In Latin America and the Caribbean, there are 703 FinTech firms, 230 of which are in Brazil, according to a study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Finnovista. Visa, one of the largest financial institutions globally, keeps an eye on the region's initiatives and maintains a series of projects that select FinTech startups which are interesting to its business, especially in Brazil.
Brazil hosts one of the eight Visa's innovation centers around the world, and the country is home to acceleration programs Track Visa, Ahead Visa and the Visa Everywhere Initiative. The Visa Everywhere Initiative is in the semifinals stage, which is taking place in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. The selected startups will compete at the finals in the United States in November.
Across the region, three trends stand out in financial services, according to Vanessa Meyer, Visa's VP of Innovation for Latin America and the Caribbean.
"The first is related to the democratization of innovation. The internet and open platforms have made it easier for developers to devise and implement new solutions, so many solutions no longer come from [global] financial centers. The second trend is about consumers; they have higher expectations about the experience. The third is the connection by mobile devices. When we think of the proliferation of mobile devices we know that basically all of them have the ability to become a terminal or payment device."
Furthermore, we will review some of the most interesting FinTech startups that participated in Visa innovation programs in 2017.
Source: FinTech: Innovaciones que no sabías que eran de América Latina y el Caribe, IDB and Finnovista
Visa Everywhere Initiative
"More than 250 startups have signed up and we have chosen ten by market (country) so we have five semifinals. In the first week of November in Miami, selected startups will receive mentoring and will have access to Visa specialists to prepare for the final pitch on November 9th," Meyer explained.
Vanessa Meyer, VP of Innovation for Latin America and Caribbean, Visa
On September 28, the Brazilian semifinal will be held among the following participants:
- Adimplere – debt renegotiation portal
- Saffe – payments made by facial recognition
- Monkey – credit for PME
- Triunfei – marketplace for credit options
- Planejei – financial management
- Vérios – robo-advisor
- Poupa Certo – financial management
- GoMoney – exchange of currency and others
- Quartilho – financial investments for companies
- ZigPay – virtual charge for events
Track Acceleration Program
Track Acceleration Program is a Visa program in partnership with Kyvo and GSVlabs. In April, five FinTech startups listed below were selected from about 180 registered entrepreneurs for a six-month acceleration program.
- Beetech offers services such as foreign currency exchange and international online transfers.
- Dataholics uses data from social networks for credit score.
- Foxbit is the leader in cryptocurrency trading in Brazil.
- NextOne connects real estate and brokers to insure companies.
- Saffe helps users to make payments with their selfie.
Ahead is an acceleration program in partnership with the Startup Farm accelerator and Google for Entrepreneurs. Of the seven selected for acceleration, three were chosen on the demo day, on August 25.
- Onboard Mobility – mobile application that integrates the payments of the different urban public transport providers.
- BX Blue – platform for contracting payroll loans.
- Pay Key – money transfer application via WhatsApp and any other app that uses a keyboard.
- Banco de Formaturas – assists in fundraising and transparency for graduation parties.
- Cred.fit – marketplace for financing used cars.
- Kavod Lending – peer-to-peer lending.
This content was published in partnership with StartSe, a leading Brazilian website that focuses on startups. The portal contains the StartSe Base, the largest database of startups in the country, with more than 5,000 registered companies.