FinTech: Buffett’s Berkshire Invests $500M In Brazilian Digital Bank Nubank’s $750M Extension Round
The round valued Nubank at a whopping $30 billion.
Brazilian digital bank Nubank, the largest fintech in Brazil and one of the biggest in the world, on Friday closed a $750 million funding round that included an investment of $500 million by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A). (WSJ)
Various domestic and foreign investors simultaneously invested $250 million in Nubank, it announced today.
Both the investments are an extension of Nubank’s January Series G funding round. In that round the bank raised $400 million at a valuation of $25 billion from investors including Singapore’s GIC, Whale Rock, Invesco, Tencent, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital, and Sequoia.
Since its launch in 2013, Nubank has raised about $2 billion to date. Of this, Berkshire Hathaway’s $500 million investment is the single largest by size.
Nubank’s G series is also the largest investment round ever carried out by a private technology company in Latin America.
Brazil’s great underbanked
Nubank is moving fast to take advantage of the vacuum in banking services that has left a huge part of Brazil’s population financially excluded. Traditional Brazilian banking, so far controlled by a few large institutions, has fallen into disrepute for its high fees, high interest rates, and poor banking services.
Nubank started in Brazil in 2013 offering a credit card with no annual fees and controlled by an app. Securing an early mover advantage in a country ripe for banking destruction, Nubank also enabled a large number of customers to open a bank account for the first time as well as build up a credit record through the use of its fee-free credit cards.
The company’s founder and Chief Executive David Vélez told the WSJ that there are still about 60 million people in Brazil, and 250 million in all of Latin America, that do not yet have access to financial services.
Banking and financial technology companies such as Nubank are enjoying a ready market for their services. The pandemic give them an extra boost because it triggered additional demand for e-commerce and digital payments due to lock down restrictions.
“With this, we are very, very well capitalized; we don’t have any plans to raise any additional capital,” said Vélez.
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