- Miami-based NovoPayment said Tuesday in a press release that it has raised $19 million in its first institutional fundraising endeavor. CEO Anabel Perez previously led efforts to fund the business. The banking-as-a-service company, which provides digital banking, payments and card services, mainly caters to the Latin America market, but has plans to expand in the U.S.
- The software company said the new capital will allow it to hire more than 100 "engineers, business development, and product experts to lead its growth strategy" and to open new offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. It had about 350 employees as of February and the new workers will be located across the offices, a spokesperson for the company said by email.
- NovoPayment counts the investment firms IDC Ventures and Fuel Venture Capital, both also with offices in Miami, as new investors, the release said. U.S. card giants Visa and Mastercard are among the company’s some 60 partners. Visa is also an investor, the trade publication TechCrunch reported.
NovoPayment’s cloud-based software enables banks, credit unions, digital merchants and other financial institutions to create and sell new digital services by connecting them to fintech partners through its application programming interfaces (APIs).
Perez pitches her company as the software "glue" that allows for integration of services in three key areas — digital banking, payments infrastructure and card solutions.
She co-founded the company in 2007 with Oscar Garcia Mendoza, who is now chairman of the company's board. Perez was formerly a banker in Venezuela for two decades and she now is one of the few female CEOs in the payments industry.
NovoPayment is one of a number of fintechs that have crowded into territory once dominated by traditional financial services firms, forcing those banks and payment incumbents to rethink their approaches and innovate with new partners.
"There is a rush and pressure to grow in the fintech and financial services space like never before," Perez said in an interview last year.
At that time, Perez said the company’s clients are concentrated in Latin America, including Venezuela, Chile, Columbia, Peru and Mexico, with only a handful in the U.S. Clients include the Colombian neobank RappiPay and the Mexican lender and financial services company Kubo Financiero, according to the spokesperson. The company says it provides services across 14 markets in the Americas.
About 85% of the company’s clients are in Latin America and about 15% are in the U.S., Perez said in the interview, but she’s determined to expand the business to more deeply penetrate the U.S. market.
The company’s annual revenue is currently in the double-digit millions of dollars, Perez said last year, but she declined to put a finer point on the number, other than that it’s well over $10 million. She also declined to say whether the company is profitable in that September interview.
"We're grateful to have investors who recognize our platform's role in closing the gap between banks' legacy systems and their customers' evolving needs and enabling any business to manage and embed innovative financial services into their end-user experience,” she said in the release Tuesday.
Lots of other fintechs are targeting the LatAm market as well, with many vying for capital and customers. For instance, the Dutch payments processor PayU, a unit of the e-commerce investment company Prosus, said earlier this month that it purchased the Columbian fintech Tecnipagos and its Ding digital payments platform to strengthen its hand in Latin America. A spokesman for PayU declined to comment on how much was paid for the acquisition.
PayU also said this month that it joined with other investors to inject $46 million into the Columbia financial app company Treinta.
Also on Tuesday, London-based Paysend, a money transfer fintech that has raised $175 million, said in a release that it's establishing its Americas headquarters in Miami to further its expansion in the U.S. and Latin America.
"The US and Latin America are home to the largest remittance markets in the world and the ability to build networks and relationships in both North and South America are crucial as Paysend looks to grow our footprint in these major markets," Paysend Chief Strategy Officer Jairo Riveros said in the release.
Perez sees plenty of opportunity across the world. She said in the interview that she believes there is a $3.6 trillion market opportunity in embedding fintechs’ new tools in financial services and other industries.