Neon raises US$300 million to hone in on micro-entrepreneurs in Brazil

Neon may soon join the herd of fintech unicorns from Brazil.
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Contxto – Big growth plans means big funds are needed and Neon recently banked just that.

Today (2) the fintech announced it closed US$300 million for its Series C. General Atlantic returned as the round ringleader. Newcomers BlackRock, PayPal Ventures, Vulcan Capital, and Endeavor Catalyst joined the table.

Meanwhile previous investors Monashees, Flourish Ventures, and Propel Venture Partners also pitched in.

Thanks to their contributions, the Brazilian startup plans to make acquisitions, hire more staff, as well as launch additional products.

While Neon did not report its current market valuation, according to the Contxto database, thus far it’s raised ~US$420 million in disclosed funding.

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Heavyweights at the Neon table

There are now numerous bigwigs at Neon’s Board of Directors table. 

Monashees is a name that often pops up when it comes to the VC and startup scene of Brazil, and it’s been a part of Neon since its 2018 Series A.

Then there’s General Atlantic who led the fintech’s Series B in November of last year. It’s invested in other companies like Slack, Facebook, and Alibaba, so having it as a two-time leader looks good on Neon’s resume.

And who can forget BlackRock? It’s one of the biggest corporations in asset management. Moreover, from what I’ve seen it hasn’t backed a startup from Latin America before—please let me know if you know otherwise 😉 

Meanwhile, PayPal has been quietly developing ties with companies from Latin America.

For one, it’s part of the region’s Finance Forward Accelerator program. Likewise it invested US$750 million in Mercado Libre via the purchase of common stock in March of last year. Now it’s betting on Neon through its venture capital arm, PayPal Ventures.

Where am I going with all this VC-related ramble? That Neon is one fintech to follow if all these hot shots are willing to pour millions into it.

Upcoming plans for the fintech

The startup had made two acquisitions within the last year. In September of 2019, it bought MEI Fácil to connect with micro-entrepreneurs. Then, last July, it announced it acquired Magliano Invest, a brokerage firm. It made the maneuver so as to begin offering investment products to low-income users.

These past acquisitions connect with Neon’s goals for the future: to become a one-stop-shop.

“We want to offer micro-entrepreneurs a complete pathway. We will expand our service offerings to assist you in all areas of your business,” says Daniel Mazini, Chief Product Officer at Neon.

And the startup states that acquisitions will be a big strategy for this. So expect more news on that end.

In any case, this is another Brazilian fintech unicorn in the making. 

Related articles: Tech and startups from Brazil!


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