¡Sí Suite! The Next Phase of Fintech in the U.S.
SUMA Jefa Beatriz Acevedo details the journey to becoming the only Latina-led fintech company in the U.S. for LinkedIn News:
25 years ago, immediately after winning 3 Emmys and losing my high-profile and high-paying job at a Mexican television network, I hit rock bottom. I had no savings in the bank, could not afford to pay my rent, and had no credit to buy basic food staples.
20 years ago, after being the first in her family to leave Venezuela to go to college, Daniela Corrente had as many side hustles as one could have — from parking cars to being a hostess at numerous restaurants, to promoting new pasta products at her local Publix supermarket in Miami.
Both Daniela and I learned to hustle from a young age from our respective parents, who were entrepreneurs at heart, balancing several side jobs, a relentless work ethic, and a Si Se Puede perpetual attitude and personal commitment to support their communities and provide service to others.
Today is a big deal for both of us, as it marks a few unprecedented firsts for our companies and our community. Two Latina immigrant CEO’s are shattering some glass ceilings with the announcement of Suma Wealth acquisition of Reel, Daniela’s savings and financial platform that makes it simple for users to automate their cash flow towards their goals – unlocking a better financial future without unnecessary debt.
Momentum in the making…
I have been a fan of Daniela since the day I met her for coffee 5 years ago at Bodega in Santa Monica. I have witnessed her passion and hard work building Reel, and have been in awe of her grit and resilience, mixed with her perpetual positive energy and big contagious smile. Daniela is someone you always want to be around because she always makes you feel that anything is possible.
Daniela came to the U.S. by herself with a student visa when she was 16 years old. She was probably the youngest student at her college and was quickly introduced to credit card debt.
There were offers everywhere from several banking institutions and she was excited to collect as many credit cards as possible. It seemed like it was almost free money until the first statements with exorbitantly high-interest rates started to pile up. This is when she became aware of how dangerous it was to not understand what debt could do, particularly for a young college student. This experience inspired her to gain a deeper understanding of consumer psychology, and what a critical role our emotions play when making financial decisions. It was this first experience with debt that eventually propelled her into launching Reel back in 2018.
A New Era
The merging of our two companies creates an unprecedented partnership as SUMA becomes the first to acquire a fellow Latina-founded financial technology company. One of the first solely Latina executive teams to lead a fintech company. Of the 30,000 fintech companies in the U.S., only .03% are Latina-led.
We have a lot of work to do to address the cultural barriers that are deeply ingrained in us in order to achieve economic parity. The PTSD many of us have in trusting financial institutions and governments from our countries of origin is real. We’ve witnessed our parents having to work multiple jobs to build wealth, only to see those efforts collapse in a nanosecond in a massive devaluation (in Mexico for my family, and in Venezuela for Daniela’s family).
The work that we do is personal to us. We bring a unique lens to this industry as first and second-generation immigrants. We’ve experienced the very obstacles SUMA is taking on firsthand.
A Glimpse Into The Future
We plan on continuing to tap into our shared personal experiences. This helps double down on our long-term mission to close the wealth gap, resolve fundamental inequalities, and tackle the unrealized $182 billion opportunity that US Latinos represent in Fintech and Edtech.
As part of the acquisition, we are honored that Daniela has accepted our offer to be our partner and join SUMA’s cofounder and COO Mary Hernandez as Chief Strategy and Business Officer. We are also incredibly excited with all the proprietary technology Daniela has built at Reel, as this will help SUMA accelerate its product roadmap by 2X, as well as help expand its user base by 80%. But most importantly, we are over the moon by the opportunity to add a visionary executive like Daniela to our team.
Welcome to our SUMA familia Daniela, we are so excited to learn from you and build with you for the benefit of our community.
About SUMA Wealth
SUMA Wealth is the leading financial technology company devoted to increasing prosperity, opportunity, and financial inclusion for young U.S. Latinos. SUMA’s innovative approach deploys technology to build financial tools and products that are engaging, culturally relevant, and useful to the community. SUMA also creates user-centric content and brand-based experiences that help the community to build wealth and control their financial future. To learn more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @wearesuma or visit www.sumawealth.com.
Reel savings platform makes it simple for people to automate their cash flow towards their goals, so they can get what they want without piling on unnecessary debt. Reel’s mission is to unlock a better financial future by showing people the potential of their own saved money.
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