Brazil-based fintech unicorn EBANX announced on Tuesday (15) a new mega-round of $430 million from Advent International, one of the largest global private equity investors. Of this total, $400 million will be invested now – which includes making acquisitions across Latin America – and $30 million are committed to the future IPO of the fintech, which also owns LABS, in the United States.
The pre-IPO round is one of the largest ever raised by startups in Latin America, behind only the $525 million capital infusion received by the proptech Loft in March and April (Series D and its complements), the $1 billion round raised by Rappi in 2019 and the Series G round of $1.15 billion announced last week by the neobank Nubank.
With the new funding, Advent becomes part of EBANX’s board, alongside FTV Capital, responsible for the fintech’s last two (and only) rounds, including the one whose value was not revealed but turned EBANX into a unicorn, in 2019.
Advent’s recent investments in Latin America include companies such as Nubank, CI&T, Prisma Medios de Pago, Grupo BIG, Enjoy, Grupo Farmacêutico Somar, YDUQS, and Canvia. Last year, Advent raised $2 billion for its seventh private equity fund dedicated to Latin America (named LAPEF VII).
For this round, Advent used funds from four investment programs: the Latin American Private Equity Fund (LAPEF), Global Private Equity (GPE), Advent Tech (AGT), and Sunley House Capital (SH). This is the first time that Advent combines four different programs to invest in the same business.
“The three founders, João [Del Valle], Wagner [Ruiz], and Alphonse [Voigt], are passionate about their business and determined to serve their customers with excellence. They have established a remarkable track record as Brazilian entrepreneurs, and we are very honored to be part of this trajectory,” said Brenno Raiko, an Advent Managing Director responsible for investments in the technology sector in Latin America, in a press statement. “EBANX is one of the most interesting companies I’ve seen in the last 20 years,” added Mario Malta, an Advent Managing Director responsible for financial services investments in Latin America.
New talent, acquisitions, and IPO: EBANX’s plans going forward
Operating in fifteen Latin American markets, EBANX, which has clients such as AliExpress, Uber, and Spotify, is known for processing payments for global companies in Latin America. But EBANX’s plans go well beyond that.
At the end of May, the fintech announced the launch of a proprietary platform called EBANX ONE, through which it aggregates not only international payments but also local solutions (within the territory of the countries where it operates) and payin and payout services (which include, for example, the payment of suppliers inside and outside countries without the client company needing to have a legal entity in the territory).
EBANX will use Advent’s round to continue its expansion throughout Latin America, attracting new talents and making acquisitions. “Investing in cutting-edge product development and market expansion to serve global companies interested in Latin America has always been our goal. Advent’s arrival accelerates this process and brings the necessary experience to continue to deliver the best experience in digital payments in LatAm”, said João Del Valle, CEO, and co-founder of EBANX.
Del Valle took over as CEO in early May. Alphonse Voigt, another co-founder who had occupied this position for the past nine years, is now in charge of the company’s board of directors and EBANX’s plans to go public.
Wagner Ruiz, former EBANX’s CFO, left the role to embrace something that was already his responsibility. He became the company’s CRO (Chief Risk Officer), focusing on regulation and compliance. To help put the company on track for the IPO, a new C entered the scene: a former executive from BTG and TOTVS, Alexandre Dinkelmann, took on the role of CFO.
The attraction of new talents will also gain strength with the new funding, following the moves that recently led Ariel Patschiki, partner and former B2C Product Director, to the position of Chief Product Officer. “Relying on the most talented and experienced professionals in the market is essential to the evolution of our service level and of our customers’ experience. This is a priority in this new moment for EBANX,” said Ruiz.
Del Valle did not disclose revenue metrics, but said that transactions in Latin America, not counting those in Brazil, tripled in 2020 and that the total number of purchases processed by EBANX in 2020 jumped 38%, to 145 million. The round now makes EBANX one of the most valuable startups of Latin America.