Olivia, the finance app with a free financial assistant powered by artificial intelligence that was born in the U.S., arrived in Brazil on January 15th with a waiting list of 30,000 Brazilians. Four months later, the app already registers 200,000 downloads in the country.
Founded in 2016 in the United States by the Brazilians Lucas Moraes and Cristiano Oliveira, the startup has been operating there since 2017 and also in Ireland, through a partnership with the largest pension fund in the country, since 2018. In total, Olivia is getting closer to 1 million users in the world.
Moraes told the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo that the company saw an increase in the volume of downloads between March and April this year, probably due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus. “It is an unprecedented financial crisis, which makes people seek to better organize their money,” he told the newspaper.
In January, shortly after Olivia’s arrival in Brazil, Moraes talked to LABS. According to him, Brazil has been part of the startups’ plans for at least two years. “We came to Brazil in 2018 for some meetings, which culminated in a round of investments and also solid partners. Still, in mid-2019 we started to structure our operation in the country,” he said.
The round to which Moraes refers was officially announced along with the startup’s arrival on the 15th: an investment of BRL 25 million ($5.8 million), led by the investment portfolio of the neobank BV, a new brand of Banco Votorantim, whose shareholders are Banco do Brasil and Votorantim SA, accompanied by MSW Capital through the BR Startups fund, which had already invested BRL 1.5 million in the company in 2019. The Brazilian broker XP also invested in a minority stake in the startup.
Along with the investment came Olivia’s partnership and integration with the BV bank card app in early 2019, and then the XP app, which helped to “tropicalize” the startup’s technology.
Currently, customers of banks Itaú, Banco do Brasil, Caixa Econômica Federal, Nubank are able to connect to the platform, in addition to Alelo, CrediCard, Sodexo, Ticket, Itaucard and American Express cards issued by Bradesco. In the coming months, one of the priorities of the Olivia team in Brazil is to increase this list.