Neon Lands $300M In VC Funding For Brazilian Expansion

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Brazilian digital bank Neon is gearing up for another big wave of expansion after landing hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital funding.

Founded in 2016, Neon Pagamentos on Wednesday (Sept. 2) announced a Series C investment of $300 million led global equity firm General Atlantic.

In addition to previous investors Monashees and Flourish Ventures, several new players are also stepping up the plate, including Vulcan Capital, PayPal Ventures, various Black Rock-managed funds and accounts, as well as Endeavor Catalyst and BBVA, one of Spain’s largest banks, which took part through existing shareholder Propel Venture Partners, according to a press statement.

Neon says it plans to use the funds, which will be split into two tranches worth $150 million each, to hire additional staff, expand its user base and bolster the technological capabilities of its online platform, as well to pump more money into product development.

Neon is currently working on a number of new consumer products, including a focus on direct deposit customers. On the commercial side, Neon plans to offer new financial services to its user base of micro-entrepreneurs, which it says now tops 1 million, through its MEI Fácil platform. The MEI Fácil platform provides tax and payments products.

“Neon was born with a clear purpose: to provide an accessible bank account to any Brazilian,” said Pedro Conrade, founder of Neon, in a press statement. “We are thrilled to partner with our existing and new investors to continue working toward this shared vision.”

The expansion comes as Neon rides a wave of growth amid the coronavirus crisis, which has spurred interest in digital banking around the world.

Neon says its user base now tops 9.4 million, with a 26 percent jump in new users since March.

“We’ve worked closely with the Neon team since our initial investment last year to build upon its strong brand and bolster senior leadership in key strategic areas,” said Luiz Ribeiro, principal at General Atlantic. “We welcome the partnership of these high-caliber new shareholders.”

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