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OPINION

Nubank needs to prove itself post-IPO

The momentum behind the loss-making bank’s IPO had become unstoppable by year-end, even as the range was eventually cut. It now faces intense scrutiny as a public firm.

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What a difference a year makes.

When Euromoney spoke to Nubank’s CEO and co-founder David Vélez a year ago, he was quick to express his preference for the greater control and lower accountability that comes with private ownership.

“I think we’ll do an IPO, but we don’t want to be distracted and we are not going to be rushed into a decision when we’re not ready,” he told us in January. “If it were up to me, we would be private forever.

“For now, there is a long line of private investors wanting to invest in Nubank and we don’t need capital. But if a good offer shows up, we might take it and that might give us more leeway to keep running the bank as a private entity.”

Incumbents are taking the fight to the unbanked sector that has been Nubank’s base since its inception

Nubank completed its IPO in December. The deal valued the bank at $42 billion. What changed?

The answer is valuation. In January, after a $400 million Series G funding round, the bank was worth $25 billion. Then in June, Nubank took $500 million, at a $30 billion valuation, from Warren Buffett, and as soon as the ink was dry on the deal momentum for the IPO began to become unstoppable.


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