Nubank Wins Big in Latin America’s Fintech Community

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by Christopher Hamman · 3 min read
Nubank Wins Big in Latin America’s Fintech Community
Photo: Nubank / Instagram

Nubank with a valuation of $10 billion is the leading force in fintech in Latin America.

While it may not be in the normal scheme of things for fintech companies to make it big within just a few years of operations, fintech startup Nubank has done that. Sources indicate that the Brazilian startup has gone from strength to strength and has become one of the leading forces in the global fintech space due to a few gutsy moves by its CEO David Vélez. It all started when David was reading about how mobile apps were now being used to manage money in a new and different way in China with the mobile app in question offering new ways to consumers to manage their money and also provided services especially for the unbanked. 

This excited David so much that he and a few experts flew to China to check things out. They came back with some concepts which have been brought to reality in the form of Nubank. Nubank is one of the world’s greatest fintech unicorns at the moment with the highest number of downloads for a fintech company this year so far ( about 18 million), 15 million customers (a 25% increase) and a valuation of about $10 billion. Nubank’s books are in the green unlike many of its peers who have lots of red on their books at the moment which is another plus to its unicorn status. 

David Vélez stated:

“By being a technology company, you can provide access to financial services to hundreds of millions of people in a very efficient and not costly way,” 

“Financial services really can, eventually, touch 100% of the world’s population. The way to get there is to be a fintech”, added he.

This shows a shift from traditional banking services that require a brick and mortar presence to operate effectively. Fintech companies, on the other hand, require a massive investment in technology and the enabling environment to bring this to pass. In Brazil and other developing countries, for instance, the red-tape-bureaucracies won’t allow for the effective implementation of a framework that can enable fintech to rise. This also allows real entrepreneurs who want to make it big as they solve the problem of financial inclusion for everyone especially the unbanked of society (Brazil has at least a third of those in its population). 

Nubank’s business model is also similar to that of Alipay which is now under the management of Ant Financial which started as a digital wallet for Alibaba but has since grown to offer all-in-one services within the same mobile app. David has built what is going to become a financial colossus in the decade to come following Alipay’s internal investment strategies which work. One such example is the backing of savings accounts with paper government assets such that the yields and inflows are passed along to the consumers. 

While everything may not be rosy, it presents a unique opportunity for those willing to take a cue from the realm of strategy as David Vélez has done. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to create a successful venture. You can simply just copy and adapt it to suit your requirements. With that, you can never go wrong. 

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