Itau's controller partner invests $5 million in a new crypto exchange created by Mercado Bitcoin's former CEO

In addition to, the funding will also be used to expand three other innovative projects, including Real's stablecoin and a platform aiming to create a secondary market for crowdfunding in Brazil in partnership with SMU.

Representation of cryptocurrencies
Representation of cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on September 28, 2021. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Profitus, a fund owned by Ricardo Vilella Marino, the controlling partner of Itaú Unibanco, has invested $5 million in, a new crypto exchange created by Rodrigo Batista, the former CEO and founder of Mercado Bitcoin, and ready to launch in July.

In 2013, Batista founded Brazil‘s first cryptocurrency exchange, Mercado Bitcoin. He was the company’s CEO and controller until 2019, when the platform was sold to 2TM group. At the time, Mercado Bitcoin had 1.5 million customers; today, it has 3.5 million.

READ ALSO: Mercado Libre buys a stake in 2TM Group, the parent company of crypto unicorn Mercado Bitcoin

Villela Marino had an international executive career at Itaú, an instituition founded by his great-grandfather. Currently, he is also a special advisor for Valor Capital Group.

The funding will be used to accelerate the operations of The platform will launch in July and, despite being headquartered in Brazil, it has the goal of reaching 1 million customers worldwide in its first year of operations. The application is now available for advance registration of customers.

In addition to the exchange, press office also told LABS that a share of the funding will also be used for the expansion of other three innovative projects by Batista: nTokens, partner of SMU Investimentos in a secondary equity platform already approved by Brazil‘s SEC, CVM; the development of the Real’s stablecoin; and the further development of Atris, a technology company specialized in creating new exchanges of various assets, such as energy, carbon credits, among others and also a partner at SMU’s project.

READ ALSO: SMU prepares to kick-start its secondary market for crowdfunding in Brazil

“We have created a business model that is disruptive to the crypto market globally and will simultaneously encourage financial inclusion through digital assets. has everything to lead the innovations in this market in the coming years,” sadi Marino in a press statement.

The new company wants to take some space occupied by companies like Binance, a global leader created in 2017, and FTX, launched less than three years ago and recently valued at $30 billion.

“I don’t see why a company created in Brazil cannot aspire to be in this group of global companies. We are working hard, and Brazil is a reference when it comes to governance and security in the financial market,” said Rodrigo. is a global trading exchange for bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, and digital assets founded in 2021. The company is betting on the convergence of the crypto world with the traditional trading world.

Get the best insights about Latin America market in your inbox