Teaming with Carrefour Brasil SA, Edenred and Ingenico Group, BNP Paribas plans to foster startup innovation out of the Sao Paulo-based hub, La Fabrique.
Sandrine Ferdane, chief executive and country head, BNP Paribas, told Reuters: “We are looking for startups that may help BNP gain efficiency. As lower interest rates globally reduce margins, efficiency is key.”
With a budget of over £841 million allocated toward fintech investment, BNP is already actively working with startups across France and may choose to divert some funding to the South American startup community in the future.
Edenred, the French company known as a leading distributor of ‘meal vouchers’ has chosen five startups to join the Sao Paulo centre, while Ingenico and Carrefour SA have not yet divulged the number nor extent of their commitment to the hub.
Carrefour SA told Reuters it is planning to keep its Brazilian investment to approximately 2 billion reais per year by 2024.
Paula Cardosa chief executive, Carrefour eBusiness Brasil explains: “We prefer to focus on the skill we want to develop than in the number of startups we may lure into La Fabrique.”
The French supermarket subsidiary has already been investing in local Brazilian startups, recognising the country’s drive toward digital development across financial services - particularly when it comes to AI. The 2019 Oxford Insights AI Preparation Index found that Brazil is rapidly emerging as a leader in AI-enabled businesses, ranking 40th of 192 countries for preparedness to capitalise on AI technology.
The Brazilian government announced late last year that it would create an AI R&D network with the establish of eight labs focusing on cybersecurity and IoT across agribusiness, health care, manufacturing, and smart cities.
Artifical Intelligence is a key topic to be discussed at EBA Day, the European Banking Association's annual conference in partnership with Finextra. European banks, fintechs, and payment providers will gather to explore changes in the industry to develop an open dialogue across key industry players.
Register here for EBA Day at The Hague, Netherlands on the 19th-20th May, 2020.