The flourishing Brazilian Fintech scene is starting to get together and find its own place in São paulo. Since May this year Next Bank (the global Fintech community aggregator) started its operations in São Paulo, fostering the local ecosystem and promoting a broader interaction between its agents. In late August Next Bank Hosted Fintech Talks, a 3,5 hour meetup in Partnership with Intoo (a Brazilian SME credit marketplace) at Wayra (Telefonica’s Accelerator) with some major local Fintech CEO’s discussing the challenges and opportunities in three main sub-sectors: Lending, Investments and Insurance. 80 people from banks, Venture Capital Funds, Startups and tech enthusiasts got together in a one of a kind networking experience into this new and promising Brazilian Fintech environment.
On November 9th Next Bank organized the São Paulo Fintech Summit, a bigger initiative in partnership with Tech Sampa and Cubo. That edition was also part of São Paulo Tech Week schedule, which was promoted by Invest SP and SP Business (Both promotion agencies for the state of São Paulo and the City Hall, respectively).
This second initiative was a 6 hour long event, had about 150 attendees and got completely sold out one week before it starts, showing the crescent interest in the local nascent Brazilian scene. The Agenda had 6 specific sessions and served as a forum for some main topics related with Fintech in Brazil, with discussions held by some of the most important players here.
The First segment dealt about the Brazilian Fintech Landscape. For this panel we had Flávio Pripas (Cubo’s Director and Founder of Bitinvest, a local Bitcoin broker) and Alexandre Lara (Founder of the Brazilian portal FintechLab and the startup Kitado). They both talked about the rising local Ecosystem and the various initiatives already mapped in Brazil. The vast majority of the Fintech solutions here are focused on payments, but there are good opportunities on APIs and Analytics / Big Data sub-sectors.
Following that session, there was a Digital Banking Trends panel with Pedro Conrade (CEO of Controly, a Simple-like Brazilian startup) and Fernando Miranda (Banco Original Director and former CEO of Marginalen Bank, a digital bank from Sweden). After discussing the main initiatives in this sector outside the country we conclude that Brazilian banks have sucessfully made the transition to Internet and mobile bank, but are still finding ways to truly get into the digital context, bringing the customer to the center of the discussion in a brand new user experience.
Guilherme Horn (Accenture Brazil Managing Director for Financial Services) was also in a session of his own, talking about his entrepreneurial cases in both Orama (Online broker of investment funds) and Agora (Online stock broker sold to Bradesco bank in 2008 for $ 500MM). He also explained Accenture’s role in some mature Fintech Ecosystems (like NYC, London and Hong Kong) with its successful Fintech Innovation Labs program.
Talking about successful cases, Thiago Alvarez (GuiaBolso‘s Co-CEO) spoke about his solution, which is the number one app in Apple Store out passing many other financial and banking apps. He explained the company rapid growth and its plans to become the most complete financial health tool in Latin America.
The next panel focused on Regulatory Challenges faced by the local companies and had Bruno Balduccini (Partner of Pinheiro Neto, one of the largest law Firms in Brazil), Frederico Rizzo (Co-founder of Broota, Brazilian first Equity Crowdfunding Platform) and Jorge Vargas Neto (Co-founder of Biva, an online lending marketplace adapted to Brazilian regulatory environment). All participants agreed that Brazil and still very punitive for new initiatives, but this reality is changing as regulators like CVM (the Brazilian SEC) and the Central Bank are willing to understand international disruptive initiatives and its potential impacts in the Brazilian economy.
The Last panel was about Fintech Financing in Latin America with the Venture Capitalists Manoel Lemos (Redpoint eVentures Partner) and Michael Nicklas (Valor Capital partner). They argued that, Despite Brazilian economic situation, there are lots of opportunities here. Both funds believe in Brazil’s long-term potential for this area and are actively investing on Fintech startups here.
As a takeaway, São Paulo Fintech Summit taught us that the thriving local ecosystem has all the conditions to become one of the most vibrant and important in Latin America! Events like this are crucial to increase the awareness around the local scene, attracting even more entrepreneurs to it. Next Bank SP seeks to create recurring forums for discussions on opportunities and challenges around the sector (like São Paulo Fintech Summit), promoting interactions between the ecosystem agents and catalyzing more Fintech initiatives here.
About the Author: Bruno Diniz is Next Bank’s representative in Brazil and Founder of Innercore Solutions, a Fintech advisory company. Prior to that, we worked in front office position in Brazilian investment Banks like Banco Modal, Banco Indusval & Partners and Banco Itaú.
About the host: Next Bank is an independent, open and collaborative community driving change for the better in financial services through design, innovation and entrepreneurship. Our business began in events and media and is driven by strong partnerships. Next Bank SP is the Brazilian chapter of the organization.
About the Partners: Cubo is a non-profit initiative created by Itaú Bank and RedPoint eVentures that aims to foster the startup market in Brazil. The project is aimed at entrepreneurs, investors, universities, students and large companies. The headquarters of Cubo has six floors, five thousand square meters, space for coworking and workshops, and an Auditorium for 150 people.
Tech Sampa is an initiative created to stimulate innovation and the development of startups in São Paulo. This initiative seeks to enhance the environment of interaction, exchange and cooperation between public and private sectors, connecting the local startup ecosystem to other global tech centers.
São Paulo Tech Week is an initiative of SP Business and Invest Sao Paulo, created with the aim to promote the city as a global hub of innovation, attracting talent and investors for a week of technology events around the city.