Nubank celebrates 10 years and opens its office for an event with press and influencers
Around 80 guests attended a round of presentations, interviews, and conversations with executives at the company’s headquarters in São Paulo
May 18 , 2023
Nubank held its first Media Event this Thursday, May 18. Around 80 guests, including journalists, influencers, and NuCommunity members, were invited to the company’s headquarters in São Paulo for a morning of discovery around Nubank’s history, strategy, and plans for the future.
David Vélez, CEO and founder, opened the presentations by remembering Nubank’s trajectory. The company went from just 12 credit cards in 2014 to 80 million customers in April 2023, posting yet another round of record results in its most recent Earnings Release, for Q1’23, including net income of $142 million and revenues of $1.6 billion.
These results are reflected in improvements for the customers themselves, who are increasingly engaged with a growing portfolio of products and services developed with one single purpose: “From the first second of our history, our goal as a company is very clear: to fight complexity and empower people,” said the CEO.
The current success reflects the result of the founders’ sure bet, still in 2013, on the digital revolution driven by smartphones. A decade ago, with a mix of optimism and caution, David, Cristina Junqueira, and Edward Wible presented potential investors with the idea of an unorthodox bank: digital, purple, with no fees. They heard several “no”s and were met with disbelief from those who did not see a chance of success in such a concentrated banking industry.
“The idea of creating a new bank in Brazil, 100% digital, 100% independent, and not part of a large economic group, seemed absurd to most of the ‘experts’ we spoke with. The conventional wisdom was that this banking sector was not open to entrepreneurs,” recalls David.
Growth projections for the company have always been bold and still always surpassed. David showed how the company constantly underestimated its ability to grow and go viral. When the company was founded, the projection for 2019 was to reach one million customers. By the end of that year, there were more than 20 million.
Today, Nu celebrates one decade, showcasing that its business model is capable of combining growth and scalability with high profitability.
Nubank already serves almost half (46%) of the Brazilian adult population. The customer base has doubled in the last two years and is increasingly engaged, as evidenced by the rising activity rate (82%). The annualized ROE of 37% in Brazil demonstrates the capabilities of the business model that has already been tested for nine years. The company has also expanded to Mexico and Colombia, which combined show even greater growth potential than Brazil and where Nu is already positioned as one of the largest credit card issuers.
“A formula that is simple to explain, but hard to achieve”
After David’s introduction, the company’s CFO, Guilherme Lago, showed how Nubank still has room to grow exponentially in the markets it serves, always prioritizing the customer and generating value for all stakeholders. The company’s growth formula is “simple to explain but difficult to achieve,” as Lago said.
Growing the customer base is the first element, followed by its constant monetization. Cross-sell and up-sell are key in this step, and the expansion of the company’s portfolio has proven to be assertive in bringing solutions that empower customers in their financial lives. Finally, a low cost to operate is key. With a fully digital platform, Nubank manages to maintain one of the best efficiency ratios on the market, at 39%.
In these ten years of existence, the company has multiplied by 11 times the capital raised in capitalization rounds and with the IPO held in December 2021. Currently, Nubank is one of the best-capitalized Latin American companies, with $2.4 billion in surplus cash flow.
One of Nubank’s priorities for 2023 is credit, with a strategy that aims to be profitable for the company and responsible for the customer. Youssef Lahrech, president of the company, provided an in-depth view of credit underwriting in his presentation.
He showed how Nubank has highly sophisticated technology based on state-of-the-art models to calculate risk, combined with an in-depth knowledge of customers and a governance model with strict standards. The result is assertive credit underwriting for all segments.
In terms of product, Nu’s portfolio is expanding into new secured options, such as payroll loans, one of the country’s largest profit pools in retail financial services. Investment-backed loans and limit increases also backed by investments, are two other innovations in this scenario.
The portfolio also includes unsecured options, such as personal loans and credit card. The latter offers multiple innovative options, such as Pix transactions in installments and specific lines to pay Boletos (Brazilian barcode bank payment slips) without compromising the regular limit.
The company also keeps delinquency in check, outperforming the industry as a whole on a like-for-like basis. In lower-income bands, the advantage is even more pronounced, which demonstrates Nu’s ability to offer credit to a significant part of the country’s population.
Throughout 2022, Nubank launched more than 25 products, further empowering customers with clear, easy-to-use options, with awarded service and no abusive fees, as shown by co-founder Cristina Junqueira in her speech at the event.
The company advances in 2023 with an eye on credit, gaining priority in the high-income sector and on international expansion. Cuenta Nu reached 500,000 customers in Mexico one week after its official launch. In Colombia, the deposit account should be launched later this year.
“Over the past few years, we have accelerated our focus on empowering our customers even more”, says Cristina. “We work to ensure that each Nubank customer has absolute control over their financial life, whether using a credit card, with their account, investing, contracting insurance, or a loan. This means being present beyond their financial life, with a mature brand that offers experiences.”
At the event, the co-founder announced Nubank’s future partnership with Globo’s Jornal Nacional – a joint work with Wieden+Kennedy. Cristina also brought news about Nubank’s Game of Life and two new tools to reinforce customer safety: the Canal de Denúncias and Me Roubaram.
CEO David Vélez reinforces that the company “plays an infinite game”, since there are no limits for expansion. Nubank’s market share is still small in virtually all verticals in which it operates. And if the company’s goal is to combat complexity and empower people, there will always be new ways to combat new complexities that arise.
In addition, Nubank believes it has gathered five key factors to take the next step and become a true platform: a solid and reliable brand; the scalability power of its products; efficient use of data generated in operations; the profitability of the business; and a team of talent described by the CEO as one of the best in the world.
With this unique formula, supported by state-of-the-art technology and artificial intelligence, the company believes it is capable of providing customers with information and autonomy to make the best decisions about their money and thus multiply it.
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