Cross-border payment processor dLocal became Uruguay’s first unicorn after securing $200 million to give it a $1.2 billion valuation.
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Existing investor General Atlantic led the round that included new investor Addition. Prior to this investment, the Montevideo-based company was bootstrapped, CEO Sebastián Kanovich, told Crunchbase News.
As part of the investment, Luiz Ribeiro, principal at General Atlantic, will join dLocal’s board of directors.
Founded in 2016, dLocal handles payins and payouts in 20 emerging markets for 450 of the largest global e-commerce and marketplace companies, such as Spotify, Zara and Google. The company says it connects with more than 300 alternative payment methods.
“Payments is a fragmented world,” Kanovich said. “No one size fits all, and it is the merchant’s responsibility to keep up. It is frustrating to find something you want to buy and not be able to finalize the payment or to pay someone. We want to make sure that money gets to them.”
The company will use the new funding to expand into 13 new markets within Central America, Africa and Southeast Asian countries over the next 18 months, he said. Additionally, it will make new hires to its approximately 285-person workforce across all of its current and new markets.
Profitable every year, dLocal has achieved over 100 percent annual organic growth over the past four years, Kanovich said. However, since the company is doubling down on its strategy he wanted to bring in partners, such as General Atlantic and Addition, tapping into their expertise to grow it on a bigger scale, he added.
Next up, the company plans to continue to listen to its customers and go after new opportunities such as products for fraud prevention and credit cards.
“We would be expanding less and at a slower pace without this investment, but we acknowledged that we needed to be in more places,” Kanovich said. “This amount of geography is not easy to do, and there is a lot to be done. We think there is huge potential in Africa as well as the few holes left in Latin America.”