Ualá, an Argentine private finance management app, has raised a $150 million Series C led by Tencent and SoftBank’s Latin America-focused Innovation Fund.
Ualá is a mobile banking application and lending platform with providers just like Revolut, Monzo, and Nubank. Nonetheless, Ualá has no intention of actually changing into a bank itself.
Founder and CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri, a Buenos Aires native and Harvard University graduate, says his ambition was to create a platform that might bring all financial providers into one app linked to one card. Because it exists now, Ualá is linked to a prepaid global Mastercard and permits customers to transfer cash, invest money in mutual funds, request loans, pay bills, and high-up prepaid services.
Though SoftBank has rapidly deployed its Latin America-focused Innovation Fund (most lately with a $140 million investment in VTEX, a Brazilian e-commerce platform utilized by Walmart), Ualá’s Collection C marks SoftBank’s entry into Argentina. Whereas Argentina is a well-known developer talent and high entrepreneurial spirit, the country has remained under-capitalized.
Argentina is within the midst of a presidential leadership shift, in addition to a $330 billion debt uncertainty. Nonetheless, private cell banking companies like Ualá that promote a financial system that’s extra open, inclusive and competitive, are resonating with each the market and buyers. Ualá has existing partnerships with tech companies like Netflix, Rappi, and Spotify, and intends to strengthen and develop related offers over time.
The Fintech launched in October 2017, and last raised $34 million in 2018 led by Goldman Sach’s venture unit, together with Ribbit Capital and Monashees. Tencent additionally invested an undisclosed quantity earlier this year in March. The latest round brings Ualá’s total funding to $194 million. Barbieri declined to comment or benchmark Ualá’s valuation.