N26, the FinTech startup, is gearing up to enter the Brazilian market.
According to a report, N26 said during MWC in Barcelona on Wednesday (Feb. 27) that it will soon launch its retail banking business in the country. N26 had previously announced plans to enter the U.S. market next, with that expected to happen during the first half of this year. Brazil is expected to be the market it enters after that, according to the report. Currently, the FinTech is operational in 24 countries in Europe. After reaching a customer count of 2 million in November, it is now at 2.5 million, according to the report, which said Eduardo Prota will be in charge in Brazil, acting as general manager.
In entering Brazil, N26 will be taking on challenger bank Nubank, which has 5 million customers, the report noted.
In January N26 raised $300 million in venture funding led by Insight Venture Partners, giving it a valuation of $2.7 billion. At the time Valentin Stalf, the chief executive and co-founder of N26, said in the round it got the support of the “best investors globally to disrupt one of the largest industries in the world.”
Other investors who participated in the round include GIC — Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund — as well as existing investors. At the time the company said proceeds would be used to fund expansion including in the U.S. N26 is aiming to have 100 million customers throughout the globe during the next few years.
N26 originally launched in 2013 in Germany without a banking license under the name Number26, operating as a financial interface.
Later that year, the company acquired a banking license and began offering more traditional financial services throughout the European Union (EU). It is among the group of challenger banks that are trying to disrupt the business of banking which has long been dominated by large financial services companies. Without any overhead, it is able to offer banking services cheaper than its larger rivals.