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BTX Digital prepares to launch digital lender with celebrity appeal

Technology company BTX Digital prepares to launch Caras Bank within the next two months, an online lender backed by Brazilian celebrities that has amassed an initial investment of 100 million reais, Valor Econômico reported.

The initial investment will be allocated to the purchase of point of sale machines and ATMs, while an additional 250 million reais have been budgeted for marketing purposes during the first year. The digital lender seeks to exploit its association with Editora Caras, a famous media publisher of entertainment products in the region with celebrity appeal.

The range of products is expected to include digital accounts, debit and credit cards associated with MasterCard, as well as loans and receivables. BTX has also reportedly signed a partnership agreement to deliver asset management services as well.

BTX Digital, which specializes in the build-up of digital business models, owns 100% of Caras Bank, though it has agreed to pay between 4% to 7% in royalties to the brand.

"We have significant penetration of high income and aspirational classes among B, C and D audiences," Luis Maluf, president of Editora Caras, was quoted as saying. The publisher reportedly has an audience of 65 million unique visitors.

Maluf expects to capture a market share of 250,000 accounts within a year, and has committed to invest 100 million reais in media.

BTX meanwhile estimates transaction volumes to reach 1.5 billion reais in the first year.

As of Aug. 15, US$1 was equivalent to 4.01 Brazilian reais.