Nubank expands Mexico footprint with acquisition of local lender
Brazilian financial startup Nubank has acquired Akala, a local, small-scale lender and savings bank, in a deal which comes with an operating license that will enable the company to expand its product portfolio in the country.
Through the transaction, Nubank’s Mexican subsidiary Nu Mexico will be able to offer new services in the country, pending approval by Mexico's National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV).
Akala operates in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua and is authorized by the CNBV to receive deposits, make money transfers and issue debit and pre-paid cards, as well as serve as a money exchange.
"Closing this acquisition with the approval of the CNBV and thus being able to continue with our expansion plans of our product portfolio is, without a doubt, an important milestone to continue growing in Mexico in a sustainable, orderly and responsible manner," Emilio Gonzalez, Nu Mexico’s general manager, said.
“The growth and brand acceptance that Nu has achieved in México has exceeded both our expectations and what we have experienced in Brazil,” he added.
“We are already the second-largest issuer of new credit cards in Mexico and we look forward to continuing on this growth path with the regulatory approval that allows Nu to offer more and better financial products to even more of Mexicans.”
Nubank was founded in 2013 and is valued at $30 billion following a recent investment round led by Warren Buffett's private equity firm Berkshire Hathaway.
The company set up shop in Mexico in March 2020 with in initial investment of $135 million to build its presence in the country, and where if offers a credit card with no annual fee. The company also operates in Colombia.
The fintech startup has more than 40 million customers, 35 million of which are in Brazil and the remainder divided between Colombia and Mexico, according to company information.
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