By: 7 July 2023

The acquisition gives the unicorn a presence outside of Turkey for the first time, on its mission to expand globally

Turkish fintech Papara becomes unicorn after buying Rebellion

Papara, a Turkey-based digital bank, has acquired Rebellion in Spain, to give the Turkish fintech a valuation of $1b. 

The bootstrapped fintech purchased the digital bank from its current owner, Beka Finance, in a cash and stock deal. 

The acquisition gives the unicorn a presence outside of Turkey for the first time, on its mission to expand globally. 

Founded in 2015 by Ahmed Karslı, Papara became profitable in two years and hit 16m users this year. 

It has also expanded its product suite outside of core banking, to include pet, home, travel and mobile insurance, and launched a voice card, with BlindLook, for visually impaired users.  

Rebellion was founded by Sergio Cerro and Alex Sagrado in 2017. Its app offers its customers many of the same products and services as Papara, including money transfer, prepaid cards and cashback. The digital bank has received investment of €15m to date.  

As part of the deal, Rebellion will rebrand as Papara Spain. Current Rebellion employees will join Papara’s team, which grew by 43% in the last 12 months.  

Commenting on the acquisition, Karslı said: “Papara was founded on the principal 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.  

“The business and team stood out to us for a number of reasons, primarily its unrivalled local market knowledge, best-in-class products and, most importantly, alignment of goals to our own.” 

Cerro added: “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.” 

Image: Papara  

Josh Poyser
Josh Poyser is an editor at FinTech Intel. He has written about fintech for several years and appeared at FinTech Connect 2023 on the 'Unlocking Success: The Art of Fintech PR' panel.