Brazil‘s unicorn-making factory is in full swing: CloudWalk, a São Paulo-based payments fintech, has just announced a $150 million fundraising. The infusion brings the company’s total capital to $365 million and valuation to $2.15 billion, sealing the startup’s entry into the Brazilian unicorn club. “A two-horned unicorn,” joked Luis Silva, CloudWalk’s founder and CEO, in an interview with LABS.
The Series C round was led by US venture capital firm Coatue, which doubles down on the startup after leading the $190 million Series B round in May of this year. DST Global, The Hive Brazil, and Valor Capital Group, which also already invested in the company, followed the new round, in addition to A-Star, Plug and Play Ventures, angel investor Gokul Rajaram and American soccer players Larry Fitzgerald and Kelvin Beachum.
The funds will be allocated mainly to hiring talent (CloudWalk currently has a team of 300 employees in five countries) and developing new products. The company’s goal is to accelerate growth and kick-start international expansion, debuting in the United States and Europe in two years. For now, taking the operation to other Latin American countries is not on the radar.
CloudWalk does not disclose its revenue but claims to have achieved impressive 5,000% growth in the last two years. Providing payment acquiring services to some 150,000 small and medium-sized businesses and being present in 4,300 Brazilian cities, the company is currently handling TPV of $2.4 billion annually.
Founded in 2013, CloudWalk got its start by providing technology to acquirers. In 2019, the fintech launched the InfinitePay payment processing platform, now the portfolio flagship, also starting to operate as an acquirer. In the same year, it bought Confere, a cash flow reconciliation, and financial data aggregator software.
The company’s portfolio also includes Payment Link, an e-commerce solution for sales via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other apps; a digital wallet, which connects merchants and buyers and already has a 300,000 user base; a free online store platform for merchants to create their own online stores; a financial reconciliation program; and, most recently, a cryptocurrency cashback program focused on end-users. To do this, CloudWalk launched a stable coin called Brazilian Digital Real.
“CloudWalk is building a kind of bridge from the traditional payment industry, with the POS terminals and the online stores, to the blockchain market that is emerging now. We believe that blockchain will soon lead all future payment processes. Our goal is to increasingly expand the portfolio of blockchain products to make a mix between traditional payment solutions and new technologies,” explains Silva.
The response to the new products, according to Silva, has been positive. He believes that the secret of the company’s good performance is its focus on user experience.
According to the company, its cutting-edge platform integrates artificial intelligence, blockchain, and cloud technology to increase efficiency, security, and scalability in payment processing. It brings to a reduced operational cost, which CloudWalk converts into more cost-competitive rates for both regular credit card transactions and installment-based payment.
Coatue partner Michael Gilroy says that the technology provided by the startup makes CloudWalk “one of the most exciting startups in Latin America, both for its growth and for constantly innovating the payment solutions it offers.”