Miami — By Marcella McCarthy
Miami-based fintech Paymentez, has been acquired by Nuvei, a public Canadian company in the payments space that operates in global markets, the companies announced yesterday. The details of the deal were not disclosed.
Paymentez, as the name suggests, facilitates online payments, and while based in Miami, it operates in LatAm where it supports 4,000 merchants including Rappi, General Motors and Direct TV, to name a few.
“It’s an API solution that also provides security and all the connectivity needed,” said Juan Franco, Paymentez’s co-founder and CEO.
Franco is a serial entrepreneur from Colombia who previously founded a gaming company in Brazil in 2008. That’s what led him to develop Paymentez — he found that his biggest challenge with the gaming company was actually accepting payments. Like many other entrepreneurs, in solving his own company’s problem, he created a solution that others wanted, too. In 2011, he left gaming behind to found Paymentez and launched the company a year later, with Brazil as the first market.
While the company serves merchants in LatAm and has all its operations there, Franco and his co-founder built the company from Miami so Paymentez would be a U.S. company and it would be easier to raise capital, Franco said, which they did in 2014 from family offices. Franco did not disclose the amount.
While the company said they didn’t face any unique challenges as they grew, “We experienced different challenges at different stages,” Franco said.
“In the beginning it was technology adoption, then it was about expansion — it was a lot of countries and every country is different in terms of regulations and players. Then we had to make sure we had enough capital, then growing the team, recruiting, hiring the best possible team and keeping them,” Franco told Bloomberg Línea.
In addition to Miami, Paymentez also has offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Bogota, Guayaquil and Mexico City, with its CTO based in Argentina and the other 45 employees spread across the region.
Paymentez has been growing under the radar, but it’s a Miami tech company through and through, even having made a passive investment in SpeedETab in 2017 which just 6 months ago was acquired by Wix, the website building platform.
Paymentez and Nuvei first connected through partnerships in LatAm, before deciding that a permanent partnership would make more sense.
Nuvei supports payment partnerships in 204 global markets, and operates directly in 45 markets. Franco and his team will stay on and Franco will be the new general manager for Nuvei Latin America, where he’ll be responsible for operations and growth in the region.