This payment platform aims to close the gap between developed and emerging economies
The success of Uruguayan fintech company dLocal led to it being named among the world’s most innovative companies.
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Ever since dLocal was first established as a startup in 2016, a single goal has remained in mind — to close the payments innovation gap that exists between developed countries and emerging economies.
The Uruguayan financial technology (fintech) company provides an alternative payment platform that connects global merchants and emerging markets across continents.
Its website reads: “We are 40% cross-border payments facilitator, 40% technology company and 40% emerging-markets localization experts. That means we are 120% dedicated to delivering a flexible, all-encompassing payments solution that unlocks new revenues and maximizes reach in growth markets.”
Headquartered in Uruguay, the company also holds offices in the United States, Israel, Brazil, China and across Europe.
Jacobo Singer, president of dLocal, spoke with AL DÍA about the platform and what prompted the idea to initially launch it.
“We started by seeing the need for merchants to process payments in Brazil: they were selling, but couldn’t get paid,” he said.
“Once we solved that problem, we saw very quickly that the problem of accepting payments in emerging countries is very similar in all these markets,” Singer added.
In Latin America, only 20% of residents have an international credit card, which makes alternative options to make online subscriptions or purchases very critical.
An Alternative Payment Platform
Singer detailed what makes dLocal so effective in its functioning.
“We make the complex simple by redefining the online payments experience,” he said. “dLocal enables global merchants to get paid and to make payments in a safe and efficient manner.”
The model connects merchants to over 700 local payment methods across different geographies and industries.
dLocal is one of the nearly 400 companies represented by CUTI, the prominent nonprofit organization that helps drive the development and growth of Uruguay’s tech industry.
CUTI’s success in selling products and services to more than 50 markets across five continents, generating 3.4% of Uruguay’s GDP, and creating more than 15,000 jobs have been huge in helping dLocal broaden its horizons.
Currently, dLocal has access to more than 2 billion consumers in 35 emerging markets.
Notable Global Recognition
Within just a few short years, dLocal has been getting major recognition globally.
In 2020, dLocal made history in raising $200 million from U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic, and in the process becoming Uruguay’s first unicorn — an emerging tech-based company worth over $1 billion.
“It was, and still is, a great honor,” said Singer, adding that he and his team felt both “grateful and excited” about the distinction.
Seeing the platform get built from the ground up and receive global recognition in just a few years is a great achievement.
Just months after raising its status as a unicorn, the company became the first Uruguayan company to go public in the U.S. by debuting on NASDAQ.
With more than 400 global merchants already utilizing the platform, Singer said he felt that NASDAQ “was the right home for dLocal.”
“This listing gave us the fuel we need to expand our offering, and our merchant base in order to become the online payments infrastructure of choice in emerging markets,” said Singer.
“We believe scalability and transparency are keys to our continued success,” he added.
The Future Outlook
In 2021 alone, dLocal expanded to nine new countries, six of which are outside of Latin America.
The new countries are based both on where merchants want to be served, and the team’s internal view on the prospects of the aforementioned country.
Singer noted that dLocal expansion will be seen through three forms of growth: commercial efforts, product expansion and geographic expansion.
In the future, the goal is simply to build on its current success and increase its availability in other countries.
“We will continue to deepen our presence in the countries where we currently operate and add new countries,” said Singer.
Recently, two dLocal senior executives were moved to Singapore and South Africa to lead commercial and expansion efforts in the respective continents of Asia and Africa.
“This allows us to retain our dLocal culture in a new geography and at the same time, we are focused on hiring locally to grow faster,” said Singer.