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These are Latin America’s ‘Decacorn’ Wannabes

Nubank was the only startup to reach the $10 billion valuation while still private, but Kavak is already an eight-time unicorn

Nubank was the only startup to reach a valuation of $10 billion while still private
By Bloomberg Línea
March 10, 2022 | 10:39 am

The term unicorn was first used in 2013, when investor Aileen Lee described a private equity startup worth more than $1 billion, according to a report by Brazilian innovation platform Distrito. The idea of the word was to highlight something rare, but being a unicorn today is increasingly common and faster for startups. Brazil alone has 28.

According to the Distrito report, Lee started to filter these “rare” startups as dragons, that is, companies with a valuation above $10 billion, the “decacorns”. In the world, there are 19 of them. In Latin America, the only one that reached the valuation (and then surpassed it three times before the IPO) was Nubank.

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Uruguayan digital payments provider dLocal reached a market cap of over $10 billion after its IPO in June last year. Today, the company has a market cap of $7.99 billion.

But some Latin American startups are strong contenders for “dragon” or “decacorn” status, such as Mexico’s Kavak, which is worth $8.7 billion. See below the decacorns’ candidates:

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  • Kavak ($8,7 bilhões)
  • Rappi ($5,52 bilhões)
  • QuintoAndar ($5,1 bilhões)
  • Creditas ($4,8 bilhões)
  • Ebanx (doesn’t disclose valuation, but reports says it will seek a $10 billion valuation on its IPO)

Already-listed companies such as PagSeguro were once worth $8.2 billion, and Stone also made an IPO at an $8.8 billion valuation. But with the recent fall in fintechs’ shares, these POS companies are worth $4.13 billion and $2.95 billion respectively.

Of the companies that are still private, Brazil’s proptech QuintoAndar could also be a decacorn candidate. Today, the company is worth $5.1 billion. Rappi also figures on the list of possible candidates, with a $5.25 billion valuation.

According to Brazil’s newspaper Valor Econômico, the fintech Creditas - valued at $4.8 billion - will seek a $10 billion valuation in its IPO. For Bloomberg in October, people familiar with the matter said that the plan of Brazilian payments unicorn Ebanx was also to seek a valuation of more than $10 billion in an IPO.

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