Rappi, the SoftBank-backed Colombian delivery app, will be allowed to offer digital banking services following approval from the Andean country’s financial regulator, the company said.
Colombia‘s financial watchdog cleared RappiPay, a joint venture between Rappi and bank Banco Davivienda, to operate as a digital bank, the company said. RappiPay began operating in Colombia as a digital wallet, using the Daviplata platform for customers to make payments, transfers and purchases. With the authorization to operate as a digital bank, Rappi will be able to offer deposit and savings services through its own platform.
“Now, deposit and savings products will be offered by the financial entity RappiPay via its own platform,” Rappi said in a statement.
Until now, RappiPay has offered a credit card and an online deposit account, as well as other financial services in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru and Chile – depending on local regulations – but without offering the full services of an online bank.
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In Colombia, RappiPay already has some 800,000 users and has issued some 200,000 credit cards. RappiPay boss Gabriel Migowski told last November that Rappi and Davivienda had agreed to invest $100 million in the financial platform.
“We want to be a full bank, where we’ll be an ideal bank for all those within the Rappi ecosystem – not just individuals who are consumers, but also Rappi delivery workers and legal entities like businesses. We’re primarily focused on creating the best credit card experience so afterward we can offer (services) to small and medium-sized businesses which operate within Rappi,” he said then.
The startup is present in more than 250 cities across nine countries in Latin America and became a unicorn in 2018 after a $200 million round from DST Global. But the biggest contribution to Rappi happened in March 2019, $1 billion from SoftBank, the largest investment received by a Latin American startup to date. Last August, Rappi raised a little over $500 million in a funding round, taking its value to $5.25 billion.
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Rappi Colombia: How it all started
Headquartered in Bogotá, Rappi Colombia was born in in 2015, founded by Colombians Simón Borrero, Sebastian Mejía, and Felipe Villamarin. The company had an ambitious purpose from the very beginning. Rappi delivery startup was born more than five years ago, with its sights set to become a super app. What began as a service focused on delivering beverages and meals, soon expanded into groceries, tech goods, medicine, banking, entertainment, travel, and live streaming… and that list is increasingly expanding.
Rappi Mexico also stands out in the company’s strategy with a long list of launches since it started operating in the country. In 2019, Rappi made a partnership with Visa to release its own debit card in the country. In 2020, it was the financial group Banorte that crossed paths with Rappi Mexico: the two firms have struck a partnership to become co-owners of a digital financial services venture in the country.