Brazilian Fintech Ebanx Changes Leadership, Reinforces AI Push

Fabio Scopeta, who came from management positions at Microsoft and IBM, takes over as Chief Product & Technology Officer at the Brazilian fintech

Ebanx/Courtesy
January 12, 2023 | 04:20 PM

Bloomberg Línea — Ebanx, a Brazilian financial-technology firm backed by Advent International, has decided to unify the technology and product teams and combine the positions of CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CPO (Chief Product Officer). Fabio Scopeta, a Brazilian who has worked on the board of Microsoft and IBM, assumes the position of CPTO (Chief Product & Technology Officer).

Scopeta, who lives in Miami, Florida, has more than 25 years of experience. He has held positions as general manager of digital innovation and application solutions, where he led the go-to-market strategy and revenue responsibility for Microsoft’s application development portfolio.

Scopeta is not the only leader of big tech and Microsoft that opted for the change to assume an executive position in a Brazilian startup. In recent days, Caju Benefícios, a corporate payments platform, hired Mariana Hatsumura, who spent ten years at Microsoft and ran the Azure platform, to be its first CMO (Chief Marketing Officer).

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Previously, Scopeta was IBM Watson Health’s leader for Latin America, following her role as IBM Watson Head for Brazil. Now, it will be the executive’s mission to leverage the fintech’s products and its payments platform.

In an interview with Bloomberg Linea, Scopeta said that the decision to combine the technology and product positions comes at a time of Ebanx’s global expansion and expansion of industry verticals which “requires a very intense agile process of innovation and execution”.

“There are gains by integrating product, data, engineering, security, privacy, and infrastructure (...) our platform is evolving in the direction of maintaining the high performance that we have,” said the executive.

Bringing his Artificial Intelligence background to the payments universe, Scopeta says that the uses of the technology for financial companies range from anti-fraud solutions to operational efficiency.

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After 2022 with a company restructuring, when Ebanx laid off 20% of the team (340 employees), the competitor of the Uruguayan dLocal (DLO) announced its expansion to three countries on the African continent: Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, where Ebanx processes payments for the Brazilian company Pipefy.

A relevant Ebanx client, Shopee, from Singapore’s Sea group, has retracted operations in Latin America to focus on Brazil. For Scopeta, “every industry has seasonalities and a diverse portfolio helps us to protect ourselves”. Even in more challenging macroeconomic conditions, Ebanx said it had a 42% growth in its total volume of payments processed in 2022 compared to 2021.

“All the changes that have been made are aligned to a strategic motive with a team aligned on priorities. We are continually reading market signals and learning about these markets, studying partnerships and opportunities, always keeping an eye on how to help our international customers be connected to these rising markets.”

Scopeta joins the new leadership names at fintech, which has also appointed Sean Yu as a chief commercial officer, based in Shanghai, China. In November 2022, the company announced the arrival of Greg Cornwell as its new vice president of business development to co-lead the fintech’s global sales teams, and earlier last year, the company brought on Paula Bellizia, formerly of Google, as president of global payments.

Ebanx, which postponed its planned IPO last year, was one of the first Brazilian unicorns, posting a valuation of more than $1 billion in 2019 following an investment of undisclosed value from FTV Capital. The company said there has been no external fundraising strategy or internal rounds recently and said it “continues to closely monitor market developments and opportunities” for its stock market debut.

On Wednesday, The Information reported that Stripe, Ebanx’s US peer, reduced its internal valuation by about 11%. It would have been the third time the US payments startup has reduced its own view of its share price since June, The Information said, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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The internal price is used for new share-based compensation and can help set expectations ahead of an IPO. The last cut reduces Stripe’s share price was $24.71, implying a valuation of around $63 billion. In October 2022 the price was reduced from $29 to $27.73, according to The Information. In July, the company told employees that the company’s internal valuation fell to around $74 billion.

At the last external raising, Stripe had been valued at $95 billion.