Nubank expects growth amid tough economic times

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Nubank founder and CEO David Vélez sees Brazil’s economic woes as a potential opportunity for even faster growth for his digital banking platform in Latin America and around the world, he said in a Reuters report on Wednesday. February 2.

Nubank’s value has fallen from the $52 billion valuation at which the company began its journey on the New York Stock Exchange less than two months ago, but its 48 million customers make Nubank one of of the largest digital banks in the world. It has also recently expanded into Mexico.

Vélez told Reuters the non-performing loan (NPL) ratio is expected to rise this year as Brazilian consumers grapple with rising inflation, rising interest rates and a struggling economy. However, he expects Nubank’s NPL level to remain lower due to its anticipated use of data in loan underwriting.

Nubank is backed by retail deposits and has had a large cash position since its $2.6 billion IPO in December, Vélez told Reuters in a video interview on Tuesday (February 1st).

“We might actually have an opportunity to accelerate and take even more [market] share and leave interest rates even lower to make our products much more competitive,” he said. Nubank requires its customers to repay their credit card loans in six weeks and their personal loans in four to six months.

Related: Nubank goes public at $41.5 billion with Latin America growth on the horizon

Nubank was founded in 2013 and is backed by Warren Buffett and Tencent. In addition to Mexico, the company is looking to expand into Colombia and other parts of Latin America. The company offers savings accounts, business loans, insurance and investment products.

In December, Nubank announced that its revenue had doubled to $1.1 billion through September from the same period a year earlier, but its net losses fell from $64.4 million to 99, $1 million.

In the first eight months of 2021, 48 Brazil-based companies set a record with 65 billion reals (about $11.5 billion) raised. IPOs around the world raised more than $600 billion last year.

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