February 27, 2019
By Carolina Mandl
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – German online banking startup N26 will open a subsidiary in Brazil next week, marking its first move to enter Latin America, the company’s head for Brazil said on Wednesday.
Eduardo Protes said N26, which raised $300 million in January in a new funding round that valued it at $2.7 billion, would offer a suite of mobile banking services through a partnership with a local bank, still to be forged.
N26 has yet to request a banking license from Brazilian regulators, he added.
The arrival of N26, which has 2.5 million clients in 24 European countries, underscores how fintechs are ramping up competition with traditional branch-based banks in Brazil, where 30 percent of the population lacks any kind of bank account, according to the World Bank.
N26 will compete in Brazil with digital banks such as Nu Pagamentos SA, which has more than 2.5 million digital accounts, Banco Inter, and C6Bank, which started operations in January.
N26’s investors include New York-based Insight Venture Partners, Singapore investment vehicle GIC, China’s Tencent Holdings, the digital investment arm of insurer Allianz, and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.
(Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Bernadette Baum)