NewTech Friday: Pluggy – a single API to power open banking in Brazil 19 November 2021

Bruno Loiola is Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer at Pluggy. He spoke with Efma’s Boris Plantier about his company’s mission to empower the real data owners in Brazil. 

What led to the creation of Pluggy?

The idea arose in Europe, when Brazilians who were already working with the sharing of financial data decided to bring API integration technology to their home country. This was even before the Central Bank announced their open banking initiative in Brazil.

In 2018, I saw the opportunity of exploring the open banking market in Brazil while working for Moven and Salt Edge. I started building the project, hoping to start the company in Brazil, adding Rogério to the team, who brought Victor afterwards. In 2020, we partnered with Federico and Gabriel. With Rogerio and Victor, we had the business and Brazilian market knowledge. Federico and Gabriel brought the product and engineering expertise. 

Could you present Pluggy's offer?

Problem: The top 5 banks in Brazil have around 80% market share. That concentration creates not only an economic advantage, but also a data advantage. It means that other players are unable to understand people's finances in order to offer better alternatives, resulting in higher interest rates, low quality services, no integration to other services, and higher innovation barriers. This leaves the more than 200 million Brazilian citizens underserved and at the mercy of the interests of big banks. 

Our solution was to enable companies to be at the forefront of the financial ecosystem by giving them the power to access all financial data from their users through a single API.

Pluggy is a simple way for developers to access users’ financial data, like bank accounts and investments, within an app or service. We’re totally focused on Brazil and already cover 90% of the banks here. Thousands of users have already signed up.

Founded in 2020, Pluggy allows banks, fintechs, and companies from other segments to aggregate accounts from different financial institutions through a single API, standardizing and categorizing data to enable its customers to create customized financial solutions for users. We participated in several acceleration programs such as Y Combinator, Plug and Play, Oxygen Accelerator (from Porto Seguro), Liga Ventures, and the Lift Lab project (from the Central Bank).

What's coming next for Pluggy?

In August 2021, we  received funding of more than BRL 3 million in a pre-seed round led by Gávea Angels. We launched a free service that facilitates access to open banking data. The API platform is designed to be a stable and secure communication channel between financial service providers and consumers. The service is offered free of charge, but with the possibility for new features or additional features to be contracted. 

Our mission is democratize data access while empowering the real data owners.

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