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Fintech has had a staggering influence globally, catapulting to new highs in major financial markets like the UK and the US, but Latin America (LATAM) has lagged behind — until now.
A massive fintech boom is taking hold in the region as innovative upstarts look to leverage widespread smartphone and internet penetration to serve the region's massive unbanked and underbanked populations and small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Meanwhile, authorities in many of these countries have enacted fintech-friendly regulations, having identified fintech and digital financial services as a way to provide widespread financial access, while international investors have honed in on the region as an attractive investment space as it becomes harder to identify and compete for these startups in mature markets like the US and UK.
And the pace of fintech growth in the region is evidenced by the vast sums LATAM startups have raised: In Q2 2019, fintechs secured $481 million, representing a six-quarter high, at least, and accounting for 69% of the total raised in the region across all of 2018, per CB Insights.
In fact, those Q2 funding figures outpaced the sums raised by both Chinese ($375 million) and Indian ($350 million) fintechs for the first time — both notable Asian hubs that typically rake in substantial funding. All told, LATAM's fintech ecosystem represents a huge opportunity, with the size of the industry estimated to exceed $150 billion by 2021.
In the Latin America Fintech Landscape report, Business Insider Intelligence identifies five key fintech markets in the region — Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile — that provide meaningful insights into LATAM's fintech ecosystem. The report explores the factors driving fintech growth in each country, identifies the key fintech segments within each market, and discusses what has made major players in each segment successful as well as how they can improve going forward. Finally, we examine opportunities and challenges in each country to illustrate how fintechs and incumbents can leverage the progress already made to further transform the region's financial services landscape.
The companies mentioned in this report are: Addi, Afluenta, Aliatu, Aspiria, Banco Inter, BBVA, ClearScore, ComparaOnline, ContaAzul, Contabilizei, Credijusto, Cumplo, Finaktiva, Jooycar, Klar, Konfio, Kubo.financiero, Kueski, Lineru, Mercado Credito, MercadoLibre, Moni, Neon, Nubank, Omie, OmniBnk, RapiCredit, Rebanking, RedCapital, Sempli, Starling, Ualá, Uber, Wilobank.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Fintech has spread globally over the past decade, taking root in various hubs worldwide, but Latin America has always lagged behind — until now.
- This report highlights five countries — Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile — that are dominating LATAM's booming fintech ecosystem.
- Brazil is the region's economic powerhouse and home to some of the most innovative players.
- Mexico, LATAM's second largest economy, is battling Brazil to become the dominant fintech hub, and boasts the greatest number of fintechs in the region.
- Colombia, while considerably behind the region's two dominant fintech ecosystems, has quietly consolidated its position as the third largest fintech ecosystem in LATAM.
- Argentina's long history of economic booms and busts has created a fertile environment for fintech growth.
- Although Chile is the smallest fintech ecosystem of the five, it has seen rapid growth of fintech players over the last 18 months.
In full, the report:
- Identifies the five markets at the forefront of LATAM's fintech revolution: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile.
- Discuss the factors driving fintech's growth in each market, highlighting both regional factors as well as localized drivers.
- Details the most notable fintech segments in each market and the major players in each segment.
- Outlines the fintech opportunities and challenges in each of those countries going forward.
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