Visa to Acquire Brazilian Fintech Startup Pismo in $1 Billion Cash Deal
In a move that marks one of the largest fintech M&A deals of the year, credit card giant Visa has announced its acquisition of Brazilian payments infrastructure startup Pismo for a staggering $1 billion in cash.
Founded in 2016 by Juliana Motta (CPO), Ricardo Josua (CEO), Daniela Binatti (CTO), and Marcelo Parise (VP of engineering), Pismo, based in São Paulo, has quietly established itself as a major player, attracting high-profile clients such as Citi, Itaú (one of Brazil’s largest banks), Revolut, N26, Nubank, and Cora. The startup processes nearly 50 billion API calls and handles $40 billion in transaction volumes annually, empowering over 80 million accounts and facilitating more than 40 million issued cards.
Demonstrating rapid growth, Pismo’s transaction volume at the start of 2021 was less than $1 billion per month, according to Josua. By the end of 2020, the startup had fewer than 10 million total accounts.
Having expanded beyond its home country, Pismo now operates in various Latin American countries, including Mexico and Chile, as well as in the United States and Europe. The startup has also gained customers in India, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Pismo’s cloud-native issuer processing and core banking platform aims to provide banks, fintechs, and other financial institutions with flexibility and agility. The startup’s $108 million Series B funding round in October 2021 highlighted its ability to enable the launch of products in areas such as cards and payments, digital banking, digital wallets, and marketplaces. Pismo also emphasizes empowering financial institutions to take control of their core data and leverage it intelligently.
Visa stated that the acquisition of Pismo will position the company to offer core banking and issuer processing capabilities across debit, prepaid, credit, and commercial cards through cloud-native APIs. Furthermore, Pismo’s platform will enable Visa to support and connect emerging payment rails, including Brazil’s Pix, for its financial institution clients.