Skip to main content
Best News Website or Mobile Service
 
WAN-IFRA Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Best News Website or Mobile Service
 
Digital Media Awards Worldwide
Hamburger Menu

Advertisement

Advertisement

Business

Argentine fintech Uala to invest US$150 million on Mexico, Colombia expansion, CEO says

Argentine fintech Uala to invest US$150 million on Mexico, Colombia expansion, CEO says

FILE PHOTO: Pierpaolo Barbieri, CEO of Uala, poses for a portrait in Buenos Aires, Argentina April 22, 2021. Prensa Uala/Handout via REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's fintech unicorn Uala will invest US$150 million over the next 18 months to boost its digital banking business, mainly in Mexico and Colombia, its Chief Executive Pierpaolo Barbieri said in an interview with Reuters.

The fast-growing firm, which has a valuation of some US$2.5 billion, is aiming to expand its user base at least fivefold to 25-30 million people in the next five years, from five million users currently around in Latin America.

"In the next 18 months alone we are going to invest US$150 million more in growth," Barbieri, 35, said at the companies offices in Buenos Aires. "Most of those funds are going to be destined to push growth in Mexico and Colombia.

Uala bought Argentine digital banking company Wilobank this year and invested US$80 million to operate in Colombia, after closing an investment round for US$350 million in 2021 and acquiring Mexican bank ABC Capital.

"In a market context where others are cutting investment, we are expanding because we already have the capital," said Barbieri, adding the firm wanted to expand its financial offerings into debit cards, loans, investments, and insurance.

Major investors in Uala include China's tech giant Tencent and Japan's SoftBank. Uala, which faces regional competition from the likes of Brazil's Nubank, Mexico's Stori and MercadoLibre payment arm Mercado Pago is aiming to tap Latin America's largely unbanked population.

"Latin America is 20 per cent digitized against 50 per cent in Europe and 70 per cent in China. I know that digitization will continue," said Barbieri.

"It seems to me a great shortfall of Latin America's democracies that we have so many people outside the system. In 10 years there will be no people outside the financial system."

Source: Reuters
Categories

Advertisement

Also worth reading

Advertisement