Chinese Internet Giant Tencent Invests $180M In Brazil’s Fintech Start-Up Nubank

China’s internet giant Tencent Holdings Limited has reached an agreement to invest US$180 million for an undisclosed minority stake in Brazilian financial technology company Nu Pagamentos S.A.

Tencent is investing in Nu Pagamentos S.A., shortly known as Nubank, through a US$90 million capital increase, said Reuters citing Nubank’s chief executive David Velez.

The Chinese giant is also paying another US$90 million to buy partial stakes from Nubank’s current shareholders.

The investment is aimed at helping Nubank "build a full-service personal finance platform", said Tencent’s president Martin Lau in a statement on Monday.

The deal comes at a time when Nubank is preparing to make consumer loans available by the end of 2018, extending its current mainstays of fee-free credit cards and digital payment accounts.

In January, the company had received approval from the Brazilian central bank to offer loans to consumers.

Besides the new funding injected by Tencent, Nubank has raised US$330 million through six financing rounds since its inception in May 2013.

Investment firms such as DST Global and Sequoia Capital led a US$150 million series E fundraising round in the financial service start-up in March.

Tencent will help Nubank further develop in areas such as payments, consumer loans, engineering and machine learning, Velez told Reuters.

The internet giant is already a major shareholder of Chinese online-only bank WeBank and online-only insuretech ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co Ltd.

According to Nubank’s website, eight million have already applied for a Nubank credit card and 500,000 people are on the waitlist for one credit card.

Nubank has signed up 2.5 million customers for digital payment accounts, which allows users to make transfers, pay bills and earn interest on deposits.

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