LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin March 18, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> LAVCA warmly welcomes former Board Member and recently retired IDB Chief Investment Officer Susana Garcia-Robles to the organization as Executive Advisor.

> Following the transition of former LAVCA CEO Cate Ambrose to the Board of LAVCA, Ivonne Cuello, former Director of Business Development who joined the organization in 2014, has now stepped up to the role of CEO.

> Miguel Algarin assumed the role of LAVCA’s Director of Research and leads our core work around investment data and research.



In light of the spread of COVID-19 across the globe and to prioritize the health of our team, the LAVCA staff will be working remotely until further notice.

We don't anticipate an interruption in our outputs, nor our member benefits — with some limited exceptions for live meetings in the next few months, including postponement of our Encontro Anual Brasil and member dinner scheduled for April 22 in São Paulo. We will be in touch again when we have scheduled a new date.

#CORONAVIRUS Information & Resources:

> AS/COA: Where is the Coronavirus in Latin America? “It turns out it was just a matter of time.”

> Informative presentation from Stanford neurobiology and bioengineer professor Michael Lin gathering globally available data on COVID-19. Of note:

  • ~50% of cases do not have symptoms.
  • Given the virus’ genetic similarity to SARS, in fact the virus’ Genbank name is SARS CoV-2, “SARS2” would have been a more fitting name.
  • Its genetic similarity to SARS means we are not starting from scratch to identify drugs with activity against the virus.

> Azeem Azhar of The Exponential View looks at the coronavirus effect on society’s transition to exponential age.

> What happens when millions of people stay home?



> Telefonica, through its Innovation Ventures, made an undisclosed investment in Redpoint eventures.

  • Guenia Gawendo, leading Telefonica’s Innovation Investments, says this is part of the new funds strategy:

  • "For our first generation of funds, the Amerigo funds (including Invest Tech in Brazil, Scale in Chile and Axon in Colombia/Mexico), the main goal was to help develop the local ecosystems. At this moment, we are focused on key innovation poles for Telefonica (Silicon Valley and Israel), and on our key markets (Spain and Brazil). Brazil, where we chose Redpoint eventures as our local partners, is becoming a very exciting innovation ecosystem, and we hope to work closely with them to identify companies that can help Telefonica grow and accelerate its transformation."

> Microsoft Brasil launched a R$50m fund to back women-led startups in Brazil, as part of its Women Entrepreneurship initiative.



> #PROPTECH monashees and Class5 Global led a US$8.8m investment in TrueHome, a Mexican real estate platform, with participation from FJ Labs and follow-on from Mountain Nazca. This is Class 5’s first known investment in Mexico.

> Aurus and ChileGlobal Ventures (through its CLIN fund) made a US$3.8m investment in TIMining, a Chilean intelligent mining platform. CEO Nicolás Jubera plans to use the new funding to expand globally.

> #IMPACT Adobe Capital made an undisclosed investment in Puntored, a Colombian digital payments platform.

> Barn Investments made an undisclosed investment in Smilink, a Brazilian orthodontics startup.

  • Moons, a Mexico-based orthodontics startup, raised US$5m from Jaguar Ventures, Foundation Capital, Tuesday Capital, and others earlier this year.

> #PROPTECH Mexican proptech Multiburó raised US$700k from Mexico’s development bank, NAFIN, as well as angels in the real estate sector. This is the startup’s first institutional financing.

> #PROPTECH #ANGEL Brazilian proptech AoCubo raised R$1.2m from Brian Requarth (VivaReal) and Simon Baker.

> DOMO Invest made a R$2m investment in AtivUp, a Brazilian platform connecting companies with event marketing professionals. 

> Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 will invest US$75k in DataWifi (Colombia) and CINCO (Puerto Rico).

> CORRECTION: BTG Pactual did not participate in Vai.Car’s most recent R$380m round led by XP, as indicated in the March 4 newsletter.

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$2b in 2018, according to LAVCA data. Access LAVCA’s Annual Review of Tech Investment in Latin America for the details.



> #M&A Despite reports to the contrary, Mountain Nazca did not acquire Grow, nor does it own Peixe Urbano or Groupon LatAm. Former Mountain Nazca Chile partner Felipe Henriquez acquired the latter assets in 2017, and appears to have now struck a deal with Grow.

  • Hector Sepulveda shares: “Mountain Nazca is not related in any way to the transaction mentioned in the attached note. In other words Grin/Grow and Peixe/Groupon-Latam are not part or have never been part of our portfolio. Nonetheless, we wish these great companies, their employees and investors the best!
  • Grow’s M&A in the region includes Yellow, Flinto, and Ride. Grin and Yellow raised notably large Series A rounds in 2018, and another US$150m in 2019.
  • Grow exited Mexico City, one of the world’s largest rideshare markets, in 2019.

    > Nubank launched its Nu credit card in Mexico, with a waitlist of over 30,000.

    > Brazilian edtech Platzi launched a free course for aspiring entrepreneurs. Details here.

    > Check out LAVCA’s list of 258 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA, our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.



    > #CVC Wayra and IESE Business School, with support from CORFO, launched a new report on Corporate Venturing in LatAm, interviewing 133 chief innovation officers (and similar roles) alongside an analysis of 1,760 corporate subsidiaries in Latin America.

    • Miguel Arias, Telefonica’s Global Entrepreneurship Director: “Corporate venturing has become more than a fancy trend in Latin America.”


    > AWS announced plans to invest R$1b in data centers and service offerings in the state of São Paulo.

    > Microsoft is upping its investment in Mexico.

    > Facebook is expanding access to its photo-porting tool in Latin America.

    > Twitter is testing messages that disappear after 24 hours in Brazil.

    > Uber launched bike service in Santiago de Chile and scooter service in São Paulo.



    > Movile co-founder Eduardo Henriques shares Lessons On Downturns From Brazilian Entrepreneurs.

    > Sequoia Capital’s dire note on coronavirus has been making the tech rounds, asking founders/CEOs to look at their cash runway and a potentially less favorable fundraising environment. “In downturns, revenue and cash always fall faster than expenses.”

    > Magdalena Guzman (ACVC), Alejandra Perez (ChileGlobal Angels), and Sofia Grez (ChileGlobal Ventures) talk about the gender gap in Chilean venture capital.

    > Carolina Strobel, Operating Partner at Redpoint eventures, says we need to invest more in Latin American startups.

    > Magma Partners’ Sophia Wood rounds up recent LatAm tech activity for TechCrunch; Nathan Lustig gives his take on the uptick in VC funding for Nasdaq.


    > Flavio Dias, former CEO of Via Varejo, joins 500 Startups as a new Partner in Brazil.

    Globant is accepting applications for its corporate accelerator. Google for Startups is accepting applications for its LatAm and Brazil acceleration programs. Globant and Google are members of the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition to support high-growth startups in the region. 

    > YC will host interviews for its S20 batch in São Paulo on May 16-18. Startups can still apply here.

    > BHP and ChileGlobal Ventures are looking to support projects focused on climate change, including decentralized energy and infrastructure. Apply by March 29.

    > Investors from MAYA Capital, Canary, Astella, Innova Capital, Positive Ventures, Wayra, Google, 500 Startups, and others are offering free mentoring for female entrepreneurs through Female Force LATAM.


    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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