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最有看点的互联网金融门户
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金融科技发展迅速 巴西成硅谷风投新目标

过去四年间,巴西遭受了政治和经济的双重震荡。如今,巴西希望在金融科技领域重燃希望。

巴西是拉丁美洲金融科技创业公司最多的国家,墨西哥紧随其后。2016年金融科技成为拉美地区科技投资中最受欢迎的领域,投资比率上升至31%。硅谷顶级风投公司在拉美地区进行第一笔投资后,过去几年间Nubank、Neon这样的公司实现了跨越式发展。

巴西是拉丁美洲最大的经济体,国内生产总值达1.8万亿美元。自2014年以来,巴西经济衰退,政治动荡不安。巴西中央银行利率一度达到14.25%,随着经济恢复,利率回落到11.25%。虽然经济刚刚从衰退中恢复,但金融科技早已在巴西蓬勃发展。巴西约有230家创业公司,公司类型横跨金融科技各个领域。

为何巴西金融科技如此独特?

根据高盛集团最新报告,巴西银行系统被认为极易受金融科技影响,主要因为“银行垄断的市场结构”。巴西五大银行垄断了84%的贷款及90%的支行。而这一数据在美国约为20%,印度约为30%。如今这些银行向顾客征收高额费用及利息,但金融科技的发展意味着以后他们需要提供更加有竞争力的产品服务。高度集中化的市场是金融科技竞争的绝佳机会。

这些创业公司在经济衰退中成长。拉美地区风投及私募股权投资纷纷下降,过去两年间金融科技领域的投资却不断上升,成为一片黑暗中的指路明灯。

2013年,Nubank在圣保罗正式成立,2014年9月发行了一款手机控制的信用卡服务。Nubank服务质量良好,用户即将突破300万。仅仅通过手机应用,Nubank用户能够锁定或解锁信用卡、改变信用卡权限、支付账单、实时进入所有交易。Nubank通过数字通道、简单清晰的交流,提供24×7全天候客服支持。所有这些以前在巴西都闻所未闻,得到了消费者完全正面的回应。Nubank投资人包括高盛集团、彼得·蒂尔、红杉资本,是拉美地区金融科技领域的最佳模范之一。

Nubank获2016年度“市场经营人关注”大奖,是拉美地区第一家获此奖的公司。这一奖项历年获奖者包括谷歌、维萨及网飞。看看Nubank的Instagram上的照片分享,你就会发现他们对吸引千禧一代很有方法。2016年12月Nubank获莫斯科风投公司DST Global 8000万美元投资。DST的其他投资包括阿里巴巴、Slack、推特、脸书及声田。Nubank是DST在拉美地区的第一家投资公司。顶级硅谷风投公司第一笔投资后,三年半的时间内,Nubank获得了多轮投资,金额达2.35亿美元。

Neon是巴西第一家100%数字化银行。Neon十分重视顾客体验,它是拉美第一家利用自拍面部识别技术识别客户的银行。最近他们与维萨合作,提高面部生物识别技术,保证在线交易时利用自拍完成支付。顾客开通银行账户时,需要提供数字密码、指纹识别以及脸部自拍。完成交易时,顾客需要提供自拍。一旦完成自拍并上传,就会与开户自拍比对,比对成功即可通过交易。

2016年11月,世界数字安全领军企业金雅拓与Neon合作,推出一种维萨闪读(Visa Quick Read)设计借记卡。这种维萨闪读卡面上能够方便地提供交易基本信息。

Monzo公司的Tom Bloomfield在最近的采访中提到,他尤其欣喜地看到两家对手银行德国N26、巴西Neon崛起。Neon在两年内用户将达1500万。大多数用户增长都来自口口相传及推荐,营销花费极少。

脱离巴西的背景看这些公司创新可能平凡无奇。虽然Nubank、Neon与英国、美国类似金融科技公司使用案例相似,但他们运营环境不同,让他们脱颖而出,变得如此与众不同。

For a country that’s been struggling with political and economic turmoil for the last 4 years, Brazil has found some hope with Fintech. Brazil has the most number of Fintech startups in Latin America, closely followed by Mexico. Fintech investments in LATAM rose by 31% in 2016 and it was the most popular sector within technology investments. With top Silicon Valley VCs making their first investments in LATAM, firms like Nubank and Neon have made great strides in the last couple of years.

Brazil is the largest Latin American economy with a GDP of $1.8 Trillion. The country has been in recession and political turmoil since 2014. The central bank interest rate was at one point 14.25% and with the economy recovering it has come down to 11.25%. While the economy is just about recovering from recession, Fintech is already thriving in Brazil. There are about 230 startups in Brazil cutting across various clusters of Fintech.

Why is Fintech Brazil special? Well, Nubank and Neon have managed to address a genuine gap in the market in a very millennial way, however, its not just their use case or execution that sets them apart. Its the context in which they operate.

In a recent Goldman Sachs report, Brazil’s banking system was described as susceptible to Fintech primarily because of an “Oligopolistic Market Structure”. Brazil’s top 5 banks held about 84% of loans and 90% of branches. In the US these numbers are around the 20% and in India about 30%. Fintech’s growth could mean that these banks that currently charge high fees and interests from their customers, will need to make their offering more competitive. The concentrated market is a huge opportunity for Fintechs to go after.

The other factor that makes these startups special is just that, they have thrived through a recession. While the VC/PE investment in LATAM has been falling overall, Fintech has been the beacon of hope amidst the doom and gloom, with investments in the sector showing a consistent rise over the last two years.

Nubank was founded in Sao Paulo in 2013, and launched a mobile controlled credit card service in September 2014. Due to the quality of the offering Nubank have managed to reach 3 Million users. Nubank customers can block and unblock their credit cards, change their credit limits, pay their bills and have access to all their purchases in real time all through a mobile app. They provide 24/7 customer support through digital channels and clear and simple communication. All of this was unheard of in Brazil, and has seen an extremely positive reaction from customers. With investors like Goldman Sachs, Peter Thiel and Sequoia, Nubank is certainly one of the best Fintech stories from LATAM.

Nubank was the first LATAM company to win the “Marketers that Matter” award in 2016. The previous winners of the award include Google, Visa and Netflix. A look at Nubank’s Instagram feed shows how good an approach they have to win over millennials. In Dec 2016, Nubank raised $80 Million from Moscow based VC firm DST Global. DST’s other investments include Alibaba, Slack, Twitter, Facebook and Spotify. Nubank are DST’s first LATAM investment. They have raised about $235 Million in about three and a half years, with many rounds being the first for top Silicon Valley VCs in LATAM.

Neon is the first 100% digital bank in Brazil. Neon take customer experience quite seriously as they have been the first LATAM bank to use facial recognition through Selfies to authenticate users. They have recently partnered with Visa to leverage their facial bio-metrics technology to confirm identities for online purchases. During the process of opening a bank account customers would provide a numeric password, finger print identification and a selfie. At the time of making a transaction the customer is asked for a selfie. Once the selfie is taken and submitted, it is matched to the selfie taken during the opening of the account to approve the transaction.

In November 2016, Gemalto the world’s leader in digital security partnered with Neon to come up with a one-of-a-kind Visa Quick Read design debit card. The Visa Quick Read design provides essential purchasing information conveniently on the front of the card.

In a recent interview Monzo’s Tom Bloomfield mentioned that he was particularly pleased with innovation coming out of two challenger banks, N26 in Germany and Neon from Brazil. Neon have managed to onboard 1.5 million customers in less than two years. Most customer acquisitions have come from word of mouth and referrals with very little spent on marketing.

Innovation when taken out of context can sometimes look ordinary. While both Nubank and Neon have similar use cases to their peer Fintechs in the UK and the US, the ecosystem in which they operate and excel makes them super special.


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