ORT Uruguay Graduates’ Fintech Firm Makes History


Two Universidad ORT Uruguay graduates made history when the fintech start-up of which they are CEO and President was floated on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

DLocal is a payment platform which handles mass online transactions in around 30 countries in developing markets across Latin American, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. 

The company is the first Uruguayan firm to reach Nasdaq. The country has a vibrant start-up eco-system and it is hoped DLocal’s success will inspire others. ORT Uruguay graduates play a key role in this high-tech local industry.

Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou congratulated the company on Twitter, saying the whole country was proud of its success.

Jacobo Singer, company President, said the DLocal team was a ‘committed, talented, ambitious, high-quality’ group with aspirations to make the company the best it can possibly be. Fellow graduate Sebastián Kanovich is the firm’s CEO, and the company employs dozens of Universidad ORT Uruguay students and graduates.

Dan Green, World ORT Director General and CEO, said: “Seeing the success Jacobo and Sebastián have enjoyed since graduating from the university is fantastic for all of us across the ORT family and an endorsement of our work to transform lives through training and education.

“Our students and graduates are celebrated around the world for having ideas and dreams that they turn into reality, changing the world as they grow in their specialist areas of science, technology and other fields. 

“The leaders of DLocal epitomize our ORT values of innovation, excellence, passion and co-operation – and it is thrilling to see that their brainchild is helping others in developing nations who are less fortunate. That spirit of Tikkun Olam (healing the world) is something we encourage everyone across our network to strive for – and in Jacobo and Sebastián we can see the results of that determination.

“We are delighted for them and wish them every success in the future.”

Sebastián Kanovich qualified with an Economics degree from Universidad ORT Uruguay (pictured) and he studied entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management at Tel Aviv University and Stanford Business School. Jacobo Singer graduated from Universidad ORT Uruguay with a degree in Computer Engineering.

Eduardo Mangarelli, the current dean of the university’s Faculty of Engineering, oversaw Jacobo Singer’s thesis and told the El Pais newspaper: “He always stood out for having great energy to carry things forward. He has a positive attitude towards problems and always transmits good humor that helps solve problems.

“I see him as a leader who is close to his teams, but above all wanting to learn. I remember that, proactively, he used to ask for feedback to have another look and improve.”

Enrique Topolansky, director of the university’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), added: “Jacobo is a committed professional, concerned with knowing everything technical in minute detail, a great listener to critics who learns and tries to do his best.”

Global e-commerce companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, Sony and GoDaddy rely on the platform accepting hundreds of local payment methods online. DLocal operates as a processor and merchant of record in each market, meaning it is simple for global online companies to reach consumers and maximize revenues in fast-growing markets.