In August 2021, Ualá had its most recent fundraise: a Series D for US$350 million. Then it came to Mexico, where it bought the Mexican bank ABC Capital. Now it announces its expansion to a third market: Colombia.
The arrival of the fintech company from Buenos Aires, Argentina, comes after two years of working with the country’s regulators, such as the Financial Superintendence, to be able to offer its debit card.
Ualá in Colombia
The company started operations in the South American country because it sees a large market opportunity to digitize Colombians. About 87% of people still use cash as their main form of payment, according to Colombia’s central bank.
For this reason, Ualá wants to offer a 100% digital experience to people over 18 that is also secure, cost-free and easy. This is achieved through cell phones with iOS and Android operating systems at any time.
Among the services offered are: a free app that is linked to an international Mastercard debit card with contactless technology, transfers, online and offline purchases in all places that accept Mastercard, as well as the consultation of movements.
Ualá is starting operations in Colombia with around 40 employees. However, the fintech company expects to double this number during 2022. At the head of operations is country manager Natalia Ríos.
The US$2.5 billion company will invest US$80 million in Colombia, which it will take from the funds it has raised in other rounds.
So far, Ualá has raised US$544 million in investments. It is backed by Softbank Latin America Fund, Tencent, Monashees, Endeavor Catalyst, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Greyhound Capital and Rabbit Capital to name a few, notes Crunchbase.
Prior to its arrival in Colombia, Ualá had issued four million cards in Argentina and Mexico. These countries have been its major markets, but where it is still waiting to sign the acquisition of two banks with local regulatory authorities.
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