Caliza Debuts In Brazil to Enable Banks and Fintechs Access US Economy

Caliza, a promising startup, has embarked on a mission to revolutionize banking and fintech in Brazil by introducing an innovative API solution, according to Finextra. This API empowers financial institutions to offer their customers the ability to save and transact in US dollars. Launched with a substantial $5.3 million in seed funding, this development is set to redefine the way Brazilians engage with the global economy.

Leading the investment round were Better Tomorrow Ventures and Abstract Ventures, with notable participation from Fontes by QED, Quona Capital, and Valor Capital Group. The financial backing reflects the growing recognition of the potential for Caliza’s transformative impact on the Brazilian financial landscape.

Caliza’s fundamental premise lies in the observation that financial entities outside of the United States have been historically reluctant to offer US dollar accounts to individuals and small businesses due to the inherent cost and complexity. Consequently, Brazilian entities and individuals have long borne a premium cost for accessing international goods and services, ranging from tech giants like Amazon Web Services and Slack to retail giants like Walmart and Apple.

Caliza enters the scene with a bold ambition to rectify this inequity. By leveraging the power of USD Coin, Caliza aspires to become the pioneer in building a comprehensive infrastructure for compliance, banking, and payment services. This includes enabling businesses to integrate its API infrastructure to provide digital dollar accounts, facilitate real-time cross-border payments, and offer fiat-to-crypto on and off ramps.

While the initial launch is focused on Brazil, Caliza has ambitious expansion plans. The startup intends to venture into the Mexican market in the early part of the next year and is setting its sights on opportunities in Africa and Southeast Asia. The infusion of capital will play a pivotal role in supporting these expansion endeavors while simultaneously bolstering the team.

In addition to the existing suite of services, Caliza is poised to diversify its offerings further. The startup aims to provide access to US Treasury bills with on-demand liquidation capability and international credit cards, further enhancing the financial flexibility of its users.

The brainchild behind Caliza is Ezra Kebrab, whose inspiration for this venture was cultivated during his tenure at Visa. He led the company’s accelerator program, which was designed to help fintechs launch payment solutions on a global scale. Through this experience, Kebrab witnessed firsthand the formidable challenges companies face when trying to enter foreign markets. A prominent barrier identified was the lack of access to global accounts with banking credentials linked to the world’s reserve currency.

Ezra Kebrab passionately states, «National payment systems are improving rapidly with Central Banks launching real-time payment systems like Pix in Brazil, SPEI in Mexico, and UPI in India, among others. However, there is still a significant void in cross-border payments and banking. Caliza is looking to solve this problem so that everyone can thrive in a global economy.»

Caliza’s launch in Brazil marks a significant step towards democratizing access to the US economy for individuals and businesses. With the support of substantial seed funding and a visionary founder at the helm, the startup is poised to make a lasting impact on the financial landscape not only in Brazil but also on a global scale.

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