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Nubank, the Brazilian digital bank, announced that its Mexican subsidiary Nu México has acquired Akala, a Sociedad Financiera Popular. This designation allows Nu to perceive savings from the general public –a new service that expands its current portfolio.
The amount of the transaction wasn’t revealed, but it has the approval of Mexico’s main banking regulator (the National Banking and Securities Commission, or CNBV).
Prior to the acquisition, Akala was part of Grupo Progreso, which also controlled Bankaool, another Mexican digital bank.
Emilio González, general manager of Nu México, said in a statement: “Closing this acquisition with the approval of the CNBV to continue our plans of expanding our product portfolio is, without any doubt, an important milestone to continue our growth”.
Nu’s growth plans had been anticipated last April when it announced a $135M investment in Mexico. Initially, Nu México only offered an international credit card with contactless payments technology and no annual fee.
The goal: to become LatAm’s main challenger bank
Nubank was created in 2013 and expanded to Mexico in 2020 as Nu México. Its goal has always been to become the region’s most important digital bank. It currently has 40 million users in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia.
The bank’s regional expansion is fueled by a total VC investment of $1.15B. Berkshire Hathaway, Tiger Global, Kaszek Ventures, and Tencent are among its main investors.
Nubank is the world’s largest neobank and LatAm’s highest-valued unicorn ($30B, as of September 2021).