Dock, a payments and banking as a service company, announced this Thursday (12) that it raised $110 million in a round led by two private equity managers, Lightrock and Silver Lake Waterman, and with the participation of existing investors, such as Riverwood Capital (which owns a relevant part of the company’s capital), Viking Global Investors, and Sunley House Capital. With the funding, Dock says it has reached an estimated market value of more than $1.5 billion.
Dock CEO Antonio Soares said the funds will be used primarily for new product development, as well as the company’s international expansion — which announced the opening of seven offices in Latin America in March — and, of course, new hires.
For two months, the fintech has been strengthening its international teams, opening offices in countries where it had business before – Mexico City (Mexico), Lima (Peru), Santiago (Chile), Bogotá (Colombia), and Buenos Aires (Argentina) – and planning their arrival in two others (Quito, in Ecuador, and Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic). With more than 65 million active accounts from more than 300 companies (not counting the clients of the Mexican Cacao, acquired last year), Dock wants to be a vehicle of regional expansion for its clients as well. And it is through the offer of banking as a service the company intends to do that.
In Brazil, Dock is a regulated payment institution and has recently asked the Central Bank to act as a payment initiator, a role that Mercado Pago is already performing. In the future, the company also knows that an exchange license can help it operate services such as remittances and dollar accounts, which in turn are a gateway for anyone starting to work with crypto.
There is still no payment institution license in Mexico, such as the one in Brazil. So Dock has partners with different permits and is also enabled to operate within Visa and Mastercard card schemes. “In Mexico, as in Brazil, we have customers who use our platform in the Saas model, with their own licenses, and customers who use Dock in the Baas model, through our licenses,” explained Soares. When acquired in December, Cacao had already issued more than 4 million cards in Mexico to more than 50 corporate clients such as Albo, Lanapay, Oyster, and Clip. The idea is that they now will have access to other Dock solutions as well.
Processing more than $50 billion annually — more than double what it processed at the start of 2021 — Dock has been standing on its own two feet since its founding in 1995. The company was born offering private label cards to retailers, but in 2014, when it was acquired by private equity manager Riverwood Capital and Soares himself, it began to expand its services. In 2018, it raised an investment with Visa, which, according to Soares, was relevant not for the capital itself but the fintech‘s entry into Visa’s network, allowing the launch of the company’s first banking-as-a-service platform.