Argentina’s Uala gets $2.45 billion valuation in latest round of funding

Karthik Subramanian

Uala, an Argentina-based payment fintech, has announced an investment round of $350 million in the company which was led by the Chinese-based Tencent Holdings and SoftBank Group’s Latin America focussed fund.

This latest round of investments has taken the valuation of the company to $2.45 billion as it prepares to expand into Mexico and other parts of Latin America. We have been mentioning that Latin America and Africa are likely to be the biggest targets in the future for fintech and payment firms as the rest of the world, including Europe and the USA, get saturated and crowded by many companies.

Many new startups would be looking to expand into new regions as the Europe and US space gets gobbled up with bigger players like Paypal, Klarna, and Apple as well. This forces the startups to either wind up their business or seek massive investments to compete with the bigger players or look for greener pastures with each startup taking their own approach to taking on the competition.

With digital banking expected to lead the way the world operates in terms of banking services, all it needs for a startup is a tie-up with some of the card issuers like Mastercard or Visa and a mobile app to provide various kinds of financial services to the users and the rest is up to the innovation of the startup to attract the users to their app. Uala also started similarly with a Mastercard-based prepaid card as its first product along with an app that would provide services like sending and receiving money, cash withdrawals, online shopping, etc.

The company already has a head account of around 1000 and it hopes to increase it to 1,500 by the end of the year as it looks to expand into Peru, Paraguay, other parts of Latin America as well as Europe and USA as well though its success in the US and Europe would depend a lot on what offers the other players that are already in the payments industry in these countries would be giving in the coming months and how different Uala would be. The company has also acquired its rival digital bank Wilobank in Argentina as it looks to dominate the digital banking industry in the country. The company has more than 3 million users so far who use the cards issued by the fintech.

 

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