Everyone and their mother is trying to reinvent the Brazilian banking system. Earlier this , we wrote about Nubank’s $400 million Series G; the PicPay IPO filing was filed last month. Today, alt. bank, a Brazilian neobank, announced a $5.5 million Series A (USV). It’s no secret that the Brazilian banking system has been poised for disruption, considering the sector’s little attention to customer service and excessive fee structure that’s left most Brazilians unbanked, and alt. bank is just the latest company trying to take home a piece of the pie.
a bank with very un-bank-like colors, signaling that they do things. Differently, alt. bank similarly launched its first financial product in 2019 a fluorescent-yellow debit card which the locals have endearingly dubbed “o amarelinho,” meaning “the little yellow card.” The company, founded by serial entrepreneur Brad Liebmann, follows the founder’s $480 , acquired by U.S. insurance giant Travelers in 2017. Unlike many fintechs, alt. bank has a vital social mission and for referrals that last for the customer’s lifetime. “Most fintechs just help wealthy people get wealthier, so I thought let’s do something with a in an interview.
To drive home the mission and target the unbanked, Liebman and his an app that can be used by the illiterate. Instead of words, users can follow color-coded prompts to complete a transaction. The company also credit products soon. According to the company, close to a million people have downloaded the , but Liebman declined to disclose how many active users the company has. Today, the company’s core offerings include a debit card, a prepaid credit card, Pix (similar to Zelle), a savings account, and even telemedicine visits via a partnership with Dr. Consulta, a network of healthcare clinics throughout the country. The prepaid credit card is critical because online stores in Brazil don’t accept debit card purchases.
In addition to the perk of ongoing commissions, alt. bank has partnered with three significant drugstores, allowing users to get 5-30% off any store item, including medication. While the company is based in São Paulo and São Carlos, Liebmann and his family are based in . The investment in alt. bank marks USV’s first investment in South America, solidifying a trend by other major U.S. investors such as Sequoia. They only in the have started looking to LatAm for deals. “The bar was high for our first investment in South America,” said Union Square John Buttrick. “The combination of the alt. bank and world-class management team enticed us to expand our geographic focus to help build the leading digital bank targeting the 100 million Brazilians whwhoseho traditional lenders are cneglectingglectings,” he added the statement.