Brazil’s Nubank reaches 25m customers across Latin America

By Oliver Smith on Tuesday 2 June 2020

Digital Banking

What a way to mark your digital bank’s 7th anniversary.

Brazil’s Nubank reaches 25m customers across Latin America
Image source: David Vélez/Nubank.

While the activities of a small handful of European and Australian digital banks garner much of the world’s attention, it is in fact a Brazilian fintech which is currently stealing the lead in digital banking.

Brazil’s Nubank yesterday reached 25m customers on its seventh anniversary, making it by far the largest independent digital bank in the world.

This phenomenal scale grew during the first quarter of 2020 by an average of 42,000 users per day, across its markets of Brazil and Mexico.

"If there is a legacy that all of us who work at Nubank want to leave behind, it is to reinvent the way in which people use and relate to financial services, in order to give them back control of their money,” said CEO and founder David Vélez, marking the occasion.

The bank has added 10m users in the eight months since October 2019, when it announced it had reached a 15m user milestone.

By comparison, Monzo’s customer base across the UK and US currently sits at around 4.2m, Revolut’s European customer base sits at around 10m and Germany’s N26 counts around 5m customers.

Operating in a region where half the population is unbanked and offering a free current account, debit card and credit card has given Nubank a huge opportunity for growth, which its team has clearly seized.

According to its figures, 20 per cent of Nubank’s customers have never had a credit card before and 80 per cent of its customer sign-ups come from unpaid referrals.

The bank started in 2013 when Vélez co-founded it with Cristina Junqueira and Edward Wible in Brazil, before expanding the business to Mexico in March 2020.

At its last funding round in July 2019, Nubank raised $400m and was valued at $10bn by investors including TCV, Tencent, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital, and Thrive Capital.

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