Global Startup Cities: Num Finance

Stablecoins are driving monetary services developments in Latin America, a growing fintech market.

Argentine fintech Num Finance is utilizing the innovation to assist services scale operations and weather financial instability, co-founder and Chief Executive Agustin Liserra informed Bank Automation News throughout the very first Global Startup Cities podcast from “The Buzz.”

“We are seeing a lot of new use cases being developed by our partners, our clients, the retail segment,” Liserra stated. “For us, it’s really, really important to build the infrastructure to allow innovation.”

Founded in 2019, Num Finance utilizes stablecoins, which are collateralized and pegged to currencies like the dollar, to make it possible for financing and cross-border payments without the volatility of unpegged cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Listen to the very first installation of the Global Startup Cities podcast from “The Buzz,” as Num Finance’s Liserra and co-founder Mariano Di Pietrantonio discuss their experience establishing a fintech in Buenos Aires, a city overflowing with development, where ever-changing financial conditions make strength vital.

The following is a records created by AI innovation that has actually been gently modified however still includes mistakes.

Victor Swezey 0:04
Hello, and welcome to a scandal sheet of The Buzz, a Bank Automation News podcast. Today is July 18, 2023. My name is Victor Swezey, and I’m the editorial intern at Bank Automation News. Today, we’re starting our Global Startup Cities series, taking you to a few of the most ingenious tech centers around the globe to offer you a take a look at these start-up cultures and the marketplaces they serve. Along the method, we’ll be speaking to fintech creators from brand-new cities about the items they’re giving market. First up, we’re going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a city understood for its world class food, stunning architecture, enthusiastic soccer fans therefore a lot more. It’s likewise house to a few of the most amazing start-ups in Latin America and was the birth place of Mercado Libre, Latin America’s leading online market. Joining me today are the creators of Num Finance, a start-up utilizing stablecoins to assist services throughout the area scale their operations. Please welcome CEO Agustin Liserra and CGO Mariano di Pietrantonio.Agustin Liserra 1:11
Thank you, Victor. From my side, well, I’m Agustin CEO of the of the business. Just as offering a fast intro, from my side, I have a background in in both engineering and financing, a master’s degree in quantitative financing. And then throughout my my profession, I got substantial experience in financing and danger management. I worked as monetary direct exposure management supervisor at YPF. That is the the biggest oil and gas business in Argentina. And given that 2016, my interest was recorded by the crypto and blockchain world. And I ended up being exceptionally enthusiastic about this this world. So I signed up with Bitex, among the very first cryptocurrency exchanges in Latin America. And then in 2020, I made the transfer to Buenbit as the CFO of the business for 2 years and a half.

Mariano Di Pietrantonio 2:19
My name is Mariano, as I stated, and I have more than 15 years of experience as an item supervisor in video gaming and biotech. And my list was 7 years working for MakerDAO. Maker DAO for those who don’t understand, is the greatest procedure in the Ethereum blockchain with more than 10 billion in overall worth secured in possessions. I worked there as head of development for 4 years methods, interactions and collaboration.

Victor Swezey 2:55
Thank you. So I think, you understand, to start, I simply wished to ask, you understand, why did you discovered Num Finance, you understand, when did that occur? And what issue were you wishing to fix?

Mariano Di Pietrantonio 3:09
Yeah, well, that’s a concern that I constantly like to address, right. It’s and we established Num for for 2 primary factors. Right. Firstly, throughout our experience in fintechs, and start-up, we recognize that a person of the greatest discomfort points in local in the area is the money management, right. And the procedure of moving cash typically produces traffic jams, right, we something in greater costs for clients, and this is despite the market, right? And second of all, we observed the growing adoption of blockchain innovation in the area. After the popularization of a local dollar, sorry, sorry, extra dollar back steady coins, we understand that many individuals were incorporating these stablecoins into their lives right, however not exactly for payments, however for cost savings, right. And for us, this suggested that there was an understanding of stablecoins as a kind of possession, right. This is among the bottom lines and integrating these 2 components, right, the understanding of this kind of a crypto possessions and understanding likewise that mobile cash initially is quite tough, best? Combining these 2 we are we recognized that it was possible to develop the initial borderless and actual time finance system utilizing regional stablecoins, right. And the cool aspect of this and this is the majority of the talk at that time that we have with Agustin is that we wished to have a facilities where settlements in the area can be done nearly quickly, right? And this is how Num Finance came to life.

Victor Swezey 5:04
And so can you simply advise our listeners rapidly what a stablecoin is, you understand, how does it suit the entire crypto environment? And you understand, how does it suit your service design?

Agustin Liserra 5:16
Yeah, sure. Well, stablecoins are generally blockchain-based tokens, representations of other possessions, whose worth is connected to an external possession, such as nationwide currencies or rare-earth elements or other products, for instance. These digital possessions functions as representations of standard currencies like the United States dollars, the euro, Argentine pesos, or other products like gold, for instance. So, basically, stablecoins are collateralized items that can be purchased or offered within the cryptocurrency market preferably to send out and get cash and for the production of genuine monetary items. One essential thing here is that there are stablecoins in the in the environment that are not collateralized. In our case, we we are choosing the collateralized side of stablecoins and not algorithmic stablecoins that resemble a various an entirely various chapter.

Victor Swezey 6:30
So, can you stroll me through like a particular banking-related usage case?

Agustin Liserra 6:35
Stablecoins play an important function in in banking usage cases, particularly in emerging markets. Here in Latin America, for instance, they provide a number of advantages that assist individuals in this area. First, stablecoins increase availability, permitting people without standard savings account to take part in monetary deals and services. One one case, I would state that is living inertia Argentina is one huge exchange that is providing a payments through a pre-paid card in Argentina the like Ripio and Let’sBit that are our primary partners. Second, stablecoins promote monetary addition by bridging the space in between the unbanked and the official monetary system allowing cost savings payments and access to credit and financing services. And in this example, for I was I was pointing out in one bit, it is possible to transform your pre-paid card into a charge card by taking a loan and simulating a buy now pay later procedure as you desire with the amount and installations that you choose for for your your capital and and your choices generally, then a stablecoins supply a faster and a lot more expense reliable and safe and secure option for cross border remittances. I would state that it is the the very first and the primary usage case of crypto in basic, however with Bitcoin, it resembled a headache to to do remittances hedging the direct exposure of the Bitcoin volatility. So stablecoins are truly a use for helpful for these type of services. And lastly, stablecoins drive monetary services development, assisting in the advancement of decentralized financing applications that broaden access to monetary services and products in in basic. We are seeing a great deal of brand-new usage cases being established, however by our partners, our customers, the retail section. So for us is truly, truly essential to construct facilities to enable development.

Mariano Di Pietrantonio 9:21
Yeah, one one cool thing that I want to contribute to that is that we are here to assist the banking facilities that’s currently put right? We understand that banking facilities in some cases appears to move extremely sluggish, best? And there are business that take that chance to supply other services what we desire you to hear is to kinda wed these 2 things right like the banking infra with the crypto in reality right and Num Finance is doing precisely that. Right. We are covering that that space. So individuals in In this area can have the services that they require, best? Just keep in mind that emerging markets are among the most underserved markets in regards to monetary services.

Victor Swezey 10:11
And I was questioning if we might zoom out a bit. And perhaps if you could inform me a bit about what the start-up scene appears like in Buenos Aires, you understand, what is the what is the financing environment like? What is the start-up culture like? And how do you believe that that might be linked to, you understand, the history and identity of the city in basic?

Mariano Di Pietrantonio 10:27
Yeah, yeah, that’s, that’s a cool concern. The start-up scene in Buenos Aires is truly lively and is growing like quickly, right? The city has actually ended up being a center for entrepreneurship and development, bring in a varied series of start-ups throughout well, different markets. And the start-up is seen in Buenos Aires especially is extremely strong in innovation and fintech sectors, right. Many ministers are concentrated on establishing mobile software application, mobile applications, e-commerce platform and other disruptive monetary innovations. And we are likewise seeing this, like truly cool, considerable development in sectors like for instance, health, education, agro, there’s like a lot of various verticals in which we are seeing an actually cool development. And I think that the I indicate, there are numerous cases of that, why is taking place. But general what I see, it’s like when I state this becoming among the primary areas for the digital wanderers, right, to their expense of living, and, and the relationship of the expense and the lifestyle that you have, best? Because although it’s truly low-cost for immigrants in Argentina, you still can have a quite high, high quality way of life here, right? I have numerous buddies from from abroad, and they constantly inform me the very same thing by this about the food, how the food culture here, it’s incredible. It’s a it’s a safe city, right? It’s quite safe cities, right? It’s a quite safe city. And you can get likewise to take a trip a lot inside the nation. And given that we have a quite huge nation with several environments, and extremely various, you understand, things to check out. So yeah, I think that those elements plays an extremely essential function to have these resources to get more individuals working here, and likewise to develop start-ups.

Victor Swezey 12:31
And simply more usually, how would you state that the start-up culture in Buenos itis in Argentina and you understand, perhaps even in Latin America more broadly, compares to the United States? And what you understand, what are you? What are some resemblances you see? You understand, what are some manner ins which you see this start-up environment that’s truly been, you understand, growing just recently, how do you see it varying from what we have in the United States?

Agustin Liserra 12:56
Yes, well, I would state that I might specify the environment here in Latin America, by by towards and I would state that this was used to each and every single business owner in the United States and in Latin America, however I think about that strength and resourcefulness are the huge bottom lines in, in Latin America. And generally, start-ups in Latin America deal with considerable difficulties, restricted access to capital, an actually, truly intricate regulative environment and political and financial instability and modifications from the left side of the political celebrations to the right. So, it is a rather tough to, to forecast the future. So in Latin America, we pick to develop. So, as an outcome, I would state that Latin American enterpreneurs have actually established amazing durable, strength and resourcefulness likewise, we discover ingenious services to browse these barriers, leveraging imagination and versatility likewise, a and then the marketplace qualities exist some resemblances and some distinctions. I I will mention that Latin America provides like a unique market landscape by a big population and multiculturalism. So it is not, like insignificant to, to dominate various markets like Brazil, Argentina, Colombia. So it needs an actually deeply understanding of this landscape to to be effective.

Victor Swezey 15:22
And yeah, so to act on the point, you understand, you were you were discussing a few of the financial instability in Latin America. And I understand that, you understand, that’s remained in the headings relating to Argentina just recently with, you understand, triple digit year over year inflation, which’s something that you have actually been dealing with. And I was simply questioning, how does how has this financial instability perhaps impacted the start-up scene? And then, you understand, from the Num Finance viewpoint, how do you see steady coins communicating with, you understand, what takes place when the currency that they’re pegged to is perhaps not extremely steady, however likewise do you see them as a possible option or something that might be able to assist in these type of financial environments?

Agustin Liserra 16:04
Yeah, well, as as you stated, financial instability, make it difficult truly challenging for start-ups in Argentina to protect standard financing from banks and financiers, a various trading conditions currency decline, incredibly high inflation rates develop unpredictabilities, which causes a risk-averse averse environment in Argentina. And likewise financial instability typically brings difficulties in regards to capital controls, hold-ups in payment processing, constraints to, to capital markets, likewise, it is rather tough to, to comprehend the development, for instance, about worldwide wires in Argentina, and if you can do it or not, and it alters each and every single week. And our service design concentrates on on actual time, cash motion, utilizing stablecoins can supply the start-ups with the capability to negotiate quickly, both locally and internationally. And this can assist in operations. It is an actually effective method for cross-border payments and higher monetary versatility likewise.

Victor Swezey 17:43
Yeah, so thank you a lot, you understand, for all of that, you understand, both about your business and about the circumstance in Argentina and the start-up culture there and in Latin America more usually. I think I simply wished to end up by asking you, you understand, what, are you discussed this, however what are some fintechs that, you understand, individuals in the banking sector, individuals included with bank automation might wish to view coming out of Buenos Aires coming out of Argentina? You understand, what are some fintechs that you all are, are thrilled about? That, you understand, perhaps should be on our radar?

Mariano Di Pietrantonio 18:13
Well, I indicate, among the most popular fintechs to view it’s, I think, you understand, it’s Mercado Libre typically referred as the as the Amazon of Latin America, and while Mercado Libre even began as an E commerce platform, it has actually broadened into FinTech services through its subsidiary Mercado Pago. And well Mercado Pago deals and a variety of digital payment services mobile wallets, QR code payments, and I think that they are turning today into this type of very app right in which you can practically have whatever. They likewise included today shipments and a few of these services too. And given that they have like the majority of the marketplace on their hand, they grow like truly truly quickly best? But the cool thing is that they are likewise growing in all the nations in Brazil in Uruguay in Colombia and Mexico. They are truly truly, truly huge. Another FinTech that it appears truly fascinating to me for the important things that I that they are doing is Ualà while is another Yeah, wallet I would state which it has actually incorporated a QR codes that has actually incorporated and these Yeah, like E commerce platform to develop your own e stores. They even obtain the bank in Mexico, I think the ABC bank. So yeah, there’s like a number of these fintechs that are acquiring a great deal of traction in the in the area. Yeah.

Agustin Liserra 19:49
I will contribute to what Marian was was stating. Something associated to your concern about the Latin American a landscape and it is that this type of of effective business are being moneyed by Latin American individuals. And it is a the factor for that is that it is rather tough to comprehend the Latin American issues from outdoors. So I might see some difficulties in for huge business such as Amazon, Apple and, and around the world business to present the items here in in Latin America, and this shows a big chance for Latin American start-ups.

Victor Swezey 20:54
You’ve been listening to “The Buzz,” a Bank Automation News podcast. Please follow us on ConnectedIn and Twitter. And as a suggestion, you can rank this podcast on your platform of option. Thank you for your time, and make sure to visit us at for more automation news.

Transcribed by


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

Related Articles

Back to top button