Tencent backs another Latin America neo-bank, taking stake in Ualá

ImpactAlpha Editor

Jessica Pothering

ImpactAlpha, April 24 – Argentina-based Ualá is a digital lender that offers mobile deposit accounts and prepaid credit cards to the majority of Argentinians who don’t have a bank account. Chinese internet giant Tencent has acquired an undisclosed stake in the company.

Ualá launched in 2016 and secured early support from billionaire George Soros’ Soros Fund Management, as well as General Catalyst Partners and Jefferies Group. Then the company had less than 10,000 accounts. Ualá has now issued more than 500,000 prepaid credit cards, Bloomberg reports.

The deal with Tencent comes six-months after Tencent made headlines for a $90 million investment in Nubank, which provides similar services to Ualá in Brazil. It’s the latest in a series of funding rounds by Latin American alternative finance companies. Ualá’s $34 million Series A round was led by Goldman Sachs last October.