To operate anywhere in Latin America, medium and large companies need to work with hundreds of payment methods. This is essential for their business to succeed, as each country has its own range of payment options beyond debit or credit cards. This is typical in a region with a large portion of the population still cast aside from the traditional banking and credit system. If, on the one hand, it has become easier to find payment providers in the region due to the digitalization and fintech boom, on the other hand, offering so many options has become quite a headache—a new problem from a new age.
“Basically, they have to make a technical integration to each payment provider. For companies operating in several countries, this means integrating 50,60 providers. This is super difficult and expensive. Yuno’s goal is to solve that pain point and offer to medium and large companies all the payments infrastructure they need, through a single plug-and-play solution so that they can focus on their core business,” explained Julián Nuñez, Rappi‘s former executive who created the fintech alongside Rappi‘s co-founder Juan Pablo Ortega. Last week, these two managed to raise a $10 million seed round co-led by Andreessen Horowitz, monashees, and Kaszek to Yuno, a two-month-old startup.
Ortega and Núñez met at Rappi while working together in the payments team and while the company was expanding to nine different countries. Ortega built and scaled Rappi‘s Payments and Fraud teams and capabilities while architecting the buildout of Rappi‘s financial services arm, RappiBank. Núñez created Rappi‘s one-click checkout, Paga con Rappi, and led Rappi‘s e-commerce business unit.
In an interview with LABS, Nuñez and Ortega said that they already serve some big Latin American companies in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia, but they couldn’t disclose their names due to contractual obligations – except for Rappi, which was the company’s first customer. Their obvious targets are e-commerce platforms, but any company receiving payments in the region is a potential customer for Yuno.
The round will help fintech accelerate the integration process with different providers in the region, starting with the Brazilian digital wallet PicPay and beta-testing these integrations with its current customers. The idea is that once the solution is running smoothly – which Ortega expects to happen in mid-April –, Yuno can integrate one provider per week. “We want to have 100 payments methods integrated into the platform by the end of the year,” said Ortega. The startup expects to be operating at full steam in Brazil, its main focus at the moment, in May.
With 14 people on the team, Nuñez expects Yuno to reach 100 by the end of 2022, with a particular focus on product and tech professionals and Brazil.
For Nuñez, three aspects may explain the investors’ bullish interest in Yuno. “Well, first of all, [Connecting and managing different payments methods] is a modern problem. Fifteen years ago, there were five, six payments providers in the region. Now, there are hundreds. Secondly, there are not many players trying to tackle this issue, and on top of that, we have a lot of experience solving this kind of situation inside Rappi. And third, it is an urgent matter for companies since it is a problem they are facing right now.”
Yuno wants to serve as a payment integration ‘marketplace’ but focused on Latin America, offering several bundled anti-fraud solutions. By doing this, Yuno will also integrate its solution with regional and global companies that are, at the same time, partners and competitors. PayU, EBANX (owner of LABS), dLocal, Adyen, Stripe are some of the examples. “We’ve talked to several of the big providers in the region. They all want to be the ultimate integration that any company needs, but they haven’t been able to do that a 100%. They have many issues; one of them is that a negotiation with a big merchant – and they normally go for the big ones – can take six months or more, and the integration up to 18 months. So they all see Yuno as an opportunity, a fast-track to connect to more merchants. In the end, Yuno is an enabler for them, a way to fast-forward the business cycle”.