The return of mega-rounds
Last week felt like 2021. Well, sort of.
There were at least three nine-figure funding rounds in the fintech space announced over the past week. It’s rare enough these days to see ONE nine-figure round, much less two or three. So we were excited to say the least.
First, I covered Brazilian banking-as-a-service startup QI Tech’s $200 million raise led by General Atlantic. This was a big deal, besides just being a lot of cash, because it also marked the largest venture round in Brazil so far this year — not just in fintech, but across all industries. The company was gracious enough to share revenue figures, which is also not very common, noting that revenue was up 89% in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period last year. This also proves that infrastructure continues to be resilient, even during this downturn. Earlier this year, Visa announced it was going to acquire Brazilian payments infrastructure company Pismo in a $1 billion deal.
Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Tabby nabbed $200 million in a Series D funding round that valued it at $1.5 billion. I was a bit surprised that a buy now, pay later platform would attract so much venture capital considering that so many players in the space have had their challenges in the past year or so. But TC’s Tage broke it down for us, explaining that the markets in which Tabby operates don’t have the same kind of access to credit cards that we do in the U.S. He wrote: “As a result, BNPL serves as a crucial source of credit; where it is seen as a convenience in developed markets with abundant credit options, it is essential for many consumers in the Middle East and, by extension, the Gulf.” Tabby’s profitable, too!
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