Turkish neobank Papara swallows Rebellion, emerging as Europe’s newest FinTech unicorn

Turkish neobank Papara swallows Rebellion, emerging as Europe's newest FinTech unicorn

Papara, the leading Turkish neobank, has announced its acquisition of Rebellion, a popular Spanish challenger bank. This major acquisition, the first of its kind for Papara, propels the company’s valuation to over $1bn, elevating it into the coveted ranks of FinTech unicorns in Europe.

The strategic purchase of Rebellion is part of Papara’s ambitious global expansion strategy. It gives the Turkish neobank an instant presence outside its home market for the first time, with a clear intent to drive forward its mission of financial inclusion for all. The transaction, a multi-million dollar deal involving both cash and stock, has been brokered with Rebellion’s current owners, Beka Finance.

Based in Turkey, Papara has established itself as a comprehensive financial SuperApp, offering a wide array of services like instant and free transfers for consumers, bill payments, foreign currency transfers, and tracking spending habits. Additionally, it caters to businesses by facilitating mass payments, providing a customisable corporate card, and enabling a secure check-out option for merchants.

Rebellion, headquartered in Madrid, is one of Spain’s top-rated financial apps. It has built a strong reputation for offering services similar to Papara’s, such as money transfers, prepaid cards, and cashback options, all aimed at fostering financial independence among its users.

As part of the acquisition, Rebellion will undergo a rebranding exercise to become Papara Spain. The existing Rebellion staff will join the expanding Papara team, contributing to the mission of promoting financial inclusion. This acquisition represents a key entry point for Papara into the rapidly growing Spanish banking market, a hub for digital and technological innovation.

“Papara was founded on the principle of financial inclusion for all, and this deal will allow us to ensure that is reality for even more people. 2023 is the year in which we are beginning to execute our ambitious international growth strategy, and we are confident that Rebellion is the perfect foundation upon which to expand our global reach,” Papara founder and chairman Ahmed Karslı said.

Adding to this, Rebellion co-founder Sergio Cerro commented, “This acquisition presents an exceptional opportunity to propel a project that aligns seamlessly with the Spanish neobanking market. Given the absence of a dominant player in the Spanish sector, and considering the prevailing economic landscape, I strongly believe that Papara is the ideal partner to synergistically blend resources, business vision, and ambition.”

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