LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin April 29, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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LAVCA, in collaboration with Latin American Tech Growth Coalition member Silicon Valley Bank, invites you to participate in a webcast on LatAm VC/Tech: Update on Data & Trends

WHEN: Wednesday, May 6, 2020
TIME: 1:00PM EDT (10:00AM PDT)
WHERE: Webcast

The discussion is hosted by SVB’s Director of LatAm Julia Figueiredo and moderated by LAVCA’s Executive Advisor, Susana Garcia-Robles. Panelists include: Andy Tsao, Managing Director, Global Gateway, SVBFrancisco Alvarez-Demalde, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Riverwood CapitalJulio Vasconcellos, Founding Partner, Canary and Managing Partner, Atlantico.

LAVCA’s Director of Venture Capital Julie Ruvolo will also present findings from LAVCA’s Annual VC/Tech Report, with new insights on year-end 2019 VC investment data, highlighted transactions, sector and country trends, and more. Sign up here to attend.



> #DEBT Colombian credit placement platform Avista raised a US$75m credit line led by undisclosed financial institutions. Avista was founded in 2019 and previously raised US$2m in seed funding.

  • Avista provides credit lines to under-banked Colombians and has a current loan portfolio of US$30m, focused on pensioners and government employees.
  • Avista launched a credit line of up to COP$120b to support the elderly during the 🦠 😷 COVID-19 crisis.

> ALLVP and NFX led a US$5.3m seed round in Nuvocargo, a Mexican freight transportation marketplace managing Mexico-US routes, with participation from Maya Capital, Magma Partners, One Way Ventures, and angels. CEO Deepak Chhugani shares:

"It feels odd to share good news amidst one of the world's most unprecedented crises, but we hope this announcement adds a small dose of hope and optimism in these strange times."

> #CVC DNA Capital led a US$4.5m Series B in Memed, a Brazilian provider of digital drug prescriptions, and followed on in Feegow, a Brazilian medical clinic software provider.

> TheVentureCity led a US$3m Series A in SimpliRoute, a Chilean logistics intelligence platform, to strengthen its presence in Mexico, Colombia, and Uruguay. ChileGlobal Ventures, Wayra Chile, and 500 Startups invested previously.

> Accion Venture Lab made an undisclosed investment in R5, a Colombian credit provider and financial education platform focused on under-banked Colombians.

> Colombian motorcycle manufacturer Auteco led a US$2m round in Muvo, a Colombian micromobility startup, to expand its bicycle fleet in Bogotá and Medellín.

> Mexican vocational training platform Aprende Institute raised a US$1.6m seed round with participation from Angel Ventures, Artisan Venture Capital, 500 Startups, and Claure Group. 

  • Aprende Institute is headquartered in Miami, has operations in Bogotá and Mexico City, and serves students across Spanish-speaking countries, as well as US Hispanics.
  • CEO Martin Claure says: "Aprende Institute has served more than 25,000 students across Latin America and the US, and is enrolling ~3,000 new students per month."

> UK-based real estate crowdfunding platform Bricksave raised a US$1.4m Series A from Seedrs, Kinled Holding, and Lab Ventures to expand operations from Argentina to Brazil.

  • Bricksave has a female founder and was a WeXchange finalist in 2019.

> KPTL made an undisclosed investment in Agrotools, a competitive intelligence platform for Brazilian agribusiness.

  • This is KPTL’s inaugural investment from Fund V, and Agrotools’ first external capital after self-financing for the past thirteen years.
  • Agrotools monitors over 200m+ hectares (including soy, cotton, coffee, cattle) and produces big data insights for corporate clients including McDonalds, Carrefour, Itaú, Cargill, and others. Agrotools also works with clients on supply chain compliance.

> Brazilian customer service automation platform Genoa Performance raised R$2.5m from Verus Group. 

> #M&A Magma Partners acquired Mexican accelerator Rampa Ventures. Pedro del Campo of Magma Partners shares: “Our Guadalajara office will help startups from both South America and the US accelerate their expansion into the Mexican market.”

> #M&A New York-based fitness platform unicorn ClassPass acquired MuvPass, and Clickypass, two regional fitness platforms operating in the Chilean and Argentinian markets, respectively. ClassPass entered the Brazilian market in December 2019.

> #ANGEL GVAngels led a R$1.3m investment in Sigalei, a Brazilian provider of big data focused on legislative monitoring.

> #CROSS-BORDER Hong Kong-based recruitment platform Talkpush raised an undisclosed amount from Latin Leap to bring its talent acquisition technology to Latin America.

> CORRECTION: Last issue we reported on Mozper’s US$770k from DUX Capital and angels. Mozper is a digital financial education platform, and not a consumer lending startup 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 Mountain Nazca exited Kavak, a Mexican marketplace for used cars, through a secondary sale to SoftBank and General Atlantic.

> #EXIT KPTL and Criatec 1 (managed by Antera Gestão de Recursos) exited their investment in Brazilian pharmaceutical company Grupo RPH through a sale to Ygeia Medical.



> Nubank launched a R$20m fund to assist customers with mental health services and credit to purchase essential goods.

> iFood has allocated R$15.6m of its R$50m fund to support partner restaurants during the crisis.

> Rappi is partnering with Colombian hardware startup KiwiBot to experiment with deliveries via robots on wheels in Medellin. #SOCIALDISTANCING

  • Rappi also expanded its RappiPay app through a partnership with Mexican fintech platform Arcus.

> Stone Pagamentos is expanding its partnership with telemedicine startup Vitta to offer free remote medical care to Stone customers.

> Colombian vehicle maintenance startup Autolab launched a sterilization service for taxis and ride-hailing services to reduce COVID-19 contagions in Bogotá, and a crowdfunding campaign to finance it.

>, the innovation arm of Albert Einstein in Brazil, shared a directory of startups that are working on solutions for COVID-19.

>, a Brazilian enterprise platform for mobile applications, developed a COVID-19 screening application for Hospital de Clinicas de Porto Alegre in Brazil to manage hospitalization decisions for patients with symptoms.

> Flapper, a Brazilian on-demand private aviation services provider, is partnering with embassies and local authorities in Latin America to help Brazilians abroad return home during the pandemic.

> Brazilian bus travel application ClickBus is offering free rides to encourage Brazilian customers to resume travel.

> Mexican consumer lending platform Kueski reduced its workforce in response to the crisis.

STARTUPS: How are you responding to the coronavirus pandemic? Share your updates by filling out this form.

> 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.



> SIGN UP for a new bi-weekly newsletter covering cross-border tech transactions and innovations with cross-border applications in a rapidly changing world. Geographies will include Latin America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and other emerging VC markets. Sign up here.



> Brazil's Caixa Economica Federal is launching a R$10b credit program for SMEs to weather the impact of the current crisis.

> #POLICY Asociación de Emprendedores de Mexico is proposing changes to the enforcement of competition law, citing a “lack of cooperation between authorities” and “long resolution times,” both of which apply to the pending Uber/Cornershop transaction.

> Brazilian Associação Brasileira de Startups launched a human capital platform to connect professionals whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic with startup job opportunities.

> CITES deep tech incubator is supporting the launch of healthcare and big data initiatives responding to the current COVID-19 crisis in the Argentinian province of Sunchales with US$20m in funding from SanCor Seguros.

> Alcaldia de Medellin launched Innova Por La Vida, a government-backed crowdfunding platform for healthcare infrastructure to help Colombians fight against COVID-19.

> Colombian founders launched Project Sunrise, a platform for Colombians to purchase prepaid meals from local restaurants. The initiative aims to help keep establishments afloat and has support from Nestle, Sura, and Central Cervecera.

> FT covers gender segregation experiments in Panama, Peru, and Bogotá to encourage social distancing — with mixed results.

> Stanford Graduate School of Business featured recent GSB alumni who launched startups in Mexico.

> Reuters talks with Muy, Ayenda, Mensageros Urbanos, and Ben & Frank in Coronavirus pushes Latin America's budding startups into survival mode.

> RioOnWatch: This Engineer from the Favelas is 3D-Printing Face Shields to Support His Community.

> Vanity Fair: Colombia’s Amazing Race to Build a US$1,000 Ventilator:

RutaN was looking for US$7m to underwrite not just the ventilator project, but three other COVID-19 initiatives: to ramp up testing, to develop apps and data tools, and to strengthen hospitals to protect doctors and patients.



> In March, Microsoft Brasil launched a R$50m fund to back women-led startups in Brazil. More on this initiative:

Mariano Amartino, Managing Director Microsoft for Startups: “The Women Entrepreneurship Initiative is part of our ongoing effort to support diversity and inclusion in the startup ecosystem. Investing in startups founded by women is a step in supporting the next generations of leaders.”

Microsoft Brasil General Manager Tania Cosentino: “By increasing the representation of startups led by women, we are not only supporting economic growth, we are also finding innovative new solutions to some of the toughest challenges in Brazil and around the world.”

> Mariano Amartino also shares his view on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region.

> LAVCA Executive Advisor Susana Garcia-Robles interviews Adriana Tortajada, SantanderX Global Director of Entrepreneurship, on key questions to ask an early-stage investor and the impact of the current crisis on the startup ecosystem. Adriana Tortajada shares:

Any entrepreneur who already has an ongoing business should plan for the next 12 to 18 months to be focused on acquiring new customers. All investing processes will slow down, and what took from three to four months now will take from six to eight and you must manage to survive during that period.”

> Laura Constantini of Astella Investimentos shares Astella's view on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis in startup valuations and on evaluating new and follow-on investment opportunities going forward:

Estamos cientes de que a cada crise, a humanidade se depara com novos costumes e novas oportunidades e acreditamos que hoje, mais do que nunca, temos ferramentas e tecnologias maduras para trazer várias das soluções e alternativas que o novo momento demanda e por isso, seguimos otimistas.

> Wayra released results of its COVID-19 survey of portfolio companies. 80% said they are not contemplating layoffs; 72% confirmed they have plans of expanding their teams.

> Carao Ventures shares specific strategies implemented by portfolio companies to adapt to the crisis, including healthtechs Huli and Speratum.

> Valor Capital, monashees, Redpoint eventures, Canary, SoftBank, and KaszeK Ventures share recommendations they are giving their portfolio companies on how to navigate the current environment.

> Mary Meeker of Bond Capital, author of the famed annual Internet Trends Reports, released a Coronavirus Trends Report with key takeaways on the impact of the current pandemic and the new role of technology in the healthcare system.

> Bill Gates takes a deep dive into the scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19 in The first modern pandemic.

> Marc Andreessen paints a specific picture of post-coronavirus tech in It’s time to build.

> First Round Capital shares insights from 10 years of venture investing. #1: Female founders outperform their male peers.

> INVESTORS: How are you responding to the coronavirus epidemic? How are you advising your portfolio companies? Fill out this quick form.


> NXTP is hosting a “El Día Después” webinar on agtech with IDB Lab, BASF, and Agrofy on April 30.

> Congrats to UNIMA, Lab4U, Fitco, and Social Diabetes for pitching at NXTP’s first Investor Day, focused on startups with over US$500k in funding in sectors relevant to the crisis.

ProColombia is hosting a digital pitch session on May 7. Colombian startups can apply here.

> 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.



> A musical experience by Travis Scott on Fortnite was viewed by a 12.3m players globally, and a cumulative 28m.

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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