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Fintech QI Tech acquires 100% of Singulare, one of Brazil's leading stockbrokers

November 14, 2023
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For the Fintech, the acquisition strengthens the recently launched 'DTVM as a service' business unit.
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Two weeks after announcing a R$1 billion investment, QI Tech, which specialises in infrastructure for financial services, made good on its promise to go shopping. The fintech is acquiring 100% of Singulare , one of Brazil's leading stockbrokers.

The value and detailed terms of the transaction were not disclosed by the companies, but the idea is that QI Tech will take control of the business, as soon as there is the approval of the Central Bank (BC) and the Administrative Council of Economic Defence (Cade).

For QI Tech, the acquisition strengthens the recently launched 'DTVM as a service' business unit. About four months ago, the fintech received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) and Anbima to operate as Distribuidora de Valores e Valores (DTVM). In this way, it became the first credit fintech in Brazil to also be licensed to act as a broker.

"We realised it's a promising market, but to get to where we want to be we would need to strengthen ourselves, either in knowledge or technology. And we were already partners with Singulare," says Pedro Mac Dowell, CEO and co-founder of QI Tech, at a press conference with journalists. "The conversation should have started a year and a half ago. It was not an easy negotiation, because it takes time and there are large transactions.

The entrepreneur avoids talking about expected revenue increases from the deal, but says Singulare is a company that is "as big as QI", solid, cash generative and profitable. "In terms of revenue, Singulare is bigger, while QI's operating profit is higher. One company fits well with the other," says the CEO. "Our goal is that 1 + 1 becomes 5."

According to the latest financial statements, in the first half of this year, Singulare had net revenues of R$128.2 million, an increase of 2.2% over the same period in 2022. Ebitda increased by 31% to R$ 50 million. Net profit for the period was R$ 27.8 million, an increase of 27.3% on the same basis of comparison.

"We should close the year with R$ 300 million in revenues and could reach R$ 360 million next year. Not to mention the advantages and improvements with the arrival of QI Tech", says Álvaro Augusto de Freitas Vidigal, 'Guti', CEO and founding partner of Singulare.

Next steps

The completion of the transaction depends on the green light from the Cade do BC. In the meantime, the structures continue independently. The Singulare brand will, in principle, be maintained.

"This will be a conversation we have to have in the coming days. But the name does not matter much. Especially because at Singulare we have 140 clients who are managers whom we know by name and surname," says Guti.
"Even after the approval of the CB, the idea is to join forces, to maintain people and structures," Pedro adds. Today, QI Tech has around 116 employees and Singulare has around 300.

In addition to the natural synergies between the companies, the executives highlight the impetus that should be given to the FIDC industry by CVM Resolution 175, in force since the beginning of October. In practice, this type of fund can now receive investments from the general public. Previously, this product was only available to qualified investors (with more than R$ 1 million in investments) or professionals (more than R$ 10 million).

"The introduction of the retail investor is critical to the long-term growth of the FIDC market. It will bring a huge increase in assets to the industry. In our case, even with 960 funds, we only have 6,000 investors, while a retail fund can have 200,000 investors," says Daniel Doll Lemos, partner and director of fiduciary administration at Singulare.

New acquisitions on the horizon?

Founded in early 2018 and the first BC-approved Direct Credit Company (SCD), QI Tech has a client portfolio of more than 300 companies. In the first half of this year, the company recorded net revenues of R$102 million, an increase of 63% compared to the same period in 2022.

Currently, fintech operates with four business units. In addition to DTVM, it offers banking as a service (BaaS), loans as a service (LaaS) and KYC (know your customer), onboarding solutions, anti-fraud and credit engine. The latter front, in fact, gained momentum with the acquisition of Zaig , in December 2021. In addition, QI Tech bought Builders Bank , a banking application development company, in April this year.


Acquisitions should continue. "We believe that further deals will be finalised in the next 12 months," says Pedro. "We are continuing with the M&A and growth strategy to help make the infrastructure we have today more and more comprehensive," says the CEO. "We are always looking for good opportunities, but we are not in a hurry," adds Marcelo Bentivoglio, CFO and co-founder of the company.

There should be no shortage of money for further inorganic moves. QI Tech is profitable, cash generative and has just raised R$1 billion (US$200 million) in a fundraising led by General Atlantic (GA). About two years ago, the company had already received R$270 million (US$50 million at the exchange rate at the time) from the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund (GIC).

Competition

QI Tech has "firepower" in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. In banking and financial infrastructure, including credit, Celcoin has also been on the move. The company has already received R$170 million in investments, made three acquisitions (Flow Finance, Galax Pay and Finansystech) and should not stop there.

Aarin, a techfin acquired last year by Bradesco, is another company with ambitions in 'lending as a service', according to CEO Ticiana Amorim. In technology infrastructure for capital markets, players such as Vórtx , Kanastra and Bamboo are emerging.

An institution with more than five decades, Singulare is the former Socopa , which split from Banco Paulista three years ago and went through a corporate restructuring, culminating even in a name change. With the sale of the retail and brokerage portfolio to XP , which was approved by Cade in September 2021, the brokerage will now focus on fiduciary management services.

With around R$ 97 billion under its responsibility, distributed among 960 funds, Singulare is the leader, for 11 consecutive years, in the ranking of the Uqbar consultancy firm, in the number of operations of investment funds in credit rights (FIDC). In total, the institution manages and custodies more than 600 funds of this type.

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.

Two weeks after announcing a R$1 billion investment, QI Tech, which specialises in infrastructure for financial services, made good on its promise to go shopping. The fintech is acquiring 100% of Singulare , one of Brazil's leading stockbrokers.

The value and detailed terms of the transaction were not disclosed by the companies, but the idea is that QI Tech will take control of the business, as soon as there is the approval of the Central Bank (BC) and the Administrative Council of Economic Defence (Cade).

For QI Tech, the acquisition strengthens the recently launched 'DTVM as a service' business unit. About four months ago, the fintech received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) and Anbima to operate as Distribuidora de Valores e Valores (DTVM). In this way, it became the first credit fintech in Brazil to also be licensed to act as a broker.

"We realised it's a promising market, but to get to where we want to be we would need to strengthen ourselves, either in knowledge or technology. And we were already partners with Singulare," says Pedro Mac Dowell, CEO and co-founder of QI Tech, at a press conference with journalists. "The conversation should have started a year and a half ago. It was not an easy negotiation, because it takes time and there are large transactions.

The entrepreneur avoids talking about expected revenue increases from the deal, but says Singulare is a company that is "as big as QI", solid, cash generative and profitable. "In terms of revenue, Singulare is bigger, while QI's operating profit is higher. One company fits well with the other," says the CEO. "Our goal is that 1 + 1 becomes 5."

According to the latest financial statements, in the first half of this year, Singulare had net revenues of R$128.2 million, an increase of 2.2% over the same period in 2022. Ebitda increased by 31% to R$ 50 million. Net profit for the period was R$ 27.8 million, an increase of 27.3% on the same basis of comparison.

"We should close the year with R$ 300 million in revenues and could reach R$ 360 million next year. Not to mention the advantages and improvements with the arrival of QI Tech", says Álvaro Augusto de Freitas Vidigal, 'Guti', CEO and founding partner of Singulare.

Next steps

The completion of the transaction depends on the green light from the Cade do BC. In the meantime, the structures continue independently. The Singulare brand will, in principle, be maintained.

"This will be a conversation we have to have in the coming days. But the name does not matter much. Especially because at Singulare we have 140 clients who are managers whom we know by name and surname," says Guti.
"Even after the approval of the CB, the idea is to join forces, to maintain people and structures," Pedro adds. Today, QI Tech has around 116 employees and Singulare has around 300.

In addition to the natural synergies between the companies, the executives highlight the impetus that should be given to the FIDC industry by CVM Resolution 175, in force since the beginning of October. In practice, this type of fund can now receive investments from the general public. Previously, this product was only available to qualified investors (with more than R$ 1 million in investments) or professionals (more than R$ 10 million).

"The introduction of the retail investor is critical to the long-term growth of the FIDC market. It will bring a huge increase in assets to the industry. In our case, even with 960 funds, we only have 6,000 investors, while a retail fund can have 200,000 investors," says Daniel Doll Lemos, partner and director of fiduciary administration at Singulare.

New acquisitions on the horizon?

Founded in early 2018 and the first BC-approved Direct Credit Company (SCD), QI Tech has a client portfolio of more than 300 companies. In the first half of this year, the company recorded net revenues of R$102 million, an increase of 63% compared to the same period in 2022.

Currently, fintech operates with four business units. In addition to DTVM, it offers banking as a service (BaaS), loans as a service (LaaS) and KYC (know your customer), onboarding solutions, anti-fraud and credit engine. The latter front, in fact, gained momentum with the acquisition of Zaig , in December 2021. In addition, QI Tech bought Builders Bank , a banking application development company, in April this year.


Acquisitions should continue. "We believe that further deals will be finalised in the next 12 months," says Pedro. "We are continuing with the M&A and growth strategy to help make the infrastructure we have today more and more comprehensive," says the CEO. "We are always looking for good opportunities, but we are not in a hurry," adds Marcelo Bentivoglio, CFO and co-founder of the company.

There should be no shortage of money for further inorganic moves. QI Tech is profitable, cash generative and has just raised R$1 billion (US$200 million) in a fundraising led by General Atlantic (GA). About two years ago, the company had already received R$270 million (US$50 million at the exchange rate at the time) from the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund (GIC).

Competition

QI Tech has "firepower" in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. In banking and financial infrastructure, including credit, Celcoin has also been on the move. The company has already received R$170 million in investments, made three acquisitions (Flow Finance, Galax Pay and Finansystech) and should not stop there.

Aarin, a techfin acquired last year by Bradesco, is another company with ambitions in 'lending as a service', according to CEO Ticiana Amorim. In technology infrastructure for capital markets, players such as Vórtx , Kanastra and Bamboo are emerging.

An institution with more than five decades, Singulare is the former Socopa , which split from Banco Paulista three years ago and went through a corporate restructuring, culminating even in a name change. With the sale of the retail and brokerage portfolio to XP , which was approved by Cade in September 2021, the brokerage will now focus on fiduciary management services.

With around R$ 97 billion under its responsibility, distributed among 960 funds, Singulare is the leader, for 11 consecutive years, in the ranking of the Uqbar consultancy firm, in the number of operations of investment funds in credit rights (FIDC). In total, the institution manages and custodies more than 600 funds of this type.

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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