Welcome to this week’s news round-up on the Brazilian innovation and technology ecosystem. Here is a selection of key developments and news you should know in Latin America’s largest economy during the week ending July, 25, 2020:

Startups avoid redundancies and boost revenue amid crisis

Most Brazilian startups have not reduced their workforce despite the pressure of the Covid-19 crisis, according to a new survey released by the Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE) in partnership with the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP).

The survey with 833 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) carried out between May 28 and 3 June has found that 76% of tech-based, innovative businesses have not made any employees redundant as a result of the pandemic and 16% have continued to hire. On the other hand, 36% of the businesses deemed “traditional” in the survey had to let staff go since the new coronavirus outbreak began and recruitment has been mostly stagnant.

Some 13% of the startups polled have also managed to boost their revenues despite the crisis, something that has been reported by only 4% of the traditional SMEs. However, tech startups have more difficulty in accessing credit: this has been reported by 52% of these innovative businesses in relation to 39% of smaller enterprises where business models don’t rely on technology.


Brazilian games market among world’s top five

Brazil is the world’s fourth largest market for games after India, United States and China. According to a new study by Comscore with data from Mobile Metrix and Multiplatform, there are 84 million gamers in Brazil, which is 70% of the country’s online population, currently estimated at 120 million. Of that total, 64.3 million only use mobile devices to play games, while 8.4 million do so through more than one platform and 11.6 million connect only through desktop computers.

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Google releases economic impact figures for Brazil

Use of Google tools has generated BRL 51 billion (USD 9.7 billion) in economic impact in Brazil in 2019, according to a report released by the company to mark its 15 years in the country. According to the Big Tech, over 188,000 Brazilian businesses, publishers, NGOs, creators and developers in the country have benefitted from the company’s offering including ad and search tools, as well as Google Play and YouTube.


Facebook requests consent for personal data use

Facebook has introduced requests to use certain types of personal user data in Brazil on Monday (20). Without specifying which types of data would require user consent, the social media platform said this was part of wider measures towards data protection compliance. The General Data Protection Regulations will go live in Brazil on August 14, with sanctions for non-compliance set to be enforced a year later, in August 2021.


Central Bank speeds up instant payments launch

Brazil’s Central Bank announced it has decided to bring forward the first stage of its instant payments system PIX. The previous launch date of November 3 has changed to October 5. From that date, bank customers will be able to register the keys that will enable payments through the system. With PIX, Brazilians will no longer have to use information such as bank number, branch and account to make transfers, which will take place round-the-clock rather than only on weekdays.


Brazil ranks high in UN e-government survey

Brazil is one of the fast-movers listed in the latest United Nations e‑government survey, along with Argentina, Chile and Costa Rica. This is the first time Brazil appears in the “very high” group of the report’s E-Government Development Index (EGDI). Highlights outlined in the UN report include Brazil’s digital governance strategy, as well as the Brazilian digital transformation strategy, which relates to the transformation of the economy. The UN report also cited Brazil’s policy frameworks for digital inclusion and improved access to public data and information.

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Nubank announces first international M&A

São Paulo-headquartered fintech Nubank announced the purchase of Cognitect, a North American software engineering consultancy, in its first international acquisition. The value of the transaction has not been disclosed. Cognitect has provided services to the Brazilian fintech, which will incorporate its approximately 20 employees, since 2014. This is Nubank’s second acquisition – in January, the company had purchased Plataformatec, a Brazilian software consulting firm. The finch also has an engineering team in Berlin, Germany. Valued at USD 10.4 billion in 2019, Nubank has approximately 26 million customers across its operations in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.



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