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Brazilian Fintech QI Tech raises US$ 200M to continue its expansion plans in the region

October 31, 2023
Por
Finsiders
Finsiders
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Almost two years after the previous round, the financial services infrastructure fintech raises the Series B led by General Atlantic and wants to gain market share.
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Almost two years ago, QI Tech , which specialises in financial services infrastructure, raised a Series A round of R$270 million ($50 million at the exchange rate at the time) with the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund (GIC) and went on a shopping spree. Since then, it has acquired startups Zaig (fraud prevention) and Builders Bank (banking app development). And it promises not to stop there.

Profitable and with cash on hand, the fintech continues to keep an eye out for opportunities and is now adding more fuel to advance its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy. QI Tech has just raised a Series B of around R$1 billion (US$200 million), in a fundraising led by General Atlantic (GA) , with participation from Across Capital , which was already at the fundraising table and is now doubling down on fintech investment .

The four times larger contribution than the previous cheque comes at a time of expansion for QI Tech , which nearly tripled in size between 2021 and 2022, according to co-founder and CFO Marcelo Bentivoglio.

"We are Ebitda positive, cash generative and profitable," says the executive, in an interview with Finsiders . He won't open up the valuation, but says "everyone is happy" with the deal.

In search of 'market share

Going forward, the plan for fintechs is to gain market share, grabbing more of a slice of a pie that is currently still concentrated in the hands of the big banks. "As the market continues to punish the technology sector, with this cash we will be able to buy attractive and cheap businesses," says Pedro Mac Dowell, CEO and co-founder of QI Tech. "The idea is to bring companies with technology, teams that generate even more results.

With new acquisitions, the aim is to consolidate its presence in segments in which it already operates, as well as move into new areas. These include Open Finance, Open Investment and billing.

"There is a lot of satellite innovation in our business, such as Open Finance, Open Investments or possibly a company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) for billing and customer service," says Pedro.

According to executives, there are already talks with entrepreneurs, but nothing signed or at an advanced stage. Possible acquisitions may also contribute to the expansion of the current verticals. The fintech operates with four business units: banking as a service (BaaS), lending as a service (LaaS), KYC (know your customer) and DTVM. "They all have a lot of room to grow," the CFO points out.

In credit, for example, QI Tech expects to reach the end of this year with R$ 10 billion in new issues, which would represent a growth of around 80% compared to 2022.

"It is a relevant figure, but small compared to the total credit market," says the executive. Currently, the fintech platform performs around 80,000 credit operations daily, says Marcelo.

The client portfolio amounts to more than 300 companies; to give you an idea, at the beginning of the year there were 200. The portfolio includes names such as 99 , Unidas , QuintoAndar , Provu , Banco Bari , among others. In the first half of this year, QI Tech had net revenues of R$ 102 million, which represented an increase of 63% over the same period of 2022.

Towards IPO

When it announced the Series A round in November 2021, QI Tech was already talking about a future IPO. At that time, the expectation was to go public in 2023. As you know, the market has changed (a lot). Now, the fintech is once again speaking out on the matter.

"We are preparing the company for the next window of opportunity, but we still need to increase its size," says the CFO. "To do that, mergers and acquisitions make a lot of sense. We are accelerating and giving the company this body."

The plan is still to launch an IPO in the North American market, but the executive does not rule out doing the deal in Brazil.

"As for the timing, it will depend a lot on the market window. It could be in 2025, 2026. Especially because there are many fintechs that are still waiting for the window of opportunity."

Founded in early 2018, QI Tech was the first Direct Credit Company (DCS) approved by the Central Bank (CB), the same year. The fintech also obtained its licence as a Sociedade de Préstamos Personais (SEP), but sold it to Inco Investimentos in 2021.

To complete what it calls a "one-stop shop" for credit, a little over three months ago the fintech began operating as a Distribuidora de Valores e Valores (DTVM). Thus, it became the first credit fintech in Brazil to also be licensed to act as a broker.

Competition

In the financial services infrastructure arena, competition is fierce. However, growth opportunities are also high, as companies from different sectors have increasingly sought to incorporate financial solutions into their platforms. The model, known as "embedded finance is likely to generate additional revenues of around R$24 billion by 2026 for the retail, consumer goods and other services sectors, according to a Deloitte estimate.

Celcoin is one of the players betting on inorganic growth: it has already bought Flow Finance, Galax Pay and Finansystech and continues to look for "pieces" to complete its 'Lego' of banking and financial infrastructure. Also with money in its cash flow, CSU sees M&A as a "live agenda", as Pedro Alvarenga, director of international relations, said in a recent interview with Finsiders.

In QI Tech's case, "plan A" in the M&A strategy is to increase the product portfolio and expand the market, says the CEO.

"But if there is a competitor for sale, I will not stop looking for it. You just have to look at the cultural issue, the technological fit, etc. The fact is that market consolidation is natural. Especially because there is a lot of space to fill", Pedro sums up.
Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y de ellas son responsables sus autores. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento u opinión de Latam Fintech Hub, por lo cual no pueden ser interpretadas como recomendaciones emitidas por la platafomra. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista sobre el ecosistema Fintech.

Almost two years ago, QI Tech , which specialises in financial services infrastructure, raised a Series A round of R$270 million ($50 million at the exchange rate at the time) with the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund (GIC) and went on a shopping spree. Since then, it has acquired startups Zaig (fraud prevention) and Builders Bank (banking app development). And it promises not to stop there.

Profitable and with cash on hand, the fintech continues to keep an eye out for opportunities and is now adding more fuel to advance its mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy. QI Tech has just raised a Series B of around R$1 billion (US$200 million), in a fundraising led by General Atlantic (GA) , with participation from Across Capital , which was already at the fundraising table and is now doubling down on fintech investment .

The four times larger contribution than the previous cheque comes at a time of expansion for QI Tech , which nearly tripled in size between 2021 and 2022, according to co-founder and CFO Marcelo Bentivoglio.

"We are Ebitda positive, cash generative and profitable," says the executive, in an interview with Finsiders . He won't open up the valuation, but says "everyone is happy" with the deal.

In search of 'market share

Going forward, the plan for fintechs is to gain market share, grabbing more of a slice of a pie that is currently still concentrated in the hands of the big banks. "As the market continues to punish the technology sector, with this cash we will be able to buy attractive and cheap businesses," says Pedro Mac Dowell, CEO and co-founder of QI Tech. "The idea is to bring companies with technology, teams that generate even more results.

With new acquisitions, the aim is to consolidate its presence in segments in which it already operates, as well as move into new areas. These include Open Finance, Open Investment and billing.

"There is a lot of satellite innovation in our business, such as Open Finance, Open Investments or possibly a company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) for billing and customer service," says Pedro.

According to executives, there are already talks with entrepreneurs, but nothing signed or at an advanced stage. Possible acquisitions may also contribute to the expansion of the current verticals. The fintech operates with four business units: banking as a service (BaaS), lending as a service (LaaS), KYC (know your customer) and DTVM. "They all have a lot of room to grow," the CFO points out.

In credit, for example, QI Tech expects to reach the end of this year with R$ 10 billion in new issues, which would represent a growth of around 80% compared to 2022.

"It is a relevant figure, but small compared to the total credit market," says the executive. Currently, the fintech platform performs around 80,000 credit operations daily, says Marcelo.

The client portfolio amounts to more than 300 companies; to give you an idea, at the beginning of the year there were 200. The portfolio includes names such as 99 , Unidas , QuintoAndar , Provu , Banco Bari , among others. In the first half of this year, QI Tech had net revenues of R$ 102 million, which represented an increase of 63% over the same period of 2022.

Towards IPO

When it announced the Series A round in November 2021, QI Tech was already talking about a future IPO. At that time, the expectation was to go public in 2023. As you know, the market has changed (a lot). Now, the fintech is once again speaking out on the matter.

"We are preparing the company for the next window of opportunity, but we still need to increase its size," says the CFO. "To do that, mergers and acquisitions make a lot of sense. We are accelerating and giving the company this body."

The plan is still to launch an IPO in the North American market, but the executive does not rule out doing the deal in Brazil.

"As for the timing, it will depend a lot on the market window. It could be in 2025, 2026. Especially because there are many fintechs that are still waiting for the window of opportunity."

Founded in early 2018, QI Tech was the first Direct Credit Company (DCS) approved by the Central Bank (CB), the same year. The fintech also obtained its licence as a Sociedade de Préstamos Personais (SEP), but sold it to Inco Investimentos in 2021.

To complete what it calls a "one-stop shop" for credit, a little over three months ago the fintech began operating as a Distribuidora de Valores e Valores (DTVM). Thus, it became the first credit fintech in Brazil to also be licensed to act as a broker.

Competition

In the financial services infrastructure arena, competition is fierce. However, growth opportunities are also high, as companies from different sectors have increasingly sought to incorporate financial solutions into their platforms. The model, known as "embedded finance is likely to generate additional revenues of around R$24 billion by 2026 for the retail, consumer goods and other services sectors, according to a Deloitte estimate.

Celcoin is one of the players betting on inorganic growth: it has already bought Flow Finance, Galax Pay and Finansystech and continues to look for "pieces" to complete its 'Lego' of banking and financial infrastructure. Also with money in its cash flow, CSU sees M&A as a "live agenda", as Pedro Alvarenga, director of international relations, said in a recent interview with Finsiders.

In QI Tech's case, "plan A" in the M&A strategy is to increase the product portfolio and expand the market, says the CEO.

"But if there is a competitor for sale, I will not stop looking for it. You just have to look at the cultural issue, the technological fit, etc. The fact is that market consolidation is natural. Especially because there is a lot of space to fill", Pedro sums up.
Las opiniones compartidas y expresadas por los analistas son libres e independientes, y solamente sus autores son responsables de ellas. No reflejan ni comprometen el pensamiento o la opinión del equipo de Latam Fintech Hub y, por lo tanto, no pueden interpretarse como recomendaciones emitidas por la plataforma. Esta plataforma es un espacio abierto para promover la diversidad de puntos de vista en el ecosistema Fintech.

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