(Bloomberg) — Brazilian unicorn Ebanx SA kicked off preparations for a potential U.S. listing as the fintech moves ahead with an ambitious plan to expand its payment processing solutions across Latin America, including a new platform integrating cross-border and local transactions.
The so-called Ebanx One, which combines different payment methods into a single system, pledging to unwrap red tape for both international and local customers in the region, is a major step toward an initial public offering, most likely in the U.S., Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Joao Del Valle said.
“We haven’t set a date yet, but we are taking this IPO readiness project very seriously, and Ebanx One is at the core of our business value,” Del Valle said in an interview, without disclosing whether the company has already hired investment banks to coordinate the future share offering.
The Curitiba-based firm, which handles online payments for major tech firms such as Uber Technologies Inc, Airbnb Inc and Spotify Technology SA in Latin America, also sees room for more mergers and acquisitions deals to accelerate growth in key markets in the region, according to Del Valle.
In January, Ebanx acquired a 30% stake in Brazilian lender Topazio, which is authorized to operate in the currency market, in order to ease payment processing for international customers. Terms were not disclosed.
“We will not wait for the IPO to make another move,” he added, citing plans for another private funding round this year. The last time Ebanx raised money was in 2019, when it was valued at over $1 billion after a second round of investments by U.S. private equity firm FTV Capital.
“Our goal is to be seen as a gateway to LatAm markets for huge companies,” Del Valle said. By the end of June, Ebanx will be operating in 15 countries in region, of which Brazil, Mexico and Colombia are currently the biggest operations.
In 2020, the fintech processed 145 million transactions, a volume 38% higher than in 2019. Growth outside Brazil has been even stronger lately, surpassing 200% last year as the coronavirus pandemic fuels a shift to e-commerce, online entertainment and other digital services.
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