With US$ 20 million Series A funding round, Nomad aims to be Brazilians’ digital bank in the U.S.

July 28, 2021
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To be the digital bank of Brazilians in the United States is the proposal of Nomad, founded by Patrick Sigrist, Lucas Vargas and Eduardo Haber in November last year.

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After 3 years in development, the company got off the ground with the goal of facilitating Brazilians’ access to financial services abroad.

In practice, Nomad offers solutions such as foreign exchange, transfers, payments, international purchases and even investments in the U.S. market. With 50,000 accounts open, the startup has just received a Series A funding of R$100 (US$20) million.

Nomad’s co-founders Patrick Sigrist, Marcos Nader and Eduardo Haber. (Photo internet reproduction)

The investment was led by Monashees and Spark Capital funds. Globo Ventures, Propel, GFC, Abstract, Vast, and ONEVC also took part in the round. The company will use the money to accelerate growth and reach at least 120,000 accounts by the end of this year.

To achieve this goal, Nomad will focus on the development and launch of new products, as well as expanding its team of 75 employees. The plan is to have 150 employees by the end of the year with at least two-thirds of the company made up of technology professionals.

Sigrist, also one of iFood’s founders, conceived Nomad in 2015 when he went to work in California and needed to access the local financial system. “I realized that no one is thinking about Brazilians,” he says. “You travel and get ‘ripped off’ with fees and taxes.”

The fintech is headquartered in the United States, but caters to the needs of travelers coming from Brazil. The company currently operates with fees of no more than 2% on the commercial dollar spread and 1.1% on the financial transaction tax on dollar remittances. The startup’s customers are entitled to an international debit card accepted like a U.S. card. “Even on the Apple Pay wallet,” Sigrist says.

To get the business operational, partnerships with a U.S. brokerage firm and a U.S. bank were required. The pandemic was a challenge due to a reduced number of Brazilians traveling to the United States. With vaccination and the resumption of tourism, Sigrist expects fast growth due to repressed demand. “It will be brutal,” he says.

The entry of investors will help the company benefit from the new expansion phase. “These are top players who can connect us to different markets. It’s time to really accelerate,” Sigrist says.

Luis Lora, Globo Ventures’ managing partner, points out that Nomad has two key features for the fund: technologies that simplify Brazilians’ lives and an exceptional team. According to the executive, increasing access to the “dollarized world” is a task of democratizing services and products. “This is crucial for the country’s progress,” he says.

Moreover, Lora believes that the experience of Sigrist and Vargas, both of whom passed through ZAP Group, result in a perfect combination for Nomad. “Unlike people who are undertaking a business for the first time, this is a class that knows what mistakes to avoid. They know what they’re doing.”

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.

After 3 years in development, the company got off the ground with the goal of facilitating Brazilians’ access to financial services abroad.

In practice, Nomad offers solutions such as foreign exchange, transfers, payments, international purchases and even investments in the U.S. market. With 50,000 accounts open, the startup has just received a Series A funding of R$100 (US$20) million.

Nomad’s co-founders Patrick Sigrist, Marcos Nader and Eduardo Haber. (Photo internet reproduction)

The investment was led by Monashees and Spark Capital funds. Globo Ventures, Propel, GFC, Abstract, Vast, and ONEVC also took part in the round. The company will use the money to accelerate growth and reach at least 120,000 accounts by the end of this year.

To achieve this goal, Nomad will focus on the development and launch of new products, as well as expanding its team of 75 employees. The plan is to have 150 employees by the end of the year with at least two-thirds of the company made up of technology professionals.

Sigrist, also one of iFood’s founders, conceived Nomad in 2015 when he went to work in California and needed to access the local financial system. “I realized that no one is thinking about Brazilians,” he says. “You travel and get ‘ripped off’ with fees and taxes.”

The fintech is headquartered in the United States, but caters to the needs of travelers coming from Brazil. The company currently operates with fees of no more than 2% on the commercial dollar spread and 1.1% on the financial transaction tax on dollar remittances. The startup’s customers are entitled to an international debit card accepted like a U.S. card. “Even on the Apple Pay wallet,” Sigrist says.

To get the business operational, partnerships with a U.S. brokerage firm and a U.S. bank were required. The pandemic was a challenge due to a reduced number of Brazilians traveling to the United States. With vaccination and the resumption of tourism, Sigrist expects fast growth due to repressed demand. “It will be brutal,” he says.

The entry of investors will help the company benefit from the new expansion phase. “These are top players who can connect us to different markets. It’s time to really accelerate,” Sigrist says.

Luis Lora, Globo Ventures’ managing partner, points out that Nomad has two key features for the fund: technologies that simplify Brazilians’ lives and an exceptional team. According to the executive, increasing access to the “dollarized world” is a task of democratizing services and products. “This is crucial for the country’s progress,” he says.

Moreover, Lora believes that the experience of Sigrist and Vargas, both of whom passed through ZAP Group, result in a perfect combination for Nomad. “Unlike people who are undertaking a business for the first time, this is a class that knows what mistakes to avoid. They know what they’re doing.”

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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