Miami — Global66, a Chile-based remittance and cross-border payments company, today announced it has raised $12 million in Series A funding, bringing the total raised by the company to $20 million.
“We want to make money borderless,” said Tomas Bercovich, CEO and co-founder of Global66.
Traditionally, sending money internationally has been a slow process bundled with fees, but Global66 makes it easy to send money across borders within minutes, charging only the foreign exchange rate.
Recently P2P (peer-to-peer) payments have become very popular, but they usually only operate within a single country. Late last year, the Brazilian government launched Pix, a P2P payments service that allows for instant payments at no cost within Brazil. In the U.S. people use Venmo, a similar service to Pix, but one that is privately run, as well as Zelle, which has integrated with American banks. But a modern solution that allows for cross-border payments has been lacking in Latin America.
Bercovich is a Chilean serial entrepreneur. He had a successful exit and then went off to Columbia Business School where he met his current co-founder, Cristobal Forno, also a Chilean entrepreneur. In fact, Bercovich invested in Forno’s company before the two decided to go into business together. Forno has a strong background in finance, and the partners identified a need for a simplified remittance company to serve the many corridors in Latin America.
Since the Latin American market wasn’t very developed yet, in 2017 the duo moved to London to learn about financial technologies as well as become customers of top financial institutions so they could see for themselves how it all worked. They then launched an MVP (minimum viable product) called transferenciaperu.com and later in 2018, launched Global66. The co-founders have since moved back and Globall66 is now based in Chile.
“The MVP was a landing page with quotes, but the backend was all Google sheets you know; it was the MVP,” said Bercovich in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.
Today, Global66 has operations in more than eight countries, including Chile, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, and Spain. Customers can transfer money to more than 55 destinations. In select countries, the company also offers a digital wallet that allows instant P2P transfers both domestically and internationally.
Globall66 now has more than 200 employees in eight countries and more than 290,000 customers transferring money. “When COVID-19 started we only had 40 employees. We’ve grown 5x in the last year and a half,” said Bercovich.
In addition to working with individuals, Global66 has a solution for SME’s (small to medium enterprises), a portion of the market that can also benefit from its services.
“Latin American intra-regional corridors are still vastly underserved for both consumers and small businesses when it comes to moving money. Traditional incumbents charge customers high fees, and offer opaque pricing structures and a poor user experience, while regional banks are unable to effectively serve SMEs,” said Rafa de la Guia of Quona Capital.
In addition to it’s remittance service, Global66 will have a multi-currency wallet. The idea is that people should be able to have all their money in one place.
This round was led by Quona Capital, with the participation of Magma Partners, Venrex Investment Management, Clocktower Technology Ventures, and other family offices and investors. The company plans to use the funding from this round to grow across the region and further develop its products, including opening up the U.S. corridor - a huge market since there are many Latin Americans living in the U.S. who regularly send money home. The company is also working on launching a debit card that’s attached to the digital wallet, so when someone sends you money, your pre-paid card is loaded and ready to use.
“We’re working to unite Latin America,” Bercovich said.