Fewer Brands Will Be a Gateway to the Internet, Nubank’s David Vélez Predicts

The CEO and co-founder of Nubank spoke at the Web Summit Rio this week and predicted a future in which fewer brands will be a gateway to consumers

David Vélez, Nubank's CEO, speaks at Web Summit Rio 2023 (Photo: Sam Barnes/Web Summit Rio via Sportsfile)
May 09, 2023 | 01:27 PM

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Bloomberg Línea — Nubank (NU) emerged in 2013 as a challenge to Brazil’s five largest banks, which had an 85% market share, and 10 years later their market share has shrunk to 70%, but this trend of concentration reduction will take on other forms in a concentrated “platformization” environment, according to Nubank co-founder and CEO David Vélez, speaking on a panel at the Web Summit Rio last week.

The fintech positions itself as a provider of various financial services such as insurance, loans, cards, and accounts, with the aim of adding more and more services to the platform.

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For Vélez, this has to do with a concentration of paths on the Internet, converging towards fewer and fewer brands as the key point of entry for buying a product.

Vélez says that platformization is a way to replicate and expand Nubank’s multi-product platform in a scalable way for other geographies, such as Mexico and Colombia, with the necessary localizations and cultures.


For Vélez, finances are digital assets, and there is no need to have bank branches on every corner, given that, with the use of consumer platforms and artificial intelligence, “fewer and fewer brands will be the gateway to the internet”.

“This will effectively divide companies into two stages: the gateways to the internet and the companies that are proprietary desks. In the future, you will not visit the website of an online travel agency. You will probably go through some gateways to get your ticket, to buy a pair of shoes,” the executive said.

In this context, the trend is for some companies to have more and more products and data, and the environment becomes more concentrated on them. Nubank takes advantage of this by using its large base of consumers - which totals 80 million people - to solve various financial services.


If in 2013 Nubank started in São Paulo with just one payment account product linked to a pre-paid card, the company now envisions its next years as an ecosystem that allows consumers to solve different financial and other needs.

“We think [the future] will be more concentrated. We will see fewer brands that have this interaction with the consumer and that have a lot of data, and that allow customers access to many products, and then there will be other financial service providers that are more behind the scenes, providing investments or other products, such as mortgages.”

AI, the talk of Web Summit

The Web Summit, an innovation and technology event that brought together more than 20,000 people in Rio de Janeiro, addressed topics of scale and management and investments during its panel discussions. But two words dominated the discussions of entrepreneurs and experts: artificial intelligence.

The attention to new stages of generative AI, such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, led founders, investors and journalists to seek more information about the new topic of the moment.


Data from HR unicorn Deel show that globally, positions related to AI, such as engineers, designers, managers, and AI analysts, grew 461% from January to December 2022 compared to the previous year. The number of companies hiring for positions related to AI grew 300% during the same period.

Vélez believes that artificial intelligence “will be the biggest transformative revolution”, and “the fastest”. “Everyone has smartphones, and we think it will be a great transformation,” he said.

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