Brazil’s Nubank Raises $400M Series G with $25B Valuation

In other news this week, The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) has launched its largest bond issue ever for $1.5 billion. The Brazilian government orders companies to build separate 5G for government use, and Netflix announces plans to invest $300M in Mexico this year.

Brazilian Fintech Nubank Raises Blockbuster $400M Series G to Reach $25B Valuation

Nubank announced that it has raised a $400 million Series G round, putting their total funding to

date at $1.2 billion. In addition to their new $25 billion valuation (up from $10 billion in 2019), the fintech has accrued a customer base of 34 million users to-date, which they’ve built up since the fintech’s launch in 2013.

“We’ve gone from 12 million customers in 2019 to 34 million solely based on word of mouth,” said David Velez, the company’s Co-Founder and CEO.

According to Tech Crunch, by September last year (2020), the company was onboarding 41,000 new customers per day.

The new valuation places Nubank as the fourth most valuable financial institution in Latin America and the largest digital bank in the world based on the number of customers and app downloads.

The Series G round was led by both private and public investors including current investor Singapore’s GIC, Whale Rock, and Invesco. Other current investors Tencent, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital, and Sequoia also participated in the round. Velez is a former Sequoia partner and is originally from Colombia though he attended Stanford University and worked in the U.S. for many years.

Latin America Development Bank Raises $1.5B to Back Economies

The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) has launched its largest bond issue ever, for 1.25 billion euros ($1.52 billion USD) to support economic reactivation in countries hit by the coronavirus pandemic. CAF is backed by 17 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as Spain, Portugal and 14 private banks.

The Financial Post reports that the bank, which gives credit to countries across the region, placed the bonds with a term of 5 years and a coupon rate of 0.25%, with a demand of close to 2 billion euros.

The multilateral bank said it had received demand from more than 140 investors, mainly from fund managers, commercial banks, insurers and central banks for the bond issue, which was underwritten by Barclays, BBVA, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

“Achieving the highest amount and the lowest coupon in euros in such a challenging context for the region gives us a more competitive margin of action to continue being an unconditional ally when it is most needed,” CAF’s executive president, Luis Carranza, said in a statement.

Brazil Orders Companies to Build Separate 5G for Government Use

The Brazilian government will require winners of an upcoming 5G spectrum auction to build a high security wireless network for the government’s exclusive use, according to an order published late last Friday. The requirement is one of the new guidelines for the auction that the government is planning for 2021.

Bloomberg reports that although the decision does not mention Huawei Technologies Co., it diminishes the likelihood of banning any company from the auction; which had been a possibility for the Chinese tech giant.

The decision is a result of Brazil’s need to access large amounts of Chinese supplies for COVID-19 vaccines. Brazil has the world’s second-highest tally of fatalities (behind the U.S.).

President Jair Bolsonaro told reporters on Saturday that the 5G auction will not be used as a bargaining chip in global negotiations, explaining that no decision has been made yet. Communications Minister Fabio Faria has planned to visit countries interested in the matter this week.

Companies that will build the network for the government’s exclusive use must have equipment suppliers with “transparency and compliance patterns in line with those required by Brazil’s stock market,” according to a statement on the Communications Ministry website.

The network for the government’s exclusive use will be managed by state-owned Telebras, the person said. The main purpose is ensuring government’s data confidentiality.

“We are talking about data that concern public security and the defense of our country. For this reason, our effort to enable the construction of this secure network will belong to the Union,” Communications Minister said in the statement.

Netflix to Invest $300M in Mexico this Year

Netflix will invest more than US $300 million in Mexico this year to make about 50 original productions.

Forbes México reported that the “Netflix originals” will either be local productions or international ones to be filmed in Mexico.The slated 2021 investment is 50% higher than the $200 million the content platform and production company allocated to Mexico projects last year.

“Netflix remains committed to being close to its members and the creative community in Mexico. So it continues to invest in excellent Mexican content, which has also proven to be loved by fans around the world,” stated Netflix Mexico in information sent to LABS.

Mexico City, chosen last year by the streaming service to host its headquarters for Latin America, will have its office officially opened this year.

“We are also excited to open our Latin American headquarters in Mexico City this year. We expect that by the end of 2021, our regional office will have more than 100 employees,” Netflix added.

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