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A Brazilian Fintech Unicorn Conquering Latin America

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December 9th, 2021




Alexander Antic

2TM Group – to many in the industry better known as the holding company behind Mercado Bitcoin, the largest crypto exchange in Latin America – describes itself as “an integrated ecosystem of financial technology companies created to transform the future of the new digital economy”.[1] Opportunities for late-stage and pre-IPO direct investment access to Financial Market Infrastructure disruptors are increasingly popping up on investors’ radar screens. Join us as we take a closer look at 2TM Group, which is ranked among the top 10 unicorns in Latin America.[2] This smart young holding company is leveraging new ways of working and technological innovation to create a network of symbiotic businesses designed to revolutionize the Financial Market Infrastructure sector.

The 2TM “Ecosystem” Established in 2013, Brazil-based 2TM is the 580-strong company combining a portfolio of FMI (Financial Market Infrastructure) businesses including: Mercado Bitcoin – the largest crypto exchange in Latin America Meubank – a multi-asset wallet/account service currently waiting for a Brazilian Central Bank license Bitrust – a digital custodian business awaiting regulatory sign-off Clearbrook – an equity crowdfunding platform MBDA – an asset tokenizer Crypto Hub – a white-label platform MezaPro – institutional investor services Portal do Bitcoin – the leading LatAm crypto content platform Blockchain Academy – the group’s educational division 2TM’s ambition is to build a blockchain-powered “ecosystem” that incorporates digital asset solutions and a regulatory framework to add to their growing platform. Technology is Rebooting the FMI Sector Financial Market Infrastructure refers to the system of companies that enable financial transactions to take place. These include the day-to-day “plumbing” of the financial system – from the ATMs we use daily to the complex transfer of shares between multiple parties. This network of businesses is undergoing a seismic shift in how it works and the user’s experience. Much of this change is being driven by technology, with cloud services, AI, and the emergence of blockchain being leveraged to “democratize data”. As a result, a new kind of business has emerged from this transformation: a dynamic tech-savvy company with plans to disrupt – like 2TM Group’s Mercado Bitcoin. Soaring Volumes at Brazil’s Largest Crypto Exchange Mercado Bitcoin is 2TM Group’s online cryptocurrency platform for multi-category digital assets. They offer more than 64 coins and have nearly 3 million verified users trading on their platform – which is more than 70%[3] of Brazil’s entire individual investor base on their stock exchange. It is no surprise, therefore, that transaction volumes have reached more than 30 billion Brazilian Reals (USD 5.5 billion), surpassing the volumes they achieved in their first seven years of operation and 11 times the volume traded in 2020. Today, Mercado Bitcoin is the largest crypto exchange by volume in LatAm. Mercado Bitcoin is 2TM Group’s “Crown Jewel” CEO and 2TM Group Executive Chairman Roberto Dagnoni describes Mercado Bitcoin as “the crown jewel” of 2TM Group, and it’s easy to see why. It was the first crypto exchange in Brazil, founded in 2013 by brothers Gustavo and Mauricio Chamati. The business achieved profitability in 2018 and bootstrapped itself, reinvesting any money made into expansion until 2021, when they sought funding for the first time. Last year, Mercado Bitcoin employed a workforce of 200 employees. This year, their headcount is 500+ and is estimated to reach 700 by the end of 2021.[4] Management and Modernization The team at the helm of 2TM Group has a convincing track record, with previous experience in consulting, technology, legal and compliance. The central management team successfully drove the Cetip business forward, providing a central securities depository and derivatives register for private fixed income securities and OTC in LatAm. Today, the team has a reputation for innovation and was quick to recognize blockchain’s power. In a series of world-firsts, 2TM Group tokenized public debt assets in 2019, and in 2020 launched the world’s first digital asset based on FIFA’s solidarity mechanism. According to Dagnoni, “We have also tokenized or distributed private debt, carbon credits and a variety of utility and DeFi tokens.”Another of their ecosystem businesses, Bitrust, is looking to gain regulatory approval for its Digital Custodian service this year. Ultimately, 2TM’s vision is a symbiotic system of blockchain-powered businesses, working together to improve efficiency, security, accuracy and, last but not least, customer experience. Investment Has Followed In July of 2021, 2TM Group raised USD 200 million from Softbank in the largest ever Series B round in Latin American history, which valued the company at USD 2.15 billion and created the second crypto unicorn in Latin America. It was followed by a second round of USD 50 million that closed at the end of November of that year. [5] Softbank is the latest in a list of prestigious backers. Their Series A was led by G2D/GP Investments and Parallax Ventures, with involvement from DealMaker, Évora and Genial, Gear Ventures, HS Investimentos, and JPMorgan. These funding rounds will enable them to upscale infrastructure investment to meet LatAm’s spiraling demand for blockchain-powered finance. They also plan to expand operations in Latin America – Dagnoni highlighted Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico as “main priorities.”[6] Two of their most recent investors (10T and Tribe Capital) also have extensive experience in the blockchain segment and look set to help consolidate Mercado Bitcoin’s dominant position as one of the largest FMI players in the region and, indeed, the world.

The Latin American Opportunity Globally, 2021 has seen the crypto market explode in terms of price and adoption. As a result, leading crypto exchanges are seeing their trading volumes increase more than tenfold year-on-year. Today, we’re seeing daily volumes of approximately USD 25 million, which Coincap estimates to be a 79% increase in the last seven years. And LatAm has joined this party. TechCrunch explains how Paulo Passoni (managing partner at SoftBank’s SBLA Advisers Corp)believes thatMercado Bitcoin is “tapping into a huge local and regional addressable market.” There are several reasons for this demand. Globally, there has been a recognition that digital assets and cryptocurrencies hold value very efficiently. In addition, Brazil has experienced some extremely low interest rates, which have boosted the alternative assets industry, and the concentration of Brazil’s financial services industry has also provided opportunities. With internet penetration and cellphone adoption in LatAm proportionally higher than the global average, it follows, therefore, that between 2017 to 2019, FinTech investment in LatAm grew more than 100%.[7]

Mercado Bitcoin is Born to Create the New Digital economy[8] Mercado Bitcoin is among the 25 most trusted exchanges globally and the largest platform for cryptocurrencies and digital assets in LatAm. Their vision for the future is to create access to digital assets and cryptocurrencies on a vast scale via their platform and sister-company product portfolio. The soaring demand for new-generation financial services in the region, coupled with the emergence of a blockchain-propelled FMI industry, makes Mercado Bitcoin a promising pre-IPO investment option. Contact Stableton or Sign Up to Explore our Investment Opportunities In the past, accessing a unicorn like 2TM Group or a high-potential segment like FMI 2.0 meant seeking early access through venture capital funds (which, once well-established, might not even be interested in your commitment). In addition, it involved high investment minimums, cumbersome paperwork, scarce information (often not even knowing what you will be investing in), and long holding periods. Today, there is an alternative. Accessing promising businesses via late-stage investment and pre-IPO investments is increasingly popular. For one, investors know the name of the company they are investing in. Secondly, as in the case of 2TM Group, the product-market fit has already been established, and the path to profitability is clear. To hop on an investment at this stage means a lot of upside potential, while the risk level stays relatively moderate. Stableton is Switzerland’s leading provider for access to late-stage venture capital & pre-IPO Investments to smaller qualified investors. Our mission is to help investors get access to the otherwise secluded private investment market. With a minimum of CHF 10’000, this type of investing should be considered as part of a portfolio. This article only scratches the surface of the opportunities late-stage VC and pre-IPO investing present. Contact your Stableton representative now to learn more and find out about opportunities that exist right now.

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