The digitization of financial services in Latin America represents an enormous opportunity. Most financial products are inaccessible to the majority of the population. And the introduction of digital financial products is still in its infancy. This is most true for teens and young adults, who are looking to generate incomes, spend online and get educated about finance. That’s why we were ecstatic to lead the seed round for Z1, alongside our friends at Clocktower, Maya Capital, Mantis, Goodwater, Gaingels and Soma Capital.
Who: João Pedro Thompson, Thiago Achatz, Mateus Craveiro and Sophie Secaf are the cofounders of Z1. Together, they bring a unique mix of skills in education, financial services, marketing, engineering and design, to the problems that Z1 is tackling. Based in Sao Paulo, the team has a true appreciation for the needs of their customers and the dynamics of the market.
What: Z1 provides teens in Brazil with a digital bank account tied to a prepaid credit card. Banks in Latin America don’t offer products to young people and most online stores don’t accept debit cards. Combine simple but powerful financial products with education on how to live a sound financial life, and you have a beloved offering for teens in Brazil.
How: Rather than targeting parents, Z1 focuses on and empowers teens. In Latin America, nearly one third of teens earn their own incomes. Yet financial products are unavailable to them and their only option is to use cash. Z1 understands that teaching these young people to make sound financial decisions and to use financial products intelligently not only benefits them, but it engenders trust with Z1 and allows the company to be the digital bank for these teens as they grow into adulthood.
Why: In Latin America, even more than in the US, financial products and services are only available to the wealthy. In addition, Gen Z in Brazil grew up during three recessions over the last decade and wants to become financially independent as soon as possible. They’re becoming economically educated and financially active much earlier than previous generations. But cash, with its many limitations and risks, has been their only vehicle for being active. Z1 is changing that so all teens in Latin America can become active participants in the economy and financial prosperity.
Z1 is building the smartest, most innovative team in Latin American fintech. Consider joining the Sao Paolo based team by visiting its current openings.