2017: Latin America, you can be the exception of the global trend.

The end of the year accumulated several duties and the beginning of the year was quite busy and I do apologize to stop writing for a while but now I am ready to catch up the time lost.Let’s start quickly: the end of the year and a new 2017.

The end of 2016 was quite positive for the Fintech ecosystem in Latin America.Here you have some numbers:

  • # of Fintechs in Brazil: 206 according to the Fintechlab
  • #of Fintechs in Mexico: 158 according to Finnovista
  • #of Fintechs in Colombia: 77 according to Finnovista
  • #of Fintechs in Argentina: 60 according to Finnovista
  • #of Fintechs in Chile: 56 according to Finnovista

In 2016, investments in Latin American Fintechs increased (here you have some examples):

  • For Brazil: Nubank (USD 132M), GuiaBolso (USD 20M) and BankFacil (USD 5M)
  • For Mexico: Kueski (USD 10M), Konfio (USD 8M) and Kubo Financiero (USD 7.5M)
  • For Colombia: Alkanza (USD 3M)

Now in 2017, we know that the number of Fintechs in each country have already increased, governments started structured themselves to learn to deal with Fintechs, Fintech associations has been created (Colombia and Argentina) and even the investors organized themselves to follow better the Fintech growth. In January 2017, new investments were done in the region, Ripio (old BitPago) from Argentina received USD 1.9M and Asaas from Brazil got USD 0.8M.

2017 started positively. Trends? Robo Advisors, Blockchain, Regtech…not really I believe more on Insurtech in the region. Big Insurance companies will finally follow the path that Banks started last year and will learn to deal with insurtechs and new technologies related (IoT for example) to reach a population that do not have an insurance culture.

Challenges? A lot! Regulation, higher investments for mature fintechs, scale, more early stage investments …

Banks will finally go beyond observation…will they finally buy one Fintech, two? why not.

International investments should grow because economic situation in most countries of Latin America is improving.

Finally, and my only certitude, Latin America is not the US or Europe. So if the “booming” of the Fintech sector slowed down there, it does not mean that Latin America will follow the same trend. Fintechs are solving issues that big organizations and even some governments did not want to deal locally. On the other hand, customers seem finally ready to use digital solutions. So  initiatives and projects that can finally change a continent should not be stopped and we should work to foster the fintech culture in the region (in English, Spanish or Portuguese). These are my best wishes for 2017!

 

small

Source: The Economist 2017

 

 

Advertisements

Fintech needs you!

I decided to start this blog because I believe that the Fintech knowledge has to be shared. I am currently living in Brazil and I want to show what is happening in the Latam market. Sometimes, I will also write about other continents because they can be great references and models for Latam countries.

Why did I start this experience with the sentence Fintech needs you?

Because Fintech needs all of of us.

Fintech needs Banks and Insurance companies. Some people say that financial startups are enemies of  banks, others say that they are allies. Remember the annual letter that the CEO of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon addressed to the shareholders warning that “the Silicon Valley is coming”. Banks are certainly worried about the thread of this newcomers however they are also aware that they can learn from them. Today, several international banks are leading accelerators program for Fintech startups. The Fintech industry is thus learning about the stakes of big banks and how they can work together. Interesting outcomes will appear from these relationships and that is what makes the current financial services industry so exciting.

Fintech needs investors. Fintech needs venture capitalists, seed capital, angels, crowd funding from all around the world to create new solutions and reach more people. I feel that Latam Fintech is not yet internationally well known. The Fintech industry is growing within the Latam countries but we need that international investors inquire about what is happening in Latin America and decide to invest. This blog can  help to advertise the high potential Fintech actors that we have in Latin America.

Fintech needs users. We assume that the millennials are the first users to the new technologies and the disruptives services of the Fintech. We are not wrong however we also need to involve the other generations that are curious about innovations. In technology, there are new solutions popping up all the time. Hence, people requires some guidance to use the best app or website that will really solve their problems. The blog expects to bring some light to the increasing offer of technological innovation in the financial sector.

Fintech needs partners and employees. During a Fintech conference in Sao Paulo, one of the founders of Guiabolso, stated that especially in Fintech the team is key to make a difference. The experience and complementarity of the team members ensure success. Most of the Fintech founders have already worked in banks or insurance companies before starting their startups. Team background brings credibility to convince investors. For example, this blog can gather a financial community and with that some interesting job opportunities can emerge.

Several challenges and opportunities are surging within the Fintech ecosystem that is why it is so interesting. So, Fintech is in vogue…true. It is even becoming fancy. Nevertheless, Fintech also represents inclusion. This industry will allow more people to have access to financial services and also will teach how to deal with money in order to reduce indebtedness. Fintech can also be a social business.

A new financial landscape is being built and everyone wants to be part of. With the rise of Latam countries in the startup ecosystem, we expect Fintech Latam to reach a new level and be disruptive. I am confident that we will see this progress soon.