Nu Pagamentos SA, a seven-year-old company standalone digital bank, purchased a U.S. software consulting firm in its first acquisition outside of Brazil.
Chief Executive Officer David Velez said his company, known as Nubank and backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., closed a buy-off deal with North Carolina-based Cognitect Inc.
“At our current scale, there’s so much at stake that we thought we needed a different level of access to one of our most important technology partners,“ said Edward Wible, Nubank’s chief technology officer and co-founder.
Valued at $10.4 billion in a 2019 fundraising, Nubank has about 26 million clients — roughly the same amount of active customers Banco Santander SA had in Brazil in March — and has grown even during the pandemic. Over the past three months, Nubank brought in as much in deposits as it did in the previous year, Velez said. Among rivals, Russia’s Tinkoff Bank has 10 million clients, while U.K.’s Revolut Ltd. has 12 million, their websites show.
Nubank uses Cognitect’s programming and database tools, Wible said. The firms began working together in 2014. Cognitect has about 20 employees, who will join Nubank. Chief technology officer Rich Hickey and President Stuart Halloway will also become Nubank partners.
“As we grew, we felt we lacked the mentors to guide our more-senior engineers, which we will now have after the acquisition,” Wible said. Cognitect’s Clojure programming language will remain open-source, he said, and customers of the firm’s Datomic database won’t see disruptions.