By Cassandra Garrison
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Brazilian fintech Ebanx expects to double its business in the Mexican market for a second year in a row in 2022 as it pushes further into Latin America's No. 2 economy, the company's co-founder told Reuters.
Ebanx, which facilitates cross-border payments, is bringing on up to 10 new retailers, opening its first office in the country and expanding its team, Joao del Valle said in an interview on Monday.
Ebanx's transactions in Mexico are expected to grow 105% this year after jumping 115% in 2021, according to company projections shared with Reuters.
Ebanx, backed by U.S. private equity firm Advent International, sees Mexico as its second most important market after starting operations there in 2015. Unlike in Brazil, where about five major marketplaces dominate the retail sector, Del Valle said Mexico's landscape is more competitive.
"Mexico is much more diversified. We probably have 10 marketplaces that do 80% of the market, so that's much healthier and much more room for competition and to provide different services," he said.
Ebanx counts retailers including Chinese fast fashion retailer SHEIN, Singapore's Shopee and U.S. e-commerce platform Wish among its clients in Mexico. Del Valle says the company aims to scale up services for international companies to enter the Mexican market.
Last month, Ebanx announced it acquired international money transfer firm Remessa Online for $229 million. Last year, Advent International paid $430 million for a minority stake in Ebanx.
Speculation has swirled that Ebanx could aim to go public as early as this month but tech stocks have had a rough ride lately with last year's biggest Latin American fintech IPO Nu Holdings Ltd having erased all its gains following a blockbuster December IPO.
Del Valle said an Ebanx flotation could happen "this year or next year," although the company already has preparations underway.
"One thing we learned is that you cannot wait until it's time to get prepared. So we have the whole company audited, accounting, everything in shape, all the governance," he said.
"When we think it's the right time, either because of external or internal effects or any decision, we're going to be ready, so that may happen this year or next year."
(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison; editing by Richard Pullin)