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Brazilian retailer Via Varejo acquires fintech Airfox

Brazilian retailer Via Varejo has acquired Boston-based fintech Airfox, nearly two years after the companies announced a partnership to provide banking services to millions of consumers in the country.

Airfox entered a deal in September 2018 to provide its banQi mobile banking app through Via Varejo, which serves about 60 million customers through its Casas Bahia and Ponto Frio retail chains, according to a press release.

Andre Calabro, financial director of Via Varejo, will become CEO of Airfox and banQi, while CEO Airfox CEO Victor Santos will transition to chief strategy officer, where he will manage product, corporate strategy and engineering. 

"I'm incredibly proud of what AirFox has accomplished so quickly and forever grateful to our ingenious and dedicated team members for all their hard work," Santos said in the release. “With Via Varejo's support, we'll continue to lead the charge in leveraging today's technology for tomorrow's solutions and securing greater financial inclusion for all."

According to Calabro, the banQi app reached one million downloads during the first quarter, saw a 300% increase in bill payments and saw a 117% increase in Casa Bahia CDC carnes, which are in-store loans that are used for big ticket purchases, like furniture, electronics or appliances.