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New York (AFP) – Brazilian online bank Nubank debuted Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange with a hike in its value of nearly $47 billion, cementing itself as one of the largest banks in Latin America.
It was more than 14.5% above its IPO price of $9, to close at $10.33. At the start of transactions, it was listed at $11.25.
The digital bank, founded in 2013 by Colombian David Velez, American Edward Whipple and Brazilian Cristina Junqueira, put about 289.2 million shares on the market, allowing it to raise about 2,603 million dollars in capital.
The entity also holds the possibility to sell an additional 28.5 million shares over the next 30 days at the initially set price.
The initial public offering (IPO) includes about $40 million in BDRs, which are certificates equivalent to shares traded on the São Paulo Stock Exchange.
For the CEO of Brazilian fintech, Colombian David Vélez, the US IPO is the “result of growth” the company has had “8 years”. “It’s a way to accelerate our impact,” he said on a YouTube show.
The funds raised will allow Nubank to expand its activities in countries such as Colombia and Mexico where it is already established.
The leap into the New York Stock Exchange is “the beginning of another phase, which allows us to have a much greater impact than we have had so far,” even though the bank continues “the same mission and the same values that brought us here,” said Velez, who He trained at the American University in Stanford.
For clients, raising capital “doesn’t change anything,” said Junqueira, who is responsible for pressing the button that symbolically started the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) session on Wall Street.
The Brazilian bank, which today wore purple New York parquet, is listed on Wall Street under the sign “NU” and on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange under the symbol NUBR33.
Nubank in June attracted a $500 million investment from Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway Fund, best known for its successful investments. His support was added to that of famous funds such as Sequoia (an investor in Airbnb) and the Chinese company Tencent.
– ‘Money under the mattress’ –
Nu Holdings, which together with British Revolut became the owner of one of the largest “new banks” in the world, competes in market capitalization with the traditional Itaú Unibanco, which is by far the largest in Brazil in the private sector.
With the help of the flexibility afforded by smartphones, the Brazilian financial technology was born with the aim of eliminating bureaucracy and high commissions and focusing on credit card payment services without associated costs.
With 48 million customers in Brazil, as well as Colombia and Mexico, the online bank still has plenty of room for growth.
“There are still 200 million people in Latin America who don’t have access to banks and they still keep their money under the mattress,” Velez told CNBC.
In Brazil alone, about 182 million out of 213 million residents have access to banking services, according to official data.
The closure of a large part of the services due to the coronavirus pandemic has changed the behavior of the population.
“The concept of saving in a digital bank and in a bank without agencies scared a lot of people,” Velez recalls. They have now begun to “test with us and find it is a better option”.
Since March 2020, when the epidemic began, 17 million new customers have been added in Brazil alone, mainly to receive government aid. In that pandemic period, Nubank nearly doubled its domestic customers to 41 million.
In its eight years of life, Nu Holdings has not yet made any profit. In the first nine months of 2021, it posted losses of $99 million despite the fact that its turnover doubled in one year to $1.06 billion (+105%).
At this time, Velez became one of the billionaires listed by Forbes magazine with an estimated fortune of $5.2 billion. He and his wife made sure to donate most of it.
© 2021 AFP
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