Visa to buy Brazilian fintech platform Pismo for $1 bn

Visa, the global payments giant, has announced its acquisition of Brazilian fintech platform Pismo for a substantial $1 billion in cash. This strategic move aims to expand Visa’s presence in Latin America and enhance its offerings to financial institutions and fintech clients.
Visa opens technology development center in BangaloreBy acquiring Pismo, Visa gains access to a comprehensive suite of core banking and issuer processing capabilities. Through cloud-native APIs, Visa will be able to provide a wide range of services, including debit, prepaid, credit, and commercial cards, to its clients. Additionally, Pismo’s platform will enable Visa to offer support and connectivity for emerging payment systems such as Brazil’s Pix, catering to the needs of financial institutions.

Jack Forestell, Visa’s Chief Product and Strategy Officer, highlighted the significance of the acquisition: “Through the acquisition of Pismo, Visa can better serve our financial institution and fintech clients with more differentiated core banking and issuer solutions they can offer their customers.”

The Pismo deal marks a major milestone in Latin America’s fintech landscape. It represents the region’s largest fintech exit since Nubank’s public listing in late 2021 and the most substantial disclosed startup exit so far in 2023, according to a Reuters news report.

This acquisition is particularly noteworthy for Visa, the world’s largest payments processor, as it is their first significant takeover since their 2021 purchase of the European open banking platform Tink for $2.2 billion, as well as the British cross-border payments provider Currencycloud.

Pismo, headquartered in Sao Paulo, operates a cloud-based platform that caters to financial institutions worldwide. With over 70 million hosted accounts and facilitating over $200 billion in transactions annually, Pismo’s technology enables clients to issue Visa and Mastercard cards seamlessly.

Amidst a challenging economic environment, characterized by high interest rates and recession concerns, venture capital funding in Latin America experienced a significant 82 percent drop in May, as reported by data group Sling Hub. Visa’s acquisition of Pismo comes as a significant development in this landscape.

As part of the deal, which is expected to be finalized by the end of the year, Pismo’s current management team will remain in place, ensuring a smooth transition. The co-founders of Pismo—Ricardo Josua, Daniela Binatti, Juliana Binatti, and Marcelo Parise—will continue to lead the company. Pismo operates across Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, India, and Latin America.

Throughout its growth journey, Pismo has raised more than $110 million from prominent investors, including Redpoint eventures, SoftBank Group of Japan, Amazon.com, venture capital firm Accel, and Headline, which holds approximately 30 percent ownership in the company.

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