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Brazilian fintech BRLA Digital raises funds

Source: BRLA Digital

BRLA Digital, operating in the cross-border payments and crypto infrastructure market, received an additional investment from 99 Capital for its pre-seed round.

The investment, endorsed by Dave Wang, founder of 99 Capital and former Head of crypto at Softbank LatAm, raises the total round to over R$ 4 million. The investment comes at a strategic time as BRLA Digital seeks to strengthen its position in the cross-border payments and crypto infrastructure market.

In October 2023, the fintech completed the first stage of its pre-seed round. At that time, the investment included participation from Coins, a Philippines exchange led by Wei Zhou (former CFO of Binance), Rodrigo Benez, a recognized digital assets investor who founded Brazil's first stablecoin at SimpliPay, among other investors.

"The extension of the round will add a lot to our business. We've opened space for another investor because we see great value in having Dave Wang, founder of 99 Capital and former Softbank executive, with his extensive expertise in the crypto, technology, and business markets. Working alongside someone who promises to further boost our company will be extremely relevant and important," says Matheus Moura, CEO of BRLA Digital.

"Cross border payments leveraging crypto solutions like BRLA improve the cost basis and settlement times by orders of magnitude compared to legacy payment rails. BRLA has a confluence of attacking a great market, with a great team, and a great product”" says Dave Wang, founder of 99 Capital and former Head of crypto at Softbank LatAm.

In addition to the CEO, the BRLA Digital founding team includes executives Luiz Castelo Branco (CTO), Lucas Giorgio (CBDO), Hector Fardin (COO), and Leandro Noel (CSO). Currently, the fintech operates by offering financial infrastructure and cross-border payments – fully compliant with regulatory standards – to local or international "crypto-friendly" companies looking for opportunities in the Brazilian market. For this purpose, it developed a stablecoin tied to the real (BRLA Token) to provide a convenient, economical, and stable mechanism for users and companies to access the cryptocurrency universe.

BRLA Digital is also part of the startup acceleration program by Pinheiro Neto Advogados and plans to have over 30 clients in its portfolio by the end of 2024.

"We are excited to grow rapidly this year. We are confident in the potential of our solutions and believe we will stand out in the cross-border payments and crypto infrastructure market," says Leandro Noel, CSO of the fintech.

Stablecoin secured by audit firm

In November 2023, BRLA Digital announced that its stablecoin ($BRLA) was approved in a rigorous assurance process conducted by UHY Bendoraytes – an independent audit company (member of UHY International) with over 60 years of experience in the Brazilian market. Thus, BRLA Digital became the first company in the world to have a real-linked stablecoin endorsed by an independent audit.

With the stablecoin secured by an independent audit, the fintech gained a significant market differentiator. Thus, it seeks to expand its operation in Brazil. "We will move forward with our plan to help web3-friendly companies grow in Brazil, in addition to strengthening the growth of $BRLA as the main stablecoin for financial settlement in reais," comments Moura.

Emergence of BRLA Digital

Previously, the fintech's founders had created Ada Capital - a company regulated by the CVM and focused on the crypto market. Observing the growth of this market and the favorable regulatory advancements in Brazil, they decided to pivot the business and invest in cross-border payment infrastructure. Thus, BRLA Digital was born.

But the history of the executives dates back even further. Most of the founders (Matheus Moura, Luiz Castelo Branco, Hector Fardin, and Leandro Noel) met during their academic formation at ITA (Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica). Lucas Giorgio met and worked with some of the founders for years at Pátria Investimentos and HIX Capital. Altogether, the executive team of BRLA Digital has been close for over ten years – since their university formation or working together in companies in the financial and technology markets. 

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