LatAm List – Ualá‘s founder, Pierpaolo Barbieri, recently announced via his Twitter that the Argentine neobank raised a $150M Series C round from led by China’s Tencent alongside Japan’s Softbank. Both investors will join Ualá’s board of directors as a part of the round.
Tencent previously invested an undisclosed round in Ualá in April 2019 after investing $180M in Brazil’s Nubank. Ualá’s previous investors Endeavor, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP), Soros Fund Management LLC, Monashees, Ribbit Capital, and Jefferies LLC also participated in this round.
To date, Argentina’s leading neobank has emitted over 1.3M cards in every region of the country. Argentina’s banking system is famously complicated and inaccessible, contributing to Ualá’s rapid growth since being founded in 2016. According to the World Bank, only 41% of Argentines have a debit card and only 7% have requested a loan or saved at a traditional financial institution.
“We are honored to have the trust of such leading tech investors and operators,” commented Ualá’s founder and CEO, Pierpaolo Barbieri. “Seeing them trust our team is a huge vote of confidence in Latin American technology and the region’s talent. We see a gargantuan opportunity in financial services – and we obsess about product to deliver the best options to our users.”
According to Barbieri, Ualá will use the funds to “turbocharge” growth in payments, lending, and savings. The challenger bank launched their lending product in March and recently added a savings program just weeks ago. This investment will also allow Ualá to triple the size of their team over the next year, adding up to 400 new jobs.
“Uala’s growth has been truly remarkable. What the team is building has revolutionized financial services in Argentina. We believe the strategy and exceptional execution demonstrate great potential,” said Shu Nyatta, Managing Partner of the SoftBank Innovation Fund.
Read more in AméricaEconomía.