Retail group Via announced this Wednesday (8) investments in three fintech as part of its goal to expand its digital financial services. The Brazilian company, formerly known as Via Varejo, invested in GoPublic, Poupa Certo, and byebnk. The startup trio develop different levels of financial services — going from loans solutions to financial education to trading crypto assets. The prices involved in the transactions were not disclosed.
Owner of brands such as Ponto and Casas Bahia, Via follows its path to digitalize its business and bring new offers to its ecosystem. Beyond the investments, Via also plans on launching credit cards, and a personal credit line through its digital wallet banQi.
Via’s investment is part of its Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) program called Via Next. Launched in partnership with innovation consultancy Distrito, Via Next will inject up to BRL 200 million in startups in the next five years.
The investment in GoPublic, Poupa Certo, and byebnk was convertible debt (a loan converted into stocks in the future). Distrito’s latest report points that CVC skyrocketed in Brazil: $622 million invested by corporate in startups in 2021.
“Via Next’s stake in these three fintechs allows us to gain speed and strengthen the financial ecosystem for our customers, consumers, and our marketplace retailers,” says Via’s Chief Innovation Officer, Helisson Lemos.
Lemos explains Via’s idea for the trio is a long-term plan. GoPublic offers an ecosystem of modular Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions to facilitate the credit and payments journey, focused on customer behavior and credit flow. Poupa Certo, which operates in Brazil, Peru, Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico, is a management and financial education platform with a gamification strategy. Byebnk is a cryptocurrency investment management platform for users to make investments in traditional assets through digital tokens.