened in Latin America about fintech in 2017
  • Find out the main investment rounds in fintech in Latin America in 2017
  • Find out the main exits fintechs in Latin America had in 2017

In 2016, we had a boom of fintechs in Latin America with investments raising 30% in value (US$ 186M in 2016) and 81% in number of deals (38 in 2016) compared to 2015. Therefore, 2017 had all t be even better… and it was!

Last year was a great year for the fintech ecosystem in Latin America with many relevant investments, many milestones, and even a few first exits. There are now around 1,000 fintechs in Latin America with Brazil and Mexico leading with almost half of the total.

The following list isn’t supposed to be exhaustive, especially because many things happened in 2017, but rather be a highlight of the most relevant events.

Relevant Events

  • March (Mexico) –Startupbootcamp together with Finnovista launched its first acceleration program in Latin America focused in Fintech and based in Mexico City.
  • April (Brazil) – Equity crowdfunding is regulated in Brazil (link Portuguese).
  • April (Argentine) –MercadoLibre launched MercadoCredito to offer credit to SMEs (link Spanish).
  • May (Latin America) –IDB launched with Finnovista a report about the fintech innovation in Latin America (link).
  • June (Mexico) –BBVA Bancomer launched its open innovation initiative Open Sandbox to collaborate with startups (link Spanish).
  • July (Mexico) –Sura launched its acceleration program to work with startups (link Spanish).
  • July (Argentine) – Six Argentinian banks launched a fund called Arfintech to invest in fintechs (link).
  • July (Latin America) – Visa launched a regional competition with Finnovista looking for the best fintechs in Latin America (link).
  • August (Brazil) – Itaú announced that it was expanding 4 times its coworking space Cubo to accommodate 210 startups (link Portuguese).
  • August (Brazil) –Bradesco launched a coworking space for fintechs to compete with Cubo (link Portuguese).
  • August (Brazil) – A fintech hub was launched in São Paulo, the House of Fintech (link)
  • October (Brazil) –Nubank started to offer a 100% digital bank account without fees to compete with Brazilian big banks (link).
  • December (Mexico) – The Mexican Fintech Law was approved in the Senate, putting Mexico in the frontier of fintech regulation. (link)
  • December (Mexico) –Startupbootcamp Scale was launched as the first fintech program in the region focused on supporting scaling fintechs (link).
Largest Investment Rounds
  • February (Brazil) –Creditas received an investment of R$ 60M (US$ 19M).
  • May (Brazil) –Avante received an investment of R$ 38M (US$ 12M) (link Portuguese).
  • June (Mexico) – ComparaGuru received a Series A investment of US$ 7M (link Spanish).
  • August (Brazil) –Nubank received a debt round of R$455 M (US$140 M) to finance its revolving credit portfolio (link).
  • September (Colombia) –Sempli received a Series A investment of US$ 3.6M (link).
  • October (Brazil) –GuiaBolso received a Series D investment of R$ 125M (US$ 39M) (link).
  • October (Mexico) –Konfio received a Series B investment of US$ 10M (link).
  • November (Argentine) –Ripio raise US$ 37M from its ICO (link).
  • December (Brazil) –Creditas received an investment of R$ 165M (US$ 51M) (link Portuguese).

If you there was any other relevant event that you think should be mentioned here, please let me know by posting a comment below.

As you can see, 2017 was a great year for fintechs in Latin America, but still we have a lot to go to catch up eith some more developed markets such as USA, UK, Singapore, and China. Even though, I’m confident that Latin America has a great potential for fintechs, next post I will explain why I believe this. Stay tuned!

What do you think about what happened in 2017? Do you think 2018 will be even better? Please comment and let me know!

 Key Takeaways:

  • Latin America fintech ecosystem is growing rapidly with Mexico and Brazil positioning themselves as the leaders and Colombia and Argentine behind
  • Financial institutions are even more interested in collaborating with startups, launching many initiatives
  • The market is starting to see a few initial exits and some bigger rounds of investments
  • Lending was the most relevant segment in Latin America in 2017

I wish a great 2018 to everyone and many more investments and exits for the Latin American fintechs!

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