It is not uncommon these days to hear about American-based investors supporting Latin American startups.
But it is not every day that we hear of Latin American VCs investing in US-based startups.
Berkeley-based FinTech Flourish has raised $ 1.5 million in a funding round led by Brazilian venture capital firm Canary. Founded by Pedro Moura and Jessica Eating, the startup offers “engagement and financial well-being” solutions for banks, fintechs and credit unions, with the goal of helping customers engage and retain customers.
Also participating in the round are Theoichi Ventures, First Check Ventures, Magma Capital and GV Angeles as well as Rodrigo Xavier (former CEO of Bank of America in Brazil), Beth Stelluto (formerly Schwab), Gustavo Lasala (President and CEO ) The People Fund) and Brian Necessary (Founder of Viva Real).
With customers in the US, Bolivia and Brazil, Flourish has developed a solution that consists of three core modules:
- An award engine designed to encourage users to save money or invest
- An intelligent and automated micro-saving feature, where users can create individual rules (such as a $ 15 transfer on a rainy day each time their favorite sports team wins)
- A financial knowledge module, where individual financial transactions and spending patterns are transformed into a question and answer game.
In the US, Flourish began by testing end-user mechanics with organizations such as the Commonwealth and OpportunityFund. In 2019, it released the B2C version of the Flourish app (C)Breathtaking savings app) As a pilot for its banking platform, which can integrate with banks via SDK or API. It is also now License their engagement technology to banks, retailers, and fintechs across the US. Flourish has piloted or licensed US-based credit unions, Sycob (Brazil’s largest credit union) and Bancosol’s solution in Bolivia.
The startup makes money through a partnership model that focuses on user activation and engagement.
Maura and Eating, both immigrants, met in an MBA program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Maura entered the US from Brazil as a teenager, while Eating is the daughter of a Filipino father and mother of the Mexican dynasty.
The pair tied into their joint mission to build a business that empowered people to form positive money habits and understand their finances.
Currently, the 11-man team operates out of the US, Mexico and Brazil. It plans to use its new capital to grow its clientele at LatAm, and to hire and develop new functions for the Flourish platform.
Specifically, it plans to focus next There will be scale in the Brazilian market, and in a few select countries in the US.
“There are three things that make Latin America and Brazil particularly attractive,” Maura said. “Currently, the B2B financial technology market is still in its territory. This, combined with open banking regulation and the need for more responsible products, provides a unique opportunity in Brazil. “