A look into Nubank’s tech hub in Berlin

Our data infrastructure teams in Europe are instrumental in creating increasingly better products for our customers

Nubank's office at Mitte neighborhood in Berlin: ballons with the letters of Nubank hanging in the living with couches and the streets seen outside.

Nubank is currently the largest digital bank in the world by number of customers, and the most downloaded app in the market. The new valuation after a Series G funding round in January 2021, led by Singapore’s GIC, Whale Rock and Invesco, places Nubank also as the fourth most valuable financial institution in Latin America. So why having a tech hub at Berlin?

Our mission is to give people back control of their financial lives.

Some pillars support us to achieve this goal – and technology is certainly one of them.

Many of our teams need to analyze large datasets to make the best decisions for the customer – be it, for example, develop a product, make our service smarter and more efficient or better understand how people interact with our services. And this is where our technology hub in Berlin, Germany, opened in late 2017, comes in.

Situated in the Mitte neighborhood, synthesis of the past, the present and the future of Berlin, the office is home to a growing number of cross-functional teams. They are dedicated to maintain and evolve a world-class self-service data platform, enabling nearly every team at Nubank to leverage data for automated decision making, financial control and reporting, strategic analysis, etc.

The data infrastructure teams

Our data infrastructure teams are responsible for building services that are scalable and resilient for processing, managing, and monitoring large-scale distributed data processing systems. That includes designing well thought and documented APIs, backed by scalable data ingestion, processing, and serving systems. 

We make heavy use of Nubank’s standard tech stack, including building Clojure microservices. But given our focus on data processing, we also continually explore and leverage big data technologies for batch and streaming processing, building machine learning models, etc.

Our data infrastructure teams do not build data pipelines, models, or analyses for specific business areas. Instead, we provide a managed self-service platform that empowers business analysts, data scientists, analytics engineers, financial analysis, and many other roles to leverage data with autonomy, in line with Nubank’s values.

In addition to our data infrastructure teams, a growing number of teams from Nubank’s wider Engineering Horizontal organization have a presence in the Berlin tech hub. They are focused on areas such as core infrastructure automation, developer experience, databases, mobile development platform, distributed systems R&D, among others.

Dress code at Nubank is what makes you feel yourself.

Why open a tech hub in Berlin?

There are several reasons for having a team in Germany.

The first one is that Berlin is a fantastic city not only for the quality of life, but also for being a center of activities related to technology. The city is a hub for events, companies and data processing research – and it is also a central point that gives easy access to other cities in Europe.

Another reason is that the city has a friendly infrastructure for foreigners and many inhabitants speak English – which greatly facilitates communication.

Finally, and related to the previous points, investing in a European tech hub allows us to foster one of our main values, that is to build strong and diverse teams

We aim for diversity not just because it is politically correct, but because we are persuaded that we could build better products, as we could replicate the approaches (necessities, desires, beliefs) of a wide variety of people.  

Tea for three. We built strong and diverse teams, so maybe the dog has also something to say.

Nubank’s work at our Berliner tech hub

The atmosphere in the office is very similar to that of our São Paulo headquarters. We don’t have a formal dress code (wearing shorts and flip flops is absolutely normal) and we encourage anyone who wants to bring their pets to work.

As Nubank is a company that actively seeks diversity at the workplace and gender equality, Berlin is a perfect blend of a great pool of talent with diverse backgrounds.

Nowadays, we have over 30 Nubankers from twelve nationalities (and growing), coming from three different continents. We arrived at the office from Brazil, France, Italy, India, Poland, United States, Peru, Chile, Portugal, Ukraine, Croatia and, clearly, Germany. 

Nubank operates as a global company. In addition to offices in the markets we currently operate (Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia) and the Berlin tech hub, we also have tech hubs in Argentina and the United States, home to Cognitect (creators of Clojure and Datomic) and who became part of Nubank in 2020.

We organize ourselves in small autonomous teams, and thus are able to make significant progress without significant dependencies or coordination overhead with teams from other locations. That being said, it is crucial for us to stay connected with the rest of the organization and stay aligned with Nubank’s values and mission.

We are usually on the lookout for a variety of technical talent for our Berlin tech hub, such as data infrastructure engineers, analytics engineers, systems engineers, software engineers, product managers, engineering managers, among others. 

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