PicPay buys 100% of Guiabolso in open banking

The acquisition, weeks after suspending its listing on Nasdaq, shows how PicPay plans to expand the means to monetize its customer base.

The financial marketplace PicPay announced this Friday the purchase of 100% of the personal-finance portal Guiabolso, in a transaction in cash and shares, in the first large transaction in the country motivated by “open banking”, according to Reuters.

The acquisition, weeks after suspending its listing on Nasdaq, shows how PicPay plans to expand the means to monetize its customer base, which has surpassed 55 million users, a move leveraged in part by the effects of the pandemic, which catalyzed the search for digital solutions for payment in the country.

Brazilians are into Open Banking

According to the vice-president of financial services Eduardo Chedid, “the acquisition will position us as a leading player in open banking,” 

The executive, however, revealed that most of the operation was made in cash, while the founding partners of Guiabolso, Thiago Alvarez and Benjamin Gleason, will also assume a minority stake in PicPay. Details were not revealed.

Investors from rounds of contributions to Guiabolso in recent years, which include Vostok, Kaszek, Ribbit Capital, QED Investors, Omidyar Network, and IFC funds, have fully sold their stakes in the business.

An early player in Brazilian Fintech

Created in 2012 as a precursor of open banking, a system that the Central Bank is implementing in the country, Guiabolso uses data intelligence to offer financial guidance to around 6 million users and has also become a portal for products such as credit, personal investments, and insurance.

The 200 employees of Guiabolso will be integrated into the sheet of 3,000 PicPay employees. Alvarez, president of Guiabolso, will be PicPay’s director of open banking.

Founded in Vitória (ES) in 2012 as a digital portfolio, PicPay gained strength after being purchased by the J&F group, owner of JBS, starting to act as a financial marketplace, digital store, and ad portal.

The announcement marks the rapid movement of the financial sector in Brazil amid Central Bank-led innovations such as PIX instant payment, and open banking, which gives customers power over bank data sharing and transaction choice, to raise the bar. competition.

In June, Goldman Sachs Asset Management announced an investment of 2.1 billion reais in fintech Meu Tudo.

Life goes on without IPO

PicPay was planning an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq, forecasting a market cap of around $20 billion, according to media reports. As he realized that investors were offering a much lower valuation than that, the controllers gave up on the deal. Then, J&F announced a plan to invest 3 billion reais in PicPay by 2023.

“We’ve taken the field team out for now,” Chedid said. “Now it’s head down and focuses on the plan,” he added, referring to the company’s dream of reaching a base of more than 100 million users in the coming years.