The Spanish bank is firmly back in business with fintechs, announcing its latest investment of $300m in Brazilian start-up Neon.
BBVA’s appetite for fintechs seems to be rapidly returning, with news that the Spanish bank has invested $300m into one of the rising stars of Brazil’s digital banking scene, Neon.
Founded in 2016, Neon claims it is on a mission to improve access to financial services for individuals, self-employed and small businesses in Brazil, providing a simple and competitive alternative to traditional lenders. The digital bank now has 15 million registered accounts in the country and continues to grow at pace.
Prior to BBVA’s investment, Neon had raised $423m from investors over several funding rounds, with shareholders including General Atlantic, Vulcan, BlackRock, PayPal and Banco Votorantim.
“BBVA’s investment and global expertise will allow Neon to offer loans in a more simple, sustainable and inclusive way,” said Neon founder Pedro Conrade. “We want to reach more Brazilians, contributing to reducing inequalities and making a difference in their lives. Neon will continue to grow rapidly, while delivering on its purpose.”
Having distanced itself from the sector for a few years, BBVA has now returned to the fintech scene in earnest, with rapid-fire news of investments into UK-based Atom Bank and Germany-based Solarisbank. The banking giant claims its renewed involvement represents the next phase in its strategy “to enter new markets through investments in digital platforms”.
With a sizable economy and huge population, Brazil is an attractive market and one that is increasingly gaining international attention as a fintech hub.
“Neon’s value proposition connects with the financial needs of Brazilians serving as a platform to continue to grow rapidly in a market with great potential,” said BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila.