Good morning and welcome to the very first edition of the Brazil tech round-up! Every Friday, we’ll be bringing you up to date with the big tech and start-up stories and events in Brazil. This week, we’re looking at how Brazilian tech teams are faring in global challenges and the Google station arriving in Latin America’s biggest market. Happy reading!


Brazilian fintech Din Din runner up in Visa Everywhere Initiative

Stephanie Fleury, CEO of fintech startup DinDin, just flew back to Brazil after participating as a finalist in the Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition, which was held in Paris. The global challenge was open to female entrepreneurs with projects focused on social impact in the fintech world.

</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Ms. Fleury founded the startup with the hopes of becoming the Brazilian equivalent of the American money-sharing platform Venmo. As the company grew, she realized </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2018/10/13/brazilian-fintechs-credit-banks/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brazilians are facing a deeper problem than just splitting bills</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, as nearly one-third of the population over 16 does not have a bank account, according to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Din Din made it to the final round of the challenge by providing access to a digital account and debit card for &#8220;unbanked&#8221; and &#8220;underbanked&#8221; individuals and businesses.  The app and web-based accounts help users build a spending history that would otherwise go undocumented in cash exchanges.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The focus on businesses is a particularly important one, Ms. Fleury told </span><b>The Brazilian Report</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Giving business-owners an affordable financial services platform that they can use to pay their employees provides a top-down solution that ultimately creates a greater social impact. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It’s too early to say what benefits the startup will reap from the Visa, Ms. Fleury says. But she hopes that by attracting the right talent and investors, the company will be able to provide credit, investment, and insurance services, in addition to their current digital account offerings. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The next round of Visa Everywhere Challenges will focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. The three challenges, open to entrepreneurs of any gender, focus on three segments: Digital Payments, Affluent Segment, and Secure Digital Commerce. </span><a href="https://www.finnovista.com/event/visa-everywhere-initiative-lac-2019/?lang=en"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Applications close June 30</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <hr /> <h2>Google Station arrives in São Paulo</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Google, in partnership with America Net and Linktel, launched its free wifi program at the beginning of June. For now, Google Stations are only available in São Paulo, with plans to expand by 2020. Free high-speed internet is installed in over 80 public locations, including Parque Ibirapuera and the Emerald train line. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brazil is the eighth country to receive the Stations, alongside India, Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The program aims to offer a solution to the gap in internet access faced in emerging economies.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">According to the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of Informational Society (CETIC), 39 percent of Brazilian households do not have access to the internet at home. On top of this, 1 GB of data on the average cell phone plan costs BRL 13.05, according to a worldwide study conducted by cable.co.uk. This places Brazil as number 74 out of 230 countries in terms of data prices, which doesn’t seem so bad until you consider that the country also has one of the </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2019/04/22/minimum-wage-brazil-dollars/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">lowest minimum wages</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in Latin America. Data costs are prohibitive for a large portion of the population, which must rely on public internet connections. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Users will have to enter their phone number in order to access the free wifi, opening room for discussion on </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2018/03/21/personal-data-treatment-brazil/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">how corporations use personal data in Brazil</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/embed?mid=1WEQKUPgXb5Ed6bqu42LEfx7gqDcgUNbK" width="640" height="480"></iframe></p> <p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Note: map does not show all Google Stations, only enough to show the density and scope of the project</span></em></p> <hr /> <h2>Phishing attempts via job vacancies</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Hackers went to new lengths this week, installing phishing codes on victim’s Facebook pages by tricking users into submitting their personal information on job listings. These codes allow hackers to access private data from users. In some cases, even bank accounts or credit card information can be accessed. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With 25 percent of the population unemployed or underemployed, </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/money/2019/05/21/hackers-brazil-job-crisis-phishing-attacks/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brazil is particularly vulnerable to job posting scams</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. Brazil was the country with the most phishing attacks until last year; this year it came second only to Guatemala. </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/society/2019/06/15/car-wash-leaks-encryption-cybersecurity-brazil/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Cybersecurity</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has also become a hot button issue in the country after The Intercept leaked several messages exchanged between former judge Sergio Moro and Operation Car Wash prosecutors. </span></p> <hr /> <h2>15 Brazilian semifinalists in Technovation Challenge 2019</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Brazil placed 15 semi-finalists, nine in the senior division and six in junior, in the Technovation Challenge this year. The worldwide competition invites girls ages 10-18 to submit apps that propose creative solutions to real-world problems. The 50-percent increase in semi-finalists from last year may be part of Brazil’s </span><a href="https://brazilian.report/society/2019/05/29/initiatives-spurring-brazil-tech-transformation/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">entrepreneurial tech boom</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Programs such as Technovation help include girls and women in the boom, which is currently not the case. According to the National Continuous Household Sample Survey (PNAD), women represent only 20 percent of the IT workforce. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Six finalists from each division will be announced next week. Finalists receive the opportunity to pitch their project in front of a panel of tech entrepreneurs at the World Pitch Summit in August. Brazil is one of over 40 countries to make it to the semifinal rounds and projects range from women’s health to environmental solutions. </span></p> <hr /> <h2>Events</h2> <h4><a href="https://www.sympla.com.br/8-movile-tech-meetup--poa__541002">Movile Tech Meetup (Porto Alegre)</a></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This Tuesday, June 25, representatives from iFood, ThoughtWorks, and CareMessage will discuss coding and systems for businesses. </span></p> <h4><a href="https://roadsec.com.br/">Roadsec (BH, Belém, São Paulo)</a></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The technology, hacking and cybersecurity event Roadsec will reach Belo Horizonte at the end of the month, with further events in Belém and São Paulo later in the year. </span></p> <h4><a href="https://www.meetup.com/Microsoft-Student-Partners-Latam/events/262086718/?joinRsvpYes=true">MSP Tech Day LATAM 2019</a></h4> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Thursday, June 27, Microsoft student partners will host both on and off-line coding and technology training.</span></p> <hr /> <p><em>Correction: The original version of this post mistakenly interpreted that Din Din came in second place. In fact, &#8220;runner up&#8221; is closer to the original meaning of the interviewee.</em></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">

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MoneyJun 21, 2019

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BY Juliana Costa

Juliana is a growth strategist and contributor to The Brazilian Report