'FinTechs Evolve in Stride in Brazil' Says Founder of XP and 5 Startups

May 15, 2017

The FinTech market in Brazil is "evolving in stride."

These are words of the entrepreneur, Founder of XP Investimentos and now, a partner of five startups in the country.

Marcelo is an entrepreneur and FinTech aficionado, who Graduated from the Singularity University of California. He divides his time between Silicon Valley and Brazil, where he is creating startups in the industries of investment, credit, payment, foreign exchange, and insurance. They are Warren, BeeTech, Monkey Exchange, FitBank, and Startse.

The explosive growth of the Brazilian ecosystem of FinTechs led Marcelo to make the decision to go back to live in Brazil from June, after a season of two and a half years in the United States.

I had the opportunity to chat with him these days about the course and challenges of FinTech in Brazil. Below are the main passages of the conversation:

LTP: How is the FinTech market in Brazil today compared to the US or other countries?

'FinTechs Evolve in Stride in Brazil' Says Founder of XP and 5 StartupsMarcelo Maisonnave: Given the proportions of market size, Brazil is evolving at great strides. I see a movement of entrepreneurs occupying the spaces – similar to what’s happening here (in the US) – in the whole range of segments, such as payments, investment, credit, and others.

I'm also seeing a great interest in "RegTechs," or "regulation techs," which are companies that use technology to attack bureaucracy. So I'm super excited to see this developing scene.

LTP: What are the main signs of market evolution?

MM: I see a growing number of FinTechs and new entrepreneurs pursuing this market. We already talk about more than 200 FinTechs in Brazil. I also see the quality of the founders. They are people who come with experience in the financial market and add the technology that is being born.

In addition, banks are worried and are adapting to reality. I have seen initiatives from Itaú, Bradesco, Caixa with Youse Seguros, Banco do Brasil improving their apps ... I'm seeing only evolution and it's getting faster and faster.

LTP: Is there any feature that sets Brazil apart from the rest of the world in terms of the FinTech ecosystem?

MM: Actually, it's not just in Brazil – each country has a different regulation, and FinTechs depend a lot on regulation.

It is very difficult for a FinTech to enter Brazil because they need a lot of adaptation. FinTechs work better within specific jurisdictions, or they need to make adjustments.

LTP: What is the biggest challenge of Brazilian FinTechs today?

MM: The challenge is reaching maturity. First, they must be able to transform good ideas into financial products and then they have to pass through the valley of death, which means to begin to achieve profit.

We see NuBank, which is a super success, and now needs to become a profitable company. Startups need to become profitable to have a greater impact on the market and society.

Original Post (Portuguese)

This content was published in partnership with StartSe, the main Brazilian website about startups. The portal contains the StartSe Base, the largest database of startups in the country, with more than 5,000 registered companies.

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