LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin June 24, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> KaszeK Ventures led a US$20m round in Brazil-based international money transfer platform Remessa Online, with participation from Brazil-based growth fund Bewater Ventures and Kevin Efrusy of Accel Partners. Global Founders Capital and Mar Ventures led the company’s US$4m Series A in 2018.

  • Remessa Online initially focused on international money transfer for individuals. After validating their infrastructure and integrating a compliance system, their focus shifted to small businesses.
  • Co-Founder Alexandre Luizzi shares: “With everyone working from home, the market frontiers for small businesses have expanded, and given Brazil’s current exchange rate, we want to help our exporting clients become global.”

> #PE L Catterton made an undisclosed investment in PetLove, a Brazilian marketplace for pet goods. SoftBank invested US$48m earlier this year.

> German bank KfW Group’s subsidiary DEG led a US$12m Series B in BizCapital, a Brazilian lending fintech providing credit for small businesses, with participation from Mercado Libre's MELI Fund and 42k Investimentos, with follow-on from monashees, Quona Capital, and Chromo Invest.

> KaszeK Ventures led a US$10m Series A in La Haus, a Colombian residential real estate platform, with participation from Acrew Capital, IMO Ventures, and Beresford Ventures. NFX and David Velez of Nubank invested US$6m previously. READ interview with Co-Founder and President Rodrigo Sánchez-Ríos below.

> #BIOTECH Sofinnova Partners led a US$5.6m Series A in Protera, a Chilean biotech developing a protein to naturally extend food shelf-life, with participation from SOSV. 

> monashees, KaszeK Ventures, and ONEVC invested US$4.6m in Pipo Saúde, a Brazilian employee health plan management platform, with participation from David Velez of Nubank.

  • CEO Manoela Mitchell shares: “Buying healthcare is extremely complex, there are more than 1,000 healthcare plans available... We have an internal motto which is: ‘agnostic to the healthcare plan, focused on the HR need.’”

> #CVC Brazilian trucking marketplace CargoX raised R$15m from Brazilian infrastructure company Pattac Empreendimentos e Participações to expand its financing capabilities for truckers on its platform. CargoX raised a US$80m Series E led by LGT Lightstone earlier this year. 

> #FOODTECH Swiss-based VC fund Blue Horizon Ventures led a US$2m Series A in Heartbest, a Mexican foodtech producing plant-based cheese and milk.

> #AGTECH CORFO-backed CLIN Fund led a ~US$1m round in AgroUrbana, a Chilean agtech focused on vertical agriculture.

> Iporanga Ventures and Wayra led a R$4m round in VOLL, a Brazilian platform aggregating ride-share services for business travelers. 

Canary led a R$3m round in Boomerang, a Brazilian consumer goods rental platform, with participation from 99 and Yellow founder Ariel Lambrecht.

> #CVC Alvarez & Marsal’s Next A&M Fund and BRQ Digital Solutions invested R$3m in Payface, a Brazilian fintech focused on enabling contactless payments through facial recognition.

HCS Capital made a US$700k follow-on investment in Jooycar, a Chilean insurtech platform for real-time automotive data. HCS Capital first invested US$3m in 2018.

Magma Partners led a US$680k pre-seed round in Aptuno, a Colombian proptech focused on eliminating the need for a co-signer in the residential rental market.

Canary invested an undisclosed amount in Genial Care, a Brazilian mental health platform focused on autism.

Mexican VC fund Proeza Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Locomation, a Pittsburgh-based logistics platform focused on applying automated driving technology to freight transportation.

KPTL acquired a minority stake in Gestão Agropecuária, a Brazilian livestock management platform, for an undisclosed amount., the innovation arm of Albert Einstein, ACE Startups, MOR, and PPA Capital, invested an undisclosed amount in Salvus, a Brazilian hospital resource and homecare service management platform.  

Angel Ventures and G2 Momentum Capital made an undisclosed investment in, a Mexican fintech providing low-cost health and auto insurance alternatives for young professionals.

G2 Momentum Capital made an undisclosed investment in DAPP, a Mexican contactless payment infrastructure company focused on QR codes.

#US Brazil-based Redpoint eventures led a US$2.3m seed round in San Francisco-based, a customer intelligence platform for media and e-commerce enterprises. Incubate Fund, Plug and Play, and Intango Ventures invested previously.

CORRECTION: Last issue we reported on the merger of Reviewr, an online review management startup, with Gorila, a Brazilian customer satisfaction research platform, to form Harmo Feedback Intelligence. This is a different Gorila than the startup by the same name that is backed by monashees, Canary, and Iporanga Investimentos, as we indicated previously.

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$4.6b in 2019, according to LAVCA data



> #EXIT Magma Partners exited OmniLatam, a Colombian working capital financing platform, via a sale to SoftBank-backed Greensill Capital, a provider of working capital finance for companies globally.

 XP acquired Brazilian insurance aggregation platform DM10 for an undisclosed amount, via its insurance business holding XP Seguridade.

  • XP also just acquired Brazilian personal finance automation platform Fliper.



> #CLEANTECH Amazon announced a US$2b cleantech fund, The Climate Pledge Fund, focused on transportation, storage, food, power generation, and waste. Jeff Bezos said the fund will look at projects in all geographies, regardless of size or stage.

  • This is part of Amazon’s 2019 pledge to meet net-zero emissions by 2040. WSJ: "In addition to Amazon’s work, Mr. Bezos has pledged US$10b of his personal fortune to start the Bezos Earth Fund to fight climate change."
  • In January, Microsoft pledged to become “carbon negative” by 2030 and launched a US$1b fund to "accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture, and removal technologies."

Paraguayan brokerage house Investor launched the first publicly-listed seed fund approved by the National Securities Commission in Paraguay.

> #CVC Chilean energy and transportation holding company Copec launched WIND Ventures, a San Francisco-based CVC arm focused on Latin American opportunities in the energy, mobility, and retail sectors.



> LAVCA welcomes new member alpha4 Ventures, a VC making Series A investments in Latin American startups, with a focus on Colombia, Mexico, Chile, and Argentina.

  • Sector Focus: Logistics, ridesharing, e-commerce, proptech, fintech, SaaS
  • Current Portfolio IncludesAlquilando, Elenas, GAIA, LiftIt, Mi Aguila, OFI, RetailApp, Simetrik
  • Key Contacts: General Partners Eduardo Castro-Wright, Sebastian Galnares Castro, and Alvaro Vigliola; Investor Relations Manager Pedro Machado (

> LAVCA publishes an annual directory of VC/Tech members, with profiles on 75+ firms active in Latin America.




La Haus is a Colombian residential real estate platform that just raised a US$10m Series A led by KaszeK Ventures to expand its operations in Mexico and continue building an end-to-end digital solution to the home-buying process. Co-Founder and President Rodrigo Sanchez-Rios shares: 

Why did you launch La Haus in 2017?

I met Jeronimo Uribe in 2012 while at Stanford GSB, where we decided to launch Jaguar Capital, a real estate investment firm in Colombia. Jaguar Capital went on to develop over US$350m of residential, retail, and industrial assets, and led to the building blocks behind La Haus.

As developers of residential projects, we realized that there was not a large-scale professional sales force in Colombia, or in Latin America, that could manage the real estate sales process in a data-driven way. Most developers simply price according to comparables and estimate the pace of sales using their intuition.

At that time, we brought on board our current CTO Santiago Garcia, formerly of Jaguar Capital, to build technology tools and databases to drive the firm’s investment due diligence process. We then realized that the tools that Santiago built could help any person making the most important investment decision of their life: buying a home.

What explains the increase in market share for online real estate transactions during the C19 pandemic?

The increase in market share is due to the fact that “traditional” real estate selling channels are currently shut down, while La Haus can keep selling via its digital platform. We’re convinced that the pandemic is changing consumers’ behaviors permanently. We’ve seen customers who would have otherwise never considered a digital transaction, be amazed when they discover how easy it is to buy a home with La Haus. READ full interview.



> Gympass launched Gympass em casa, a virtual platform offering online classes and nutrition and wellness services.

> CITES-backed Eolo Pharma, an Uruguayan drug discovery company focused on the development of new therapies for diseases related to chronic inflammation, was selected to participate in Germany’s State of Thuringia Investor Day. 

> Forbes features Cacao Paycard Solutions, a Mexican fintech focused on enabling credit card issuance for neobanks, including albo, Billpocket, Fondeadora, Klar, Oyster, and Weex. Cacao is backed by G2 Momentum Capital.

> Check out LAVCA’s directory of 331 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA (as of end-2018), our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.



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> Mercado Libre announced plans for its first Centro de Innovación y Tecnología in Colombia, a hub that aims to employ ~1,000 local professionals and centralize the company’s efforts in the region.

> WhatsApp launched Facebook Pay in Brazil after facing regulatory complications in India. WhatApp’s local payment partners include Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi.

  • Protocol: “With 120 million users, Brazil is WhatsApp's second-largest market…. Facebook thinks it's found a way to monetize WhatsApp everywhere.”
  • TechCrunch: “The over 10 million SMEs are the heartbeat of Brazil’s communities. It’s become second nature to send a zap to a business... Now customers will be able to send payments for products.”

> #CLIMATE Storebrand, AP7, KLP, DNB Asset Management, Robeco, Nordea Asset Management, and LGIM announced they will divest their US$5b+ assets in Brazil unless the government takes action against the deforestation and destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

 Brazil has passed the one million mark of C19 infections. Brazil is on track to surpass the US with the deadliest outbreak, according to the University of Washington’s Institution for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

 Apple and Google partnered to create Exposure Notifications, a technology designed for public health authorities to execute C19 contact tracing. The government of Uruguay is the first to make use of the technology through its Coronavirus UY App.

> CORFO is expanding eligibility of Fondo Crece, its US$150m credit line for small Chilean businesses impacted by the current crisis, to include fintechs facing issues with loan repayments.

> Brazil’s Fundo Garantidor de Operações announced the issuance of R$15.6b in C19 loans for small businesses that do not reduce their workforce, as part of the Programa Nacional de Apoio às Microempresas e Empresas de Pequeno Porte (Pronampe).

> Despegar is facing a class-action lawsuit from users claiming the company hasn’t reimbursed them for their cancelled services due to the C19 pandemic. Despegar also announced it will be temporarily suspending its operations in Cordoba, Argentina as part of its restructuring initiative.

> Nikkei Asia Review rolled out global comparison charts for C19.

> NYT examines the rising impact of the C19 crisis in Peru due to the country’s structural inequality, despite efforts to fight the pandemic in its early stages.

> NYT reviews the newly gained interest of private companies to explore going public amid the C19 crisis.



> Alex Knight, a Principal at Bond Capital, shares his analysis of the Brazilian and Mexican startup ecosystems he authored while at the Stanford Graduate School of Business:

"Irrespective of the gap between Brazil and Mexico’s startup ecosystems and in spite of C19, I am optimistic about the opportunities in both countries and in Latin America as a whole: the region receives about 9x less VC funding than the US when adjusted for GDP per capita; I expect that multiple to decline going forward. Its growth may be in fits and starts, but Latin America’s time has come."

> READ LAVCA Board Member Rodolfo Spielmann, Managing Director and Head of Latin America at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), shares insights about partnerships with family-controlled businesses as a model for successful long-term investing in LatAm: 

  • 43% of the largest companies in Latin America are either controlled by a family or a group linked to the founders, indicating that strong governance, stable shareholders, and long-term value creation strategies associated with family-controlled businesses correlate with companies that outperform their indices.”

> READ LAVCA recently spoke with Rafael Ramirez, Portfolio Manager at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, a sovereign wealth fund with a track record of committing to Latin American funds over the last decade. Ramirez shares:

  • On remote due diligence of funds: “We completed our first virtual onsite post-COVID last month and are in the process of wrapping up our investment and legal due diligence for that specific opportunity… we are confident that we have the right tools in place to properly carry out our investment process on a virtual basis.”
  • On VC+tech: “We have been actively investing in venture since 2005 and have invested across the spectrum from early-stage to late-stage/expansion. Today, venture represents approximately one-third of the private equity & special opportunities portfolio – of which only 9% is invested in emerging markets. We currently don’t have any venture exposure to Latin America… although it is an ecosystem that we continue to monitor.”

> PECAP will host a fireside chat with Nathan Lustig of Magma Partners on June 24 to discuss Venture Capital in Latin America amidst the C19 crisis. You can still register today here

> Fernando Lelo and Mariana Carranza of ALLVP will host a virtual session on June 25 for founders to learn about best practices for building their pitch decks. Founders can register here.

> Visa and Finnovista will host their fourth Visa Everywhere Initiative, awarding up to US$25k in cash prizes to teams working on solutions that help small businesses recover from the C19 crisis. Applications close June 30.

> ProColombia will host the fourth edition of the ProColombia Pitch Session on July 15. Investors can register here.

> Cemex Ventures launched a competition for startups in the construction sector. Applications close July 26.

Sebrae launched a free accelerator program that will choose 30 companies for mentorship and investor introductions in Brazil.

Smart Money Ventures launched an accelerator program for early-stage startups focused on social impact. Apply here.

 P&G launched a Brazilian accelerator for initiatives directly fighting the current C19 pandemic. Small businesses, NGOs, and professionals can apply here.

> New Ventures and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship are launching an accelerator program to support entrepreneurs focused on improving the quality of life of Mexican marginalized communities. Interested founders can pre-register here.

> 500 Startups launched an ESG investment process for its Global Flagship Fund. Founders can take the ESG Founders Survey here.



> WIRED: Plastic Rain Is the New Acid Rain: Hundreds of millions of plastic bottles worth of microplastics are raining down on us, and the problem is only getting worse.

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The Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America.

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