LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin January 13, 2021

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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LAVCA has announced that Nicolás Szekasy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of KaszeK Ventures, was appointed to the position of Board Chair. In addition, Juan Alberto Leautaud, Managing Director and Head of BlackRock’s Latin America Infrastructure Investment Group, and Dirk Donath, Managing Partner at L Catterton, joined the LAVCA Board.

  • Prior to founding KaszeK Ventures, one of the largest VCs in Latin America with over US$1b capital raised, Szekasy was CFO at MercadoLibre where he led its US$333 million IPO in 2007. He sits on a number of boards globally, including several of Latin America’s tech unicorns.
  • LAVCA CEO Ivonne Cuello shares: “Nicolás’ work in VC and tech is an outstanding example of some of the transformational opportunities we are seeing across Latin America. Combined with the additions of Juan Alberto, a leader in real assets investing, and Dirk who brings a deep track record in consumer private equity deals, the LAVCA Board is a true reflection of the evolving landscape for private capital in the region. We are excited to have these impressive investors collaborating to represent our membership and the industry.”

READ the press release and see the full Board here.



Following the success of LAVCA’s Inaugural Startup Survey in 2019, we are launching a second survey, with the support of IDB Lab, to track the growth of healthtech and edtech startups during C19, and the impact they are having on access to healthcare and education in Latin America.

CEOs of healthtech and edtech startups can email Carlos Ramos de la Vega ( to request an invitation to the survey.



📢 Deals: New Rounds for Contabilizei, AlphaCredit, La Haus, Favo, OmniChat, Skore, Kriptos, healthtechs XP Health & ViBe Saúde, plus four new agtech deals and several deals for SME-focused startups

📢 Funds: Capria Ventures committed US$2m to Angel Ventures Pacific Alliance Fund II

📢 Startups: Satellogic partnered with SpaceX; dLocal partnered with Dinie Paylater

📢 Investor Perspectives from Hector Shibata of AC Ventures, Jenny Johnston of Flourish Ventures, André Barrence of Google for Startups Brasil, & Caroline Strobel of Redpoint eventures



#DEBT IDB Invest provided US$40m in debt financing to AlphaCredit, a Mexican lending platform for individuals and SMEs in Mexico and Colombia.

  • SoftBank led a US$125m Series B in 2020.
  • Financing is set to strengthen AlphaCredit’s focus on the Silver Economy.
  • Last year AlphaCredit launched Bontu, a lending platform providing working capital financing and payroll advances to SMEs.

#PROPTECH Greenspring Associates led a US$35m Series B in La Haus, a Colombian residential real estate platform, with follow-on from KaszeK Ventures, Acrew Capital, NFX, IMO Ventures, Hometeam Ventures, and Spencer Rascoff (Zillow).

  • KaszeK Ventures led a US$10m Series A in 2020.
  • President and Co-Founder Rodrigo Sanchez-Rios shares: “We were planning to raise in 2021, but Greenspring approached us proactively. In less than 30 days, we had closed the preemptive Series B.”
  • READ Sanchez-Rios’s perspective on the Latin American real estate market during C19.

SoftBank’s Latin America Fund led an undisclosed Series C in Contabilizei, a Brazilian tax filing and accounting SaaS for SMEs, with follow-on from KaszeK Ventures, Point72, Quona Capital, and IFC.

  • Point72 led a US$20m round in 2019. Igah Ventures (formerly e.Bricks Ventures) and Endeavor Catalyst invested in 2016; KaszeK Ventures invested in 2015.
  • Contabilizei has been doubling its customer base since 2016 and reached 30k customers in 2020, according to CEO Vitor Torres.

> #HEALTHTECH ViBe Saúde, a Brazilian telehealth platform offering consumers virtual consultations led by general practitioners and chronic care management professionals, raised a US$10m Series A from undisclosed Swedish investors.

  • ViBe Saúde raised US$2.5m from Webrock Ventures in February 2020.
  • ViBe Saúde is moving into B2B with a partnership with Brazilian private hospital group Rede D’Or.

> Elevar Equity and Global Founders Capital invested R$35m in Favo, a Peruvian grocery fulfillment platform leveraging local sales reps to market products for last-mile distribution. Favo is founded by Alejandro Ponce, co-founder of PE firm Nexus Group.

> #HEALTHTECH Valor Capital led a US$5m seed round in XP Health, a California-based vision benefits platform for Brazilian corporate employees, with participation from Village Global, Semper Virens, J-Angels, Stanford’s StartX, and Jeff Epstein (Oracle).

  • XP Health clients include Chegg and Zenefits.

> KaszeK Ventures led a R$20m Series A in OmniChat, a Brazilian chat-based customer service enterprise platform that leverages WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and SMS, with follow-on from Honey Island Capital, a seed investment firm run by EBANX founders.

  • OmniChat was selected to participate in Facebook’s Commerce Accelerator in 2020.

> #HEALTHTECH Astella Investimentos led a R$11m round in Skore, a Brazilian corporate training platform, with participation from Patrick Arippol’s Alexia Ventures.

  • Skore’s clients include Santander, Via Varejo, Nubank, Dr. Consulta, and Ambev.

> #BLOCKCHAIN Royale Finance, a Belize-based fintech providing decentralized finance infrastructure for online casinos and prediction markets, raised US$1.45m from crypto fund Alphabit, AU21 Capital, Fomocraft Ventures, Kyros Ventures, and Vendetta Capital.

#CYBERSECURITY BuenTrip Ventures led a US$1.25m in Kriptos, an Ecuadorian cybersecurity platform expanding operations to Mexico, with participation from Techstars, Sixthirty Cyber, Wayra, Compusoluciones Ventures, SVlinks Angels,, and angels.

> MAYA Capital led a R$3.5m round in Unbox, a Brazilian e-commerce platform for SMEs.

  • Unbox was selected to participate in Facebook’s Commerce Accelerator in 2020.

> #AGTECH #BLOCKCHAIN KPTL invested R$3m in Ecotrace, a blockchain-based traceability platform for crops and livestock products.

> Brazilian asset manager Riza Asset invested R$5.6m in Atlas Governance, a Brazilian software platform for corporate governance management, with participation from angels Paulo Camargo (McDonald’s), Wilson Amaral (Gafisa), and Rafael Furlanetti and Guilherme Avila (XP).

#PE Buenos Aires-based private investment firm Patagonia Capital Partners, Inverlat, and NY-based Quadrant Management made an undisclosed investment in S1Gateway, an Uruguayan omnichannel communication and engagement platform for D2C companies.

#HRTECH Bossa Nova Investimentos, Honey Island Capital, and GVAngels made an undisclosed investment in Worc, a Brazilian recruitment automation platform for restaurants.

Cedro Capital invested R$2m in Onfly, a Brazilian corporate travel and expense management platform for SMEs.

#AGTECH BR Angels invested R$1.5m in iRancho, a Brazilian livestock management platform for tracking supply chain and herd evolution.

DOMO Invest and Poli Angels invested R$1m in Pix Midia, a Brazilian media production company for corporate internal communications.

> #AGTECH DOMO Invest and Silver Angels invested R$1m in Sensix, a Brazilian satellite image processor for crop management and harvest planning.

  • Sensix is focused on enterprise clients including Algar Farming, Raizen, and Philip Morris.

> DOMO Invest, Poli Angels, and Urca Angels made an undisclosed investment in ContaAgil, a Brazilian accounting platform for SMEs.

> #MPACT invested US$50k in AltScore, an Ecuadorian alternative credit score generator focused on the underbanked population.



> #CLEANTECH Bill Gates’ cleantech fund Breakthrough Energy Ventures raised another US$1b after backing 45 startups with its first billion.

> Capria Ventures announced a US$2m commitment in Angel Ventures Pacific Alliance Fund II, which is focused on early stage companies in Mexico, Colombia, Chile, and Peru.

  • Investments from Angel Ventures’ first Pacific Alliance Fund include Kueski, Urbvan, and Homie.
  • Camilo Kejner of Angel Ventures will join Capria’s fund manager network as part of the agreement.

> #CVC Brazilian financial software developer Sinqia launched Torq Ventures, a R$50m CVC fund to invest in early stage fintech startups in Brazil.

  • Torq Ventures announced a strategic partnership with Astella Investimentos and Parallax Ventures to invest in companies with strategic synergies.

> #CVC Chilean automaker Grupo Kaufmann launched Güil, a CVC fund and company builder focused on mobility and transportation.



> #SPACETECH Argentine spacetech Satellogic partnered with SpaceX and signed a Multiple Launch Services (MLS) Agreement through which SpaceX became Satellogic’s preferred vendor for rideshare missions.

  • Satellogic is building an Earth observation platform comprised of a constellation of 90 satellites that are remapping Earth to gain improved geospatial insights for the agriculture, energy, and insurance industries.
  • Satellogic’s backers include monashees, Valor Capital, Tencent, Pitanga, NXTP, Draper Cygnus, CrunchFund, and Starlight Ventures.

> Uruguayan fintech unicorn dLocal partnered with Dinie Paylater, a Brazilian lending platform, to offer installment payment products for Brazilian SMEs.

> Nico Barawid of Mexican proptech Casai shares his view on how real estate can become one of the key drivers for a Mexican economic recovery after the C19 pandemic.

  • Casai raised a US$48m Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz in 2020.

> Loreanne Garcia of Mexican car resale marketplace Kavak shares her views on the company’s challenges, lessons, and milestones. In 2020, Kavak became the first Mexican unicorn after raising a round led by SoftBank, DST Global, and Greenoaks Capital that valued the company at a reported US$1.2b.

> Vilash Poovala of Oyster Financial shares his views on the need to implement a robust Know-Your-Customer (KYC) model within neobanks in order to gain the trust of the end customer.

  • Oyster raised a US$14m round in 2020 led by monashees and SV Latam.

> Eric Santos of Resultados Digitais shares his view on setting company culture early on in Finding the right DNA to attract self-selecting talent.

> Brian York formerly of Liftit shares his views on the opportunity to reposition commercial real estate in Colombia and Mexico post C19 in How a nomad lifestyle inspired me to build a new startup – Cubbo.

  • Board member Jim Van Leenen took over as Liftit CEO at the end of 2020.

> #CLIMATETECH Diego Sáez Gil of Pachama, a San Francisco-based marketplace for carbon offset projects with initiatives in Brazil and Peru, shares his views on the importance of relying on satellite imagery to build trust in a carbon credit marketplace.

  • “Es como un mercado libre de bonos de carbono, donde hay compradores y vendedores. Nosotros hacemos que se encuentren en esta plataforma y eso permite que quien tenga un bosque en Perú, Congo, Indonesia, etc., pueda conectarse con una empresa que quiera comprar bonos. Y pueden confiar que el bono es válido porque pueden ver la imagen satelital de los bosques.”
  • Pachama raised US$5m from Breakthrough Energy Ventures (the US$1b cleantech fund launched by Bill Gates) and Serena Ventures in 2020.

> Check out LAVCA’s 2020 directory of 126 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA (as of end-2019), our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.



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> Google employees partnered with union federation UNI Global Union to launch Alpha Global, a company-wide union to address employee-related matters at the company level.

  • Christy Hoffman of UNI Global Union: “The problems at Alphabet are not limited to any one country, and must be addressed on a global level.”

> #DEATHTECH Microsoft patented a technology to simulate voices and verbal mannerisms to allow users to interact with their departed loved ones.

  • The bot will be trained on all online public information generated by the individual during his lifetime to recreate vivid lines of thought and experiences in order to sustain a conversation with the user.

> Rest of World examines Mexico’s urban surveillance system and the current role it plays in serving justice in Mexico City.

  • “Mexico City’s authorities have prided themselves on having one of the most ambitious and sophisticated video surveillance systems in the world. [Mexico] city has spent more than MX$13 billion (about US$660 million) in total on the infrastructure and software, and in 2019, another billion pesos (about US$50 million) was budgeted to replace and update cameras. But it’s far more common, cliché even, for police to tell victims that the relevant camera wasn’t working at the moment of the crime…”

> Mexican President Lopez Obrador tested positive for C19. So did Carlos Slim.

  • AMLO has so far resisted a federal-level mask mandate.

> El Español examines wireless internet penetration in Latin America in La gran brecha de América Latina: el 25% de la población aún no usa Internet móvil.



> André Barrence of Google for Startups Brasil reviews the impact of the new Marco Legal das Startups, and shares his view on how founders can capitalize on the digital transformation brought in 2020 by the pandemic.

  • “[Marco Legal das Startups] was a breakthrough, especially in relation to legal certainty. The issue of non-accountability of investors was very important. We cannot forget that the government is a potential technology user. Until today, the legislation did not give the opportunity for public managers to feel safe when purchasing a startup service. The text makes the relationship more transparent, on the side of the startup and the manager.”

> Carol Strobel of Redpoint eventures shares her view on upcoming trends in Brazil for 2021 in on-demand delivery, online education, and healthtech, and the opportunity to globalize local ventures.

  • “Latin America’s stability and sustainability issues for their economies have repeatedly discouraged investors since the 19th century. But hard times breed tough companies, and Brazilian giants such as AB InBev have emerged that compete on global terms -- not on local regional comparisons.”

> Hector Shibata and Ana Maury Aguilar of AC Ventures share their view on the importance and responsibility of setting and managing the internal culture of a VC fund.

  • “In a Venture Capital fund, as in any organization, not only capital and talent are required to develop the business. Culture is a form of shared expectation and at the end of the day it is a form of social control.”

> Jenny Johnston of Flourish Ventures shares her view on the current state of fintech activity in the region and future trends for 2021 with Patrick Alex of Endeavor Chile.

> Lucas Abreu of Astella Investimentos shares Astella’s framework for investing in startups looking to raise a seed round.

 Greg Mitchell of Angel Ventures Peru shares his view on the increased interest from US investors in Latin American startups.

> Santiago Zavala of 500 Startups Mexico shares his view on the state of the fundraising landscape in Mexico and his experience launching Mexican VC and bringing 500 Startups to Latin America.

> Chilean VC fund Fen Ventures is exploring launching its third fund and opening offices in Canada, the US, and Mexico.


> #GPEC IFC and EMPEA are hosting the 22nd annual Global Private Equity Conference (GPEC) as a highly interactive virtual gathering to connect global LPs and GPs on 17-20 May 2021. Registration for the program will open soon and the agenda is set to include speakers and topics on VC/tech.

> #SAVETHEDATE Ivonne Cuello of LAVCA will join a discussion on global solutions to global problems with a focus on climate action, collaboration, and social equality in Latin America at Reuters' Responsible Business 2021 on June 1-3. 

> Finnovista is partnering with Algorand Foundation to host the FINNOSUMMIT Challenge with a focus on blockchain-based startups. Applications close February 8. 

 Shu Nyatta of SoftBank has been appointed to Endeavor Global Board of Directors.

 IGNIA Partners is looking for an Investor Relations intern to join its team. Students and recent graduates are welcome to apply

 Capria Ventures is looking for an Investment Fellow to expand its team. Candidates with 3+ years of professional experience, a rigorous analytical background, and strong interest in emerging markets are welcome to apply.

 BayBrazil is looking for mentors to support the selection and growth of three startups focused on promoting education, health, and diversity as part of its Social Impact Initiative. Applications are now open.

The LatAm Venture Bulletin is the VC/tech newsletter and content platform of
The Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America.

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