Brazilian bank BV bought a stake in the fintech Méliuz, with the option to take control of the BaaS platform Bankly.
BV is considered the fifth-largest private bank in Brazil, according to the Central Bank of Brazil ranking.
BV acquired a 3.85% stake in Méliuz in a deal that includes a commercial agreement between the companies and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the acquisition of control of Bankly – the banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform acquired by Méliuz in May 2021, Startups reported.
In addition to acquiring a 3.85% equity stake in the startup, BV will have the option to buy all shares of the controlling block within 24 months. Today, the controllers own almost 24% of the company.
In the case of Bankly, a memorandum of understanding was signed that provides for the sale of control within 90 days, based on an enterprise value of more than US$38 million. There is also a commercial agreement for BV to add Bankly to its financial services offering.
The deal was carried out by BV’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund, which this year invested in fintechs such as Parcelex and Klavi.
Using the BaaS platform to expand financial operations
With this deal, Méliuz will start marketing financial products and services on its platform using the bank’s services and being reimbursed for transactions with its customer base. On the other hand, BV will use Bankly to develop its financial services offering. According to market insiders, this will add significant value to the financial institution’s operations and be a gateway for Méliuz in distributing financial products.
Bankly was acquired in May 2021 by Méliuz, demonstrating the cash-back platform’s appetite for the financial services vertical. At the time, Bankly had more than 130 companies as clients. Today, it has more than 200 B2B partners in its base, collectively totaling more than 4.5 million active customers.
Founded in 2010, Méliuz is a technology company that delivers an integrated shopping experience into users’ financial lives, creating new opportunities for customers and retailers to always win.
Initially, the company focused on discount coupons and cash-back, reimbursing part of the value of purchases made in online partner stores initiated by Méliuz.
A Brazilian unicorn in a changing market
In 2019, Méliuz began to venture into the financial market, launching its first credit card in partnership with Banco Pan with a cash-back of up to 1.8%.
And in June 2021, the company’s value exceeded one billion, making it a Brazilian unicorn.
Currently, Méliuz has an even more complete ecosystem that includes offering a free digital account, Platinum credit card with no annual fee, debit card, account card, buying and selling bitcoin, and the possibility of transferring values (including cash-back) through the PIX instant payment system. With more than 26.2 million accounts, the fintech added $ 718 million in GMV in the first nine months of 2022, 47% more than in the same period of the previous year.
Jorge C. Carrasco is a Contributing Reporter at Fintech Nexus. He reports on fintech, economy, banking, startups, and technology, covering the most impactful stories from a Latin American perspective.
He has contributed to several international publications, such as Foreign Policy, The Spectator Australia, Estadão, Época, Washington Examiner, and Quillette. Originally from Havana, Cuba, he is now based in Brazil.