The dollars keep flowing into Latin America.
Today, Argentine personal finance management app Ualá announced it has raised $350 million in a Series D round at a post-money valuation of $2.45 billion.
SoftBank Latin America Fund and affiliates of China-based Tencent co-led the round, which included participation from a slew of existing backers, including funds managed by Soros Fund Management LLC, funds managed by affiliates of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Ribbit Capital, Greyhound Capital, Monashees and Endeavor Catalyst. New funds, such as D1 Capital Partners and 166 2nd, also put money in the round in addition to angel investors such as Jacqueline Reses and Isaac Lee.
The round is believed to be the largest private raise ever by an Argentinian company and brings Ualá’s total raised to $544 million since its 2017 inception.
Founder and CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri, a Buenos Aires native and Harvard University graduate, has said his ambition was to create a platform that would bring all financial services into one app linked to one card.
Today, Ualá says it has developed “a complete financial ecosystem,” including universal accounts, a global Mastercard card, bill payment options, investment products, personal loans, installments (BNPL) and insurance. It has also launched merchant acquiring, Ualá Bis, a solution for entrepreneurs and merchants that allows selling through a payment link or mobile point-of-sales (mPOS).
The startup has issued more than 3.5 million cards in its home country and in Mexico, where it launched operations last year. The company claims that more than 22% of 18 to 25-year-olds in Argentina have a Ualá card. At the time of its Series C raise in November 2019, it had issued 1.3 million cards.
Over 1 million users invest in the mutual fund available on the Ualá app, which the company claims is the second largest mutual fund in Argentina in number of participants. The company, which has aimed to provide more financial transparency and inclusion in the region, says that 65% of its users had no credit history prior to downloading the app.
Ualá plans to use its new capital to continue expanding within Latin America, develop new business verticals and do some hiring, with the plan of having 1,500 employees by year’s end. It currently has more than 1,000 employees.
“We are most impressed by Ualá’s ambition and execution. Our investment will propel the next stage of their vision, furthering a regional ecosystem that can make financial services more accessible and transparent across LatAm,” said Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank Group International and COO of SoftBank Group, in a written statement.