The last decade has seen a lot of changes in the financial industry. The global financial crisis, the rise of mobile banking, and the decreased costs of starting businesses have allowed many disruptors into this space. The rise of the Fintech vertical has created a niche that is both attractive to consumers and investors alike. Latin America, in particular, has been a hub for Fintech solutions. The rise of incomes and standards of living across the region have not only increased access to mobile technology but has also increased the financial needs of the citizens there. One of these needs has been the ability to send money across borders. Based out of Santiago, Chile, Global66 has come to the table with a solution by offering a digital-first platform for sending and receiving payments.
“Immigration has been pretty widespread in this region,” explains José Yáñez, head of growth for Global66, “It’s not like the U.S., where there is a long history of immigration. Within the last few years, we have had a lot of migration from Colombia, Peru, and especially Venezuela. We also saw that Chile is a country that exports many people for both work and leisurely travel. Our founders looked at these trends and saw a unique opportunity to help provide payment solutions to these individuals.”
A solution wasn’t necessarily challenging to come by for the founders of Global66, which is led by serial entrepreneur Tomas Bercovich and partner Cristobal Forno. The two have a background in the Fintech space, and in 2018 they created the idea for the company within one of their other ventures, Capitaria, a stock-trading platform that has seen success in the region. Global66 currently exists as a sister company to Capitaria, and the two remain housed in the same building.
“Tomas and Cristobal were already in the money business and looking for new opportunities,” continues José, “They studied market needs and focused on people who need to transfer money from one place to another.” Through their research, Global66 concluded that although there are big players who exist in the space, such as Transferwise, they do not exist in every market. Also, some of the existing companies in the market consist of legacy brands like Western Union. When Global66 looked at these legacy company’s fees, lack of transparency, and mediocre service, they decided to take responsibility for disrupting this space in Latin America. The founders built an MVP (Minimum Viable Product), which routed money from Chile to Peru, and found immediate success.
Global66’s product provides many advantages to the traditional way of sending money, as José explains, “We have a great UX that makes it as easy as possible for a client to use. The client’s bank transfers the funds from their account, and we do the rest. We are also a 100% digital experience and have no physical locations. The client doesn’t need to carry physical cash, they don’t need to stand in line, and our process is low-fee and transparent. Lastly, our exchange rates are updated regularly throughout the day to match Google’s market rates.”
The response of the market to Global66 has been overwhelmingly positive, allowing them to grow the technology exceptionally quickly. Today, Global66 enables payments to be sourced from six countries in Latin America and sent to over sixty destinations worldwide. This traction has caught the eye of investors, too. The company announced the closing of $3.25M in a Seed round in January of this year, including notable participants such as Venrex, Genesis Management, and prominent Angel Investor, Will Armitage.
And, Global66 is far from their final vision. “I think that right now, we see ourselves as a company with so much potential,” continues José, “Last year we transferred more than $30M, and we currently have over 15,000 clients. Those are big numbers, but at the same time, it’s so small compared to the size of the whole market.” The company has an exciting product pipeline in the works. Their immediate next step is to launch their mobile application, as they are currently only web-based. With the continued increase of globalization and access to both financial tools and technology, there is now, more than ever, a need for borderless payments, not just in Latin America, but globally. Given their early start, and proven solution, Global66 is in a prime position to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
For more information on Global66, please visit their website.