Costa Rica and Mexico
News

ICT investment & financing watch

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, August 27, 2022
ICT investment & financing watch

Montevideo-based fintech Prometeo, focused on solutions for the integration of financial information, aims to open an office in Mexico before the year-end but has held back plans for a similar move in Brazil due to market conditions. 

"Like all startups in the world, the global economic change made us reevaluate our financial plan and be more cautious with our fixed expenses, prioritizing commercial and product expansion as aggressive as it has always been without necessarily implying more fixed costs,” CEO Ximena Alemán told BNamericas.

Having offices in other countries “was never something strategic for us,” particularly after 2020, said the executive. “This is why we decided not to open offices in Brazil this year.”

Mexico, alongside Peru and Colombia, are the three main markets for the fintech, which provides application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable financial systems’ interconnectivity and customer information sharing. 

Individuals and companies in nine countries in Latin America are reportedly connected to Prometeo’s APIs. Non-banking financial companies include Rappi, BanBif and CapitalTech.

Prometeo has in its client base some of the largest banks in Latin America: Banco Nación (Argentina); Bradesco, Itaú and Santander (Brazil); Banco Estado (Chile); Bancolombia and Davivienda (Colombia); Banco del Pacifico (Ecuador); Banorte, CitiBanamex and Santander (Mexico); Banco Nacional (Panama); CP Telecrédito, Scotiabank and SUNAT (Peru); and BCU, Itaú and Santander (Uruguay).

Last week, the startup made available an account-to-account payment solution previously launched in Colombia, Peru and its home market of Uruguay. The company is investing around US$5mn in the product, according to Alemán.

 ***

Fueled by domestic deals and by growing LatAm sales, Brazilian ERP software developer Senior Sistemas reported a 34.8% y-o-y growth in recurring revenues in H1, to 271.7mn reais (US$53.4mn).

Net income grew by 21.3% in the period, to 61.2mn reais.

“Even amidst a challenging economic scenario, we managed to deliver growth in the first two quarters of the year,” CEO Carlênio Castelo Branco told BNamericas. “We continue to believe in the resilience of our business model and in the capabilities in our Management, Platform and Fintech portfolio to continue growing,”

Senior competes in a market led by SAP, Totvs and Oracle. An annual survey on the use of IT by Brazilian companies, carried out by local think tank FGV, shows Senior's software for payroll management present in 10% of firms.

The company’s clients include MercadoLibre, as well as retailers such as Centauro, and Brazilian postal and delivery service Correios.

The company opened an office in Colombia for its Novasoft business unit, a company it acquired in 2021. 

“The brand's presence in Colombia enables new business opportunities in the Andean region,” the executive said. Senior is also expanding its logistics product offerings to the Latin American market, he said.

Asked about new acquisitions, Castelo Branco said Senior “continues to keep an eye on the market” but does not guarantee that new deals will be announced this year or even in 2023.

***

Movile’s fintech MovilePay raised 100mn reais through a Credit Rights Investment Fund (FIDC, in Portuguese) to expand its payment business.

The amount complements a 200mn-real fundraising round carried out in August 2021 and will be used to provide credit for restaurants using Movile’s food delivery service iFood. 

The company claims to have already provided more than 500 million reais in credit to approximately 20,000 restaurants throughout Brazil.

***

Payments giant Visa plans to select up to six startups for the new edition of its Visa for Startups Program to support the development of POC (Proof of Concept) in Latin America.

The program aims to identify “innovative and well-structured startups” for the co-creation of new solutions and services in partnership with the company, Visa said. 

Projects targeted must focus on the areas of new payment flows, crypto assets, open finance and data solutions, payments acquiring and accepting, and business solutions.

Startups that already have revenue, customer base and wish to expand operations can apply from August 24 to September 23, More information can be found here.

***

The Costa Rican science, innovation, technology and telecommunications (MICITT) ministry launched a training program to up skills in cybersecurity.

The initiative is a partnership with the Cybersecurity Program of the Organization of American States's Inter-American Committee against Terrorism (CICTE), and with the Citi Foundation.

The goal is to virtually train 50 Costa Rican students from vulnerable economic backgrounds and from different universities and institutions, MICITT said.

In addition to Costa Rica, the program will also carry out virtual training in Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, targeting 200 students.

According to ISC, there is a shortage of more than 700,000 skilled cybersecurity workers in the Americas.

***

São Paulo launched a tech innovation center, coupled with a digital transformation program, to foster its tech ecosystem.

“The InspiraSampa [program] will be a center of excellence in innovation and technological solutions. In partnership with big techs, the largest technology companies in the world, we will experiment, test and incorporate cutting-edge technologies, such as 5G, IoT, artificial intelligence, data analysis, in the development of solutions for São Paulo,” said Johann Dantas, CEO of municipal development agency Prodam. 

Dubbed InovaSAMPA, the initiative will feature startup acceleration and has a particular focus on technologies and solutions that involve ESG projects, the municipal administration said. 

***

Around 80% of Brazilian fintechs will look for VC investment in the next 12 months, according to the Fintech Deep Dive 2022 survey, carried out by PwC in partnership with the Brazilian fintechs association (ABFintechs).

Around 56% of the 156 fintechs surveyed for the report said they have never participated in an investment round.

Among the fintechs that managed to raise funds in the last year, 49% raised between 1mn-10mn reais. Among those seeking funds, 60% intend to receive between 1mn-30mn reais.

Subscribe to the most trusted business intelligence platform in Latin America. Let us show you our solutions for Suppliers, Contractors, Operators, Government, Legal, Financial and Insurance.

Subscribe to Latin America’s most trusted business intelligence platform.

Other projects in: ICT

Get critical information about thousands of ICT projects in Latin America: what stages they're in, capex, related companies, contacts and more.

Other companies in: ICT (Costa Rica)

Get critical information about thousands of ICT companies in Latin America: their projects, contacts, shareholders, related news and more.

  • Company: Grupo STT
  • STT Group, founded in 1999, is a Costa Rican outsourcing and consulting company that offers services in diverse areas including technology and software, food, medical, logistics...
  • Company: Radiográfica Costarricense S.A.  (RACSA)
  • State-owned Costa Rica internet provider Racsa, a subsidiary of state telco ICE, offers internet and voice services. It manages subscriber connections to ADSL internet while ICE...