Fintech

Financial service company Uala raises $350M Series D

Uala, an Argentinian financial service startup, is now valued at $2.45 billion following a $350 million Series D co-led by SoftBank and Tencent, according to Bloomberg.

The company says it will use the funds to double its workforce to over 2,000 employees and accelerate growth plans in Mexico.

Founded in 2017, Uala has had huge growth in the past few years. Following a $10 million Series A led by Soros Fund Management and $34 million Series B led by Goldman Sachs in 2018, SoftBank and Tencent co-led a $150 million Series C for the company in 2019.

This most recent Series D brings Uala to over $194 million in total funding with a $2.45 post-money valuation. New investors D1 Capital Partners, 166 2nd LCC and Jacqueline Reses also join existing investors George Soros, Goldman Sachs, Ribbit Capital and Monashees in round participation.

The company has already shown it is using that money to expand, with an acquisition of Argentinian digital bank Wilobank in April this year that is still awaiting approval from the country’s central bank, according to Yahoo.

Uala has already issued more than 3.3 million prepaid Mastercards to Argentinian users, with another 200,000 debit cards distributed in Mexico. Approximately 22% of Argentines between 18 and 25 have a Uala card, according to the company.

“Less than four years since the launch of the company, we have over 10% of the country on the Uala ecosystem. We are going to reach operational breakeven in Argentina next year,” Uala CEO and founder Pierpaolo Barbieri told Bloomberg.

Despite large growth, the company says it doesn’t plan to go public for several years, with Barbieri telling Bloomberg, “This round gives plenty of fuel for our big ambitions, thinking about an IPO is premature.”

In other recent fintech news, Citi announced the launch of its new digital platform aimed at connecting SMEs with regional, local and community banks. Online lending platform Upgrade also raised a $105 million Series E, led by Koch Disruptive Technologies.

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