dLocal Is Christened Uruguay’s First Fintech Unicorn

In a historic moment, fintech company dLocal emerged from a recent funding round as Uruguay’s first unicorn and one of the highest valued companies in Latin America. Amazingly, dLocal’s rise hasn’t been supplemented by several rounds of venture-capital funds. Until now, the startup providing a trusted cross-border payments platform connecting global merchants with emerging markets has been bootstrapped since its inception in 2016.

The funding round saw dLocal receive a $200 million capital infusion, raising the company’s valuation to $1.2 billion. Key players in the funding round include General Atlantic, the leading global provider of growth capital with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, as well as Addition, a recently launched investment company targeting early or growth-stage companies. dLocal’s platform helps companies like Shopify and Uber send and receive payments in emerging markets as the region’s alternative to Adyen. The company’s clients further include Nike, DiDi, GearBest, Visa/Earthport, and many others.

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CEO and founder Sebastián Kanovic said, “I am extremely proud of what the dLocal team has achieved since we started working with global e-commerce companies four years ago. We have achieved unicorn status and become one of the highest-rated Latin American financial technology companies for supporting global merchants. In addition, we are increasing access to emerging markets and helping people there to connect with e-commerce.”

Despite its previously limited funding, dLocal has been profitable every year, achieving over 100% annual organic growth since its founding four years ago. Today it serves 450 merchants in 20 countries, with connectivity to more than 300 alternative payment methods. The company’s momentum is helped by successful new business wins in high growth markets such as India, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa. Its recent growth includes expansion of current customer relationships via a number of recent partnership announcements with big e-commerce players including Spotify Premium, Zara, and Google Pay.

It was shared that the newly christened unicorn seeks to channel the funding into global expansion with a focus on 13 new markets over the next 18 months, including Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. dLocal will also beef up its product offering to better serve its mission and resolve key paint points for global merchants who want to service emerging market consumers.