German digital bank N26 to open office in Brazil

Employees of the Fintech N26 (Number26), attending a meeting in Berlin, Germany, August 19, 2016. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – the German online banking startup N26 to open a branch in Brazil next week, marking the first move to perform in Latin America, the company’s head in Brazil said on Wednesday.

Eduardo Protes said N26, which raised $300 million in January in a new funding round that valued at $2.7 billion, a suite of mobile banking services by means of a partnership with a local bank, still to be forged.

N26 for the application of a banking license from the Brazilian authorities, he added.

The advent of the N26, which has 2.5 million customers in 24 European countries, underlines how fintechs are ramping up competition with the traditional branch banks in Brazil, where 30 percent of the population lacks any form of bank account, according to the world bank.

N26 will compete in Brazil with digital banks, as is Now Pagamentos SA, which has more than 2.5 million digital accounts, Banco Inter, and C6Bank, which started in January.

N26-investors are New York-based Insight Venture ners, the Singapore investment vehicle GIC, China’s Tencent Holdings, the digital investment arm of insurer Allianz, and Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel.

Reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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