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British Fintech Revolut Eyes Expansion Into Argentina

Having hired country managers in Brazil and Mexico, the company with a $33 billion valuation has begun moves into Argentina and has a waiting list of users. Bloomberg Línea finds out more

The fintech has launched its BETA version in the South American country.
April 29, 2022 | 10:40 am

Buenos Aires — U.K.-based fintech and neobank Revolut, founded in 2015, has launched the Beta version of its application in Argentina and set up a waiting list for those interested in becoming users, with 9,786 Argentines having already signed up.

The company offers a multi-currency debit card, as well as stock and cryptocurrency trading, among other services, although the range of its offering varies from market to market.

In Argentina, the company would be entering a market currently led by MercadoLibre’s (MELI) MercadoPago, but where competitors such as Ualá and Lemon are also gaining ground in an already highly competitive sector, with more than 30 virtual wallets operating in the country, but in which only three players are profitable, according to a report by N5 Now, a company that develops software for fintechs.

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These companies currently have a total of approximately eight million users, according to the Argentine fintech chamber, Cámara Argentina de Fintech.

Revolut, for its part, already operates in more than 30 countries, although its activity is at a more mature stage in Europe, where it has already obtained banking licenses in more than 10 countries.

However, according to the fintech, “we will soon be all over the world, so stay tuned!”.

Co-founded in London by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko, Revolut closed an $800 million Series E round in 2021, bringing its valuation to $33 billion. Brazil’s Nubank, by comparison, went public in the U.S. with a valuation in excess of $40 billion, while Argentina’s Ualá is valued at $2.45 billion.

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Revolut’s CFO, Mikko Salovaara, told McKinsey’s Banking & Securities Practice in February that the fintech has more than 17 million customers globally, and that its “gross profits are growing at a rate of more than 300%”.

The company has yet to announce net earnings in its annual results, however.

Revolut is hiring a director to spearhead its Latin America expansion.dfd

The company recently hired Juan Miguel Guerra Dávila and Glauber Mota as CEOs in Mexico and Brazil, respectively, but to date the company has not announced plans to add a country manager in Argentina.

The fintech does have an open vacancy for a director of growth for Latin America, however.

Where is Revolut Operating So Far?

According to Revolut’s webpage, the fintech only serves those legally resident in the European Economic Area (EEA): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the U.K.

However, there are some exceptions: Australia, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.S.

Revolut in Argentina

But despite the launch of its beta version in Argentina, Revolut cannot yet be used in the country.

“The European SuperApp valued at +$30 billion that has already landed in #Mexico has opened a waiting list for its Beta version in Argentina,” Ignacio Carballo, director of the Fintech Programs Ecosystem for Latin America at the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA), tweeted.

“In addition to the economic backing to compete with the leading wallet in the market on equal terms, Revolut’s model has everything,” he added, pointing in particular to its multi-currency debit card service.

The company has not yet announced with which services it will launch in Argentina.