LatAm Venture Bulletin April 11, 2018

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

Latin American Tech Growth Coalition

Tech Growth Coalition

LAVCA recently launched the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, with founding participants Google, Facebook, Qualcomm Ventures (the investment arm of Qualcomm Incorporated), Movile, Globant, Riverwood Capital, and Telefonica OpenFuture_.

Latin American startups received a record-breaking US$1.1b in venture capital investments in 2017, more than doubling the US$500m invested in the region in 2016. International appetite has also grown significantly, with the number of global investors committing to Latin American startups more than doubling in the last five years.

Coalition members are leading global and Latin American tech companies with a common goal of identifying and advancing high growth startups in Latin America. The coalition seeks to create valuable networks and better access to information and best practices for the region’s vibrant tech startup community.

Read the press release in English, Spanish, or Portuguese

international lists

> Tiger Global led a R$100m Series D investment in ContaAzul, a Brazilian software platform for small businesses, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst. Ribbit Capital led the company’s previous R$20m round in 2015 with participation from monashees+, Tiger Global, Valar Ventures, and 500 Startups.

> monashees+ and Grishin Robotics led a US$9m seed investment in Yellow, a dockless bike service launching in São Paulo. Yellow is founded by 99 co-founders Ariel Lambrecht and Renato Freitas, and Eduardo Musa, former CEO of bike manufacturer Caloi.

> KaszeK Ventures led a US$7.5m Series A investment in Tienda Pago, a provider of short-term working capital for small businesses in Mexico and Peru, with participation from new investors QED Investors and Oikocredit, and existing investors Accion Venture Lab and Agrega Partners.

> Australian jobsite SEEK made a R$23m investment in freelance labor platform Workana. SEEK led a R$8m round in 2017. Previous investors include NXTP Labs and DMGT.

> Vostok Emerging Finance led a R$12m investment in FinanZero, a Brazilian credit marketplace, with participation from Webrock Ventures, Centro and others. Vostok’s investments in the region include Creditas, GuiaBolso, and Nibo.

> Brazilian venture builder Superjobs Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Apptite, an artisanal food delivery platform. Superjobs previously invested R$1m.

> The Latin America Angels Society made an undisclosed investment in Play2sell, a Brazilian construction management app.

> #PRIVATEEQUITY The Abraaj Group and WeWork founder Adam Neumann led a US$95m investment in Selina, a Panamanian travel hospitality network with community vacation properties across Central America.



> As indicated by this SEC filing, monashees+ is seeking to collect $150m in capital commitments for its 8th fund.

> Fundación Chile launched a US$18m fund with support from CORFO and private investors, including Zoma Capital, ENGIE Factory, ENTEL and others. The fund will invest in Chilean startups in energy, water, mining and other sectors with a focus on sustainability.



> e.Bricks Ventures and Vox Capital made an undisclosed Series A investment in Sanar, a Brazilian edtech startup designing customized online training for careers in healthcare.

> Omidyar Network launched a US$100m fund, Spero Ventures, to invest in for-profit businesses that can achieve “impact at scale.”

> Switzerland-based private markets investment manager Partners Group will launch a US$1b global social impact fund with an investment strategy in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

> ModernDiplomacy features Laboratoria CEO Mariana Costa in Coding with impact: Training female tech talent from Latin America:

We are living in an era of unprecedented opportunities because of Internet, connectivity and the immense access to information. The most valuable skill-set is to know how to learn by yourself. Be curious to go out and take responsibility for your own learning process.

> Village Capital is looking for early stage entrepreneurs in Latin America that are helping improve financial health to join its Fintech: LatAm 2018 Investment Readiness program. Apply here.

> Impact investing firm Capria is seeking 3-5 investment managers based in and investing in emerging markets that can deliver superior financial returns with scalable impact. Apply by April 27.

> Power to Grow: The Innovation Challenge will support organizations that are empowering micro-enterprises in Central America. Apply by April 27.

> FOMIN and ICE will invest up to US$1.6m in early-stage impact startups, accelerators, and incubators. Apply by May 18.

> Innovate UK, through the Colombian Prosperity Fund Programme, will invest up to £3m to enable UK and Colombian partners to address agricultural challenges in post-conflict and conflict-affected regions in Colombia. Apply by July 18.



> Reuters says Didi Chuxing has publicly launched in Mexico. Bloomberg says Didi is ramping up hiring in Mexico as well.

> TechCrunch: Global ride-hailing rivals Taxify and Uber launched motorcycle passenger service in East Africa.

> Apple Pay is doing a limited launch in Brazil in partnership with Itaú Unibanco, and will initially only be available to Itaú clients with iPhone 6 or higher.

> Brazil Journal looks at what happened to Hotel Urbano after the founders bought their equity back.

> Edweek: Colombia and Peru will be the first two countries on a US government-sponsored trade mission for edtech services for schools and universities.

> DCI: Aporte em startups por fundos de venture dispara: O motivo é o desenvolvimento de um ecossistema que evita o “vale da morte” das iniciantes.

> Epoca Negociós: Apetite de investidores por startups da América Latina cresce, diz levantamento.

> Facebook’s CTO published An Update on Our Plans to Restrict Data Access on Facebook.



> Brazilian security company PSafe won a long-running legal battle against Chinese search giant Baidu this week. What you need to know:

  • A Brazilian appeals court upheld a prior decision that Baidu used illegal anti-competition practices to get Brazilian Android users to uninstall PSafe’s security app. “They are basically calling our app a virus every five minutes via a pop-up on their Android app,” PSafe founder and CEO Marco de Mello said at the time
  • This is the first time a Brazilian court has upheld an application of the country's unfair competition laws against an Internet or software company.
  • PSafe’s Android security suite has expanded to include protection against real-time hacking and crypto-mining; the company also recently released a privacy app on iOS.

> Bloomberg says Uber Can't Afford to Be an Ugly American Abroad:

Multinational ride-sharing companies like Uber will have to become regional players expert in local preferences, and in managing the governments who regulate them.


> Mexico and Brazil are among Spotify’s top four markets by volume of streams, according to The Economist. Spotify’s Director of Economics recently detailed this growth:

"We're looking at the possibility of Brazil and Mexico potentially overtaking the UK and Germany in terms of user numbers. That’s not to the detriment of the UK and Germany, it’s all about the unexpected and exceptional performance of Brazil and Mexico. They’re bigger countries, of course, but whilst their infrastructure is much less developed, their smartphone adoption is escalating at a much faster rate, driving access to services like Spotify."

> By 2040 ⅓ of global electricity will be generated from wind and solar; ⅓ of vehicles on the road will be electric; and the world’s economy will produce ⅓ more GDP from every unit of energy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

> BID and Finnovista estimate there are more than 700 fintech startups in Latin America, 60% created in the last three years.


> LAVCA hosts VC in São Paulo, our annual meeting for fund managers investing in Brazil, on May 8 at Google São Paulo. Request an invitation by contacting Claudia Rosenbloom (

> LAVCA hosts a Workshop for Emerging VCs on May 16 in Buenos Aires and May 17 in Santiago de Chile. The program for first-and-second-time fund managers, corporate VCs, heads of accelerators, and notable angels will focus on legal best practices to set up early-stage companies for successful follow-on financing. Request an invitation by contacting Claudia Rosenbloom (

> Google’s Launchpad Accelerator is open for applications for its next class at Google Campus São Paulo. Focus areas are AI, Machine Learning, Android, and web services. Apply by April 23.

> Brazil's Finep is looking for a gestor de recursos for its FIP Inova Empresa fund. Proposals are due by April 13.

> The Personal Democracy Forum is offering International Fellowships to civic tech experts and entrepreneurs living outside of the US to attend PDF 2018 at the New York Law School in June. Apply by April 18.



> Andy Tsao of SVB shares stats on the growth of VC investment globally, and the forces that are pushing increasing capital to entrepreneurs in emerging markets: “Perhaps the most compelling case for emerging markets is the rise of the China market.”

> Valor profiles Francisco Jardim of SP Ventures about growing VC appetite for agtech investments in Brazil.

  • Jardim notes that the fund looked at 54 agtech startups from 2007-2014, and looked at over 400 startups in the last two years. SP Ventures’ portfolio includes 20 agtech startups. 

> Apertura profiles KaszeK Ventures and the firm’s regional outlook:

KaszeK mira América latina, y pide que sus emprendedores también lo hagan. “Es importante que sea líder inicialmente en el país de origen, pero después, rápidamente, hacer la expansión por el resto de la región”, sostiene Szekasy, quien deja entrever que con los entrepreneurs brasileños la cosa es diferente. “Poseen la ventaja de que tienen mucha más escala. Hay muchas startups que arrancan allí y pueden aspirar a tener una valuación de un US$ 1000 millones. Si uno arranca una compañía en la Argentina, es muy difícil”.

> Forbes: The 36 Women Secretly Breaking Up Silicon Valley’s Old Boys' Club.



> Reuters: India’s central bank barred banks on Friday from having any links to virtual currency dealers, slashing the prices of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies on local exchanges.

> Bloomberg: These Chickens Are on the Blockchain: “There’s no question about it, blockchain will do for food traceability what the internet did for communication,” says Frank Yiannas, Walmart’s VP for food safety and health.


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