Digital bank Z1 raised $2.5M round led by Homebrew

LatamListZ1 is a Sao Paulo-based digital bank created with Latam’s Gen Z’ers in mind. The startup recently raised $2.5M in a round led by Homebrew, a US-based VC fund, with participation from Clocktower Ventures, Mantis, Goodwater, Gaingels, Soma Capital, and Rebel fund.

Part of Y Combinator’s Winter ‘21 batch, Z1 is a digital bank app built for teenagers and young adults. By using the app and linked prepaid card, Brazilian teenagers can become more financially independent.

While still in its infancy, the fintech is focusing on the Brazilian market but plans to expand to other Latin American countries in the future.

“Z1 is what we’re building to be the go to bank of the next generation, and not just be a digital bank for teens,” said Thiago Achatz, co-founder of Z1. “We want to grow with him and one day, be the biggest bank in Brazil and LatAm.” 

Z1 created financial products taking into consideration the specific nuances of the Brazilian market such as the widespread use of cash as the main means of payment.

“We offer an account where they can deposit money, cash-out money via an instant payment system in Brazil or spend through a prepaid credit card,” he said. “Most sites don’t accept debit cards so this is a big step compared to what teens already have.”

Since launching, Z1 has grown 30% per week and 200% per month, relying mostly on word of mouth and TikTok for its marketing efforts.

Lead investor, Homebrew, considers the opportunity for financial education to be more exciting in Latin America than in the US. 

“While millennials grew up during an economic boom, Gen Z grew up during recessions – 3 in Brazil over the last decade – and wants to become financially independent as soon as possible. They’re becoming economically educated and active much earlier than previous generations,” said Satya Patel, Partner at Homebrew.

Read more on TechCrunch.

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