Grow Mobility, the company that operates electric scooter and bikesharing startups Grin and Yellow, is merging with Flinto, the payments startup.
TechCrunch, citing Grow Mobility, reported the deal gives Grow Mobility a partner to create a digital wallet for Latin America. Flinto enables people to make payments to each other, add minutes and text message to a mobile device and pay bills and merchants. Flinto is available for the unbanked and for people with bank accounts. Those who don’t have cash are able to deposit money at shops and restaurants, the report said.
Since the merger of Grin and Yellow, rebranded Grow Mobility has more than 135,000 micromobility vehicles in six countries. The company is aiming to double the number of vehicles it has in Latin America in the coming months, according to the report.
“It started to make a lot of sense to bring Flinto as part of the team to develop the wallet because for Latin America, the wallet is not an add-on,” Grin Co-Founder Jonathan Lewy told the news outlet. “It’s a need if you want to tap into a big market of underbanked or non-banked. The only way to bring them on the platform is through a wallet. For us, the wallet is something that we see as the future of the company.”
With Flinto, Grow Mobily customers will be able to make payments via Flinto on the Grow app. Down the road, the idea is to phase out Flinto, noted the report.
The deal comes as the tech market in Latin America is getting a lot of attention. In March, SoftBank announced it was launching a $2 billion fund that will target Latin American technology companies. The new fund plans to invest in technology companies across Latin America, going after the same industries and sectors that SoftBank already invests in. That includes eCommerce FinTech, and healthcare. The fund will also help existing portfolio companies to expand in Latin America. SoftBank already invested $100 million in 99, a Latin American ride-hailing company that was acquired by Didi Chuxing, reports noted.