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PayU LatAm, founded in 2002 by entrepreneurs Jose Fernando Velez and Martin Schrimpff, is essentially the PayPal of Colombia. The company specializes in integrating local forms of payment – such as cash or bank transfers – into their online payment platform. By meeting the demands of a new type of online shopper, PayU LatAm has become a domestic industry leader, capturing a huge percentage of the transactions of the Colombia e-commerce market.
Raised in Colombia, José Fernando and Martin met at the Colegio Andino when they were four years old. The friends separated to pursue their studies at university: José Fernando obtained both an undergraduate degree and Master’s degree from the Universidad de los Andes, and Martin studied mechanical engineering at Edinburgh University.
In 2002, a mutual friend asked José Fernando and Martin to develop an online payment platform for DeRemate.com. The project’s potential was clear, and the entrepreneurs launched PayU LatAm in 2002. In response to being hit with a fraud, José Fernando built FraudVault, anti-fraud software that helped PayU LatAm become a leader in e-commerce payments in Colombia.
PayU LatAm has since incorporated FraudVault into two primary online payment services that allow online shoppers to buy a merchant’s products in a secure way. Both the Gateway and Aggregator service provide merchants with one online platform for all forms of payment. PayU LatAm makes it easier for merchants to integrate multiple payment providers without signing numerous contracts.
José and Martin are driven to have an impact: PayU LatAm may be transactional, but their approach to entrepreneurship is not.
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