LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin February 10, 2021

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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📢 Deals: New Rounds for Nubank, Jüsto, Mercado Bitcoin, debt financings for Creditas and Aflore, plus several deals for SME-focused startups

📢 Funds: Final close for Igah Ventures (US$130m); first close for DILA Capital's DILA IV (US$35m)

📢 The Rise of SPACs: SoftBank, Alpha Capital, HPX, Innova Capital + FJ Labs

📢 Interview with Maria Pia Iannariello of MGM Innova Capital 

Startups: IGNIA Partners and Capital Invent exited Bind-ERP; OpenPay launched in Colombia

📢 Investor perspectives from Mónica Engel of Quona Capital, Guilherme Lima of Astella Investimentos, Nathan Lustig and Claire Díaz-Ortiz of Magma Partners, and Rosario Cannata of EDP Ventures




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.



GIC, Whale Rock, and Invesco led a USD$400m Series G in Nubank at a USD$25b valuation, with participation from Tencent, Dragoneer Investment Group, Ribbit Capital, and Sequoia Capital.

  • Nubank’s reported valuation has more than doubled since TCV led a US$400m Series F in 2019 at a US$10b valuation.
  • CEO David Vélez shares: “We’ve gone from 12 million customers in 2019 to 34 million solely based on word of mouth.”
  • This round makes Nubank the most valued startup in Latin America. View LAVCA's Latin American unicorn leaderboard.

#CRYPTO GP Investimentos’ Inova Fund and Parallax Ventures led a R$200m round in Brazilian bitcoin exchange Mercado Bitcoin, with participation from Evora Fund, HS Investimentos, Banco Plural, and Gear Ventures.

  • Mercado Bitcoin is one of Brazil’s biggest Bitcoin exchanges, along with Foxbit and Bitcambio, according to the FT.

General Atlantic led a US$65m Series A in Jüsto, a Mexican grocery delivery platform, with follow-on from Mountain Nazca and Foundation Capital. Jüsto was founded by former Cabify President Ricardo Weder.

  • Bimbo Ventures and Sweet Capital led a US$5m round in October 2020; Mountain Nazca and Foundation Capital led a US$12m round in June 2020.
  • Jüsto is General Atlantic’s fifth investment in Mexico.
  • Jüsto will continue to expand throughout Mexico, and is considering launching in Colombia, Chile, and Brazil, according to CEO Ricardo Weder.
  • Weder: “Our mission at Jüsto is to become Latin America’s favorite supermarket within this decade.”

> #DEBT IDB Invest provided US$30m in debt financing to Brazilian fintech Creditas.

  • Creditas reached unicorn status in December 2020 with a US$255m Series E led by LGT Lightstone at a reported US$1.75b valuation.
  • Creditas acquired Brazilian mortgage financing platform Bcredi in January 2021.

> US-based VC Five Elms Capital invested US$25m in Playvox, a Colombian customer service performance monitoring platform focused on chat and email.

  • Five Elms Capital also led a US$7m investment in 2019.
  • Playvox just acquired Agyle Time, an Australian customer service workforce scheduling platform.
  • Playvox’s clients include Dropbox, Electronic Arts, and Wish.

> Valor Capital Group led a US$19m Series A in Rocket.Chat, a Brazil-based open-source platform for team collaboration and customer service, with participation from Greycroft, monashees, NEA,, Graphene Ventures, ONEVC, and DGF Investimentos.

  • This is Greycroft’s first known transaction in Latin America, according to LAVCA Data.

> Accel led a US$12m Series A in Flink, a Mexican consumer trading platform, with participation from ALLVP, Clocktower, and angels Kevin Efrusy (Accel Partners) and Oskar Hjertonsson (Cornershop), and follow-on from Raptor Financial Group. Flink was co-founded by former Easy Credit founder Sergio Jimenez Amozurrutia.

> #LOGISTICS US-based PE fund Northgate Capital made an undisclosed investment in iVoy, a Mexican last-mile delivery platform, with participation from Mexico Ventures.

Edmond, a Brazilian enterprise payments platform for solar energy companies, raised R$40m from undisclosed investors.

> Igah Ventures led a R$38m Series A in Bxblue, a Brazilian payroll lending platform, with participation from Iporanga Ventures, FJ Labs, and FundersClub.

  • CEO Gustavo Gorenstein: "We are working on making the wide variety of options from banks that offer payroll loans truly accessible for 34 million retirees and government workers anywhere in Brazil, in a fast, transparent, and reliable manner. According to data from the Central Bank, there is as much as a 80% spread between the lowest and highest loan APRs currently in the market.”

#DEBT Women’s World Banking Capital Partners led a US$6.6m convertible debt round in Aflore, a Colombian lending platform focused on microentrepreneurs and underbanked consumers, with participation from Amador Holdings and Unreasonable Capital, and follow-on from Polymath Ventures.

  • Accial Capital invested US$10m in debt financing in 2020.
  • LAVCA first interviewed Aflore CEO Ana Barrera when the company raised its Series A led by Fiinlab in 2017.

> Quona Capital and Kinea Ventures led a US$6m Series A in Monkey, a Brazilian financial marketplace enabling enterprises to purchase receivables from SMEs.

  • Monkey raised US$1.7m from Wayra Brasil and Parallax Ventures in 2019.
  • CEO Gustavo Müller on navigating the current C19 crisis: “Monkey is experiencing increased demand from receivable sellers looking for additional liquidity, receivable buyers looking for payment extensions of more than 60 days, and banks looking to share the risk with other financial institutions. In terms of growth, we wanted to reach R$20b in trading volume by the end of 2021; by the end of January we had already reached that goal.”

QED Investors led a US$6m round in Milo, a Colombia- and Miami-based fintech platform focused on mortgage lending for international buyers of US real estate, with participation from MetaProp and 10X Capita.

  • CEO Jospi Rupena: “A private wealth client with a seven-figure net worth was hoping to secure a US home loan. Because of traditional banks' domestically focused processes, this financially sound individual couldn't secure a loan – and he's not alone.”

> #LOGISTICS FEMSA Ventures and Mountain Nazca invested US$4m in Cargamos, a Mexican e-commerce and last-mile delivery logistics platform.

> Alere Advisors led a US$3.3m Series A in Superfüds, a Colombian grocery delivery platform, with follow-on from Kairos and Siddhi Capital.

#AGTECH #BLOCKCHAIN Closed Loop Partners and The Yield Lab invested US$1.1m in, an Argentine blockchain-based platform for crop management, with participation from Yugen Partners and Argentine agriculture conglomerate Red Surcos.

> KPTL led a R$6m investment in MindMiners, a Brazilian consumer rewards platform for crowdsourced user experience feedback, with participation from Darwin Startups and Maua Capital.

  • MindMiners’ clients include AmbevNestlé, SamsungMcDonald'sSearaHersheys, and UOL.

> Iporanga Investimentos led an undisclosed investment in Gonddo, a Brazilian B2B marketplace for SMEs, with participation from Verve Capital and angel investors Brian Requarth (VivaReal) and Thiago Dalvi (olist).

#GOVTECH Astella Investimentos invested R$4m in Aprova Digital, a Brazilian govtech helping local authorities digitize their licensing processes.

Draper Cygnus invested US$640k in Panarum, an Argentine biotech developing nano capsules to replace the use of needles with pill-based treatments.

> #HRTECH Alaya Capital Partners, Potencia Ventures, Mr. Pink, and Winnipeg made a US$600k investment in Talently, a Peruvian platform connecting freelance software developers with international companies.

  • Talently’s clients include Rappi and Globant.

> Redpoint eventures led a R$3m seed round in Peerdustry, a Brazilian on-demand manufacturing platform for heavy machinery parts, with participation from São Paulo-based Silver Angels.

Seed4Science invested R$1.6m in Tarvos, a Brazilian crop pest control platform, with participation from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP).

> Canada-based VC GR8 Ventures invested R$1m in Ali Credito, a Brazilian payroll platform.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos made an undisclosed investment in Stark Capital, a Brazilian platform connecting PE and VC investors with curated M&A opportunities.

#FOODTECH Angel Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Done Properly, a Chilean biotech developing a protein through fermentation that enhances the natural flavor of food and reduces the use of added salt.

> #EDTECH #CROSSBORDER ELSA, a Vietnam-based edtech focused on English learning, raised a US$15m Series B from Vietnam Investments Group and SIG, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst and Globant Ventures, and follow-on from Monk’s Hill Ventures, Google’s AI-focused Gradient Ventures, and SOSV.

  • Endeavor Catalyst and Globant Ventures will help ELSA expand to Latin America.



> Igah Ventures reached a US$130m final close for its third fund.

  • The new fund will focus mainly on Series A investments (US$5m-US$7m check sizes), with a focus on fintech, edtech, healthtech, SaaS for SMEs, and D2C. Recent investments include Acesso Digital and Conexa Saúde.
  • Igah CEO Pedro Melzer says the LP base is 75% HNWIs from Brazil, and 25% global investors. LPs include SoftBank Group, Rodrigo Xavier (Bank of America), and Gilberto Sayao (Vinci Partners).
  • Melzer on fundraising during the pandemic: “Covid forced us to be even more rigorous in selecting very robust entrepreneurs and sustainable business models. We must believe that, at scale, the companies in which we invest have healthy economics."

> DILA Capital reached a US$35m first close for DILA IV.

  • IDB Lab is acting as the anchor investor in the fund.
  • The new fund is targeting investments in 20 companies.
  • DILA Capital's portfolio include iVoy, Resuelve tu Deuda, Ben&Frank, Kushki, inCode, and Urbvan.



> SoftBank launched a US$200m SPAC to acquire a Latin American company in the mobile, AI, robotics, or cloud technology sectors.

> Alpha Capital, a US$200m SPAC led by Rafael Steinhauser formerly of Qualcomm Latin America and Alex Oxenrod of Argentine software company letgo, filed to list on the NASDAQ, and is looking to acquire a high-growth technology company in Latin America.

> Innova Capital and FJ Labs also launched a SPAC to acquire a Latin American tech-enabled company.

> HPX, a SPAC led by former Kraft-Heinz Brazil CEO Bernardo Hees, also raised US$220m in 2020 and is focusing on acquiring a company in the Brazilian market.



> #EXIT IGNIA Partners and Capital Invent exited Bind-ERP, a Mexican ERP software platform for SMEs, through a sale to SUMA, a financial management automation platform for SMEs backed by Riverwood Capital.

> #M&A #INSURTECH Argentine insurtech 123Seguro acquired Seguro Com Você, a Brazilian digital insurance broker, and launched operations in São Paulo.

  • Investors in 123 Seguros include Mercado Libre’s MELI Fund, NXTP, and Alaya Capital.

> #M&A Whyline, a US-based appointment scheduling platform, acquired ReservaTurno, an Argentine booking and queue management platform for beauty salons.

  • Whyline first launched in Argentina and expanded operations into Brazil, Mexico, and Central America before entering the US market.

> #CROSSBORDER Shopee, one of Southeast Asia largest e-commerce platforms, with a market capitalization of US$120b, announced the expansion of its Brazilian operations.

> Rappi launched Rappi Travel, a flight and hotel booking platform, and launched RappiBank, its financial services division in Brazil.

  • Rappi was selected for inclusion in YC’s Top Companies list, which includes the accelerator’s companies with the highest valuation or largest exit as of January 2021.

> OpenPay, a Mexican e-commerce payment platform that partnered with BBVA, launched operations in Colombia.

  • Colombia Country Manager Nicolas Rodriguez shared his view on the current state of the e-commerce landscape in Colombia.

> Brazilian Banco Inter partnered with delivery startup Delivery Center to add delivery services to its banking, credit, insurance, investment, and e-commerce services in Brazil.

> Brain Requarth of VivaReal and Latitud launched Viva the Entrepreneur, an e-book showcasing his journey building and merging VivaReal with Grupo ZAP, and his strategies to build founder communities in Latin America.

  • Miguel Armaza of WhartonFintech interviewed Brian on the launch and  on putting his experience on paper.

> #CLEANTECH Brazil Journal profiles Água na Caixa, a Brazilian D2C startup that is reducing plastic consumption by packaging purified water in wood and sugar-cane derived containers. Água na Caixa is bootstrapped and just raised R$3m from friends and family.

> Startup Oasis reviews the Paraguayan tech landscape in 7 startups paraguayas que deberías de conocer, featuring LatamcLick, Aumenta, TAXit!, Goiko, Po, Reva, and Codelife.

> #CRYPTO Rest of World reviews the development of the cryptocurrency landscape in Argentina and the role of emerging players like Decentraland in The Rise and Fall of the house of Bitcoin.

> 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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LAVCA recently interviewed Maria Pia Iannariello, Co-Founder & COO of MGM Innova Capital, about the opportunity for private capital and green infrastructure investments in Latin America.

"We have identified opportunities in sectors where high growth companies could benefit from our business model, such as telecommunications, where we see potential in energy storage solutions for remote communications towers, and in the foodtech and biotech industries, where there is a need for refrigerated storage facilities.”

READ the full interview, including a "sneak peek" at MGM Innova Capital's current pipeline and the fund's investment in Colombian foodtech RobinFood.



> #SPACE The Colombian Space Agency partnered with SpaceX to launch two satellites into orbit by 2022 to monitor water usage, agriculture development, and the rate of deforestation in the country.

> #POLICY The Mexican government is drafting a new Ley de Ciberseguridad with potential updates to the current penal code and the federal level regulation for telecom players.

  • The new legislation would include a nation wide protocol to assist victims of cyber attacks.
  • Jacobo Bello, Director of the Cybercrime Office at the National Guard: “Varios aspectos normativos ya están en puerta.”

> #POLICY New federal open banking regulations began operating in Brazil last Monday.

  • The first phase of the rollout will focus on payment institutions providing information on features and prices on banking products and credit operations.

> #5G #POLICY The Brazilian government will authorize Huawei’s participation in the auction of 5G networks scheduled for June.

  • The administration had been actively looking for legal recourse to ban the Chinese conglomerate from participating in the licensing of the local infrastructure.

> The medical records and C19 status of 220m Brazilians – essentially the entire population – were exposed in a massive data breach after a hospital worker uploaded a spreadsheet with login details for two government databases to GitHub.

  • President Jair Bolsonaro, his family, and seven ministers were among the parties compromised by the breach.

> LABS: With US-China relations shift ahead, Brazil will have to change its geopolitical approach.



> Mónica Engel of Quona Capital shares her views on financial inclusion and gender diversity in emerging markets. Mónica was selected by LAVCA as a Top Women Investor in LatAm Tech in 2020.

  • “Many talented women remain heads down and focused on their work, forgetting that professional development also requires periodically helicoptering up, assessing the landscape and one’s position. It is important that women not only do great work, but that others see it, which can include speaking up in meetings, leading initiatives and publishing insights. Many women get caught up in perfecting, pleasing or pacifying, rather than getting clear on what they need to achieve their goals and positioning themselves to be top of mind when opportunities arise.”

> Guilherme Lima of Astella Investimentos examines the current state of #CVC
investment in Brazil and the different approaches taken by corporations to partner with startups.

> Susana García-Robles of Capria Ventures and LAVCA shares her journey building WeXchange and the current role of gender inclusion in Latin American tech ecosystems in a conversation with LatinLeap.

 Nathan Lustig of Magma Partners shares his advice on the optimal legal structures for startups in Latin America, and Claire Díaz-Ortiz of Magma’s Brava fund shares her experience on succeeding in journalism and the current importance of leveraging social media for professional development.

> #CVC Rosario Cannata of EDP Ventures, the CVC arm of multinational energy conglomerate EDP, shares EDP’s decision-making process in structuring a CVC vehicle specific to Brazil.


> #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 is now open.

> IDB Lab launched a call for proposals for VC fund managers with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean seeking equity financing. Investment management firms with proven experience and presence in the region are welcome to submit a proposal.

> Iporanga Ventures is looking for an Operations Manager to expand its team. Candidates can apply here.

 Argentine accelerator CITES is looking for a Chief Investment Officer. Candidates with at least five years of professional experience can apply here.

 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 three+ years of professional experience, a rigorous analytical background, and strong interest in emerging markets are welcome to apply.

> 500 Startups will host Kavak’s CMO Nicolás Fernández on February 17 as part of the accelerator’s Growth Night series. Register here to attend.

> AC Ventures will host "Social Commerce: The Power of the Network" on February 17 to discuss the current state of retail and e-commerce with Laura Constantini of Astella Investimentos and Yienyee Soh of Avana. Register here to attend.

 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. Register here to attend.

 #SAVETHEDATE AMEXCAP will host Cumbre de Capital Privado 2021 on April 27 and 28. 

> #SAVETHEDATE ColCapital will host the IV Pacific Alliance Private Equity and Venture Capital Summit on April 13, 14, and 15. 

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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