LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin May 8, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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LAVCA Tech Report

VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$2b in 2018, according to LAVCA data.

Investment by traditional VCs as well as corporates such as Movile, Naspers, SoftBank, Tencent, and Delivery Hero are supporting a new wave of investments in startups in the region, including record US$100m+ rounds in logistics and distribution companies like iFood, Loggi, and Rappi, as well as fintech Nubank. And this doesn’t even account for the record investments we have already seen in 2019 like Rappi’s latest US$1b round (details below).

Read LAVCA’s Annual Review of Tech Investment in Latin America, prepared for Riverwood Capital’s Latin American Tech Forum in Miami, to drill down on top markets and sectors, top deals by amount, most active investors, new players, co-investments & more.


> SoftBank will invest US$1b in Colombian delivery app Rappi, split between SoftBank’s Vision Fund and the new SoftBank Innovation Fund. Rappi is the first disclosed investment from the US$5b Innovation Fund.

  • Rappi reached unicorn status in 2018 with a ~US$200m investment led by DST Global, with participation from existing investors including Sequoia Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors include Delivery Hero, monashees, Redpoint eventures, Y Combinator, FundersClub, and Foundation Capital.

> General Atlantic and SoftBank made an undisclosed investment in Mexican payments startup Clip. Reuters reports a round near US$100m at a valuation near US$400m.

  • General Atlantic invested previously in 2017. Other investors include Alta Ventures, American Express Ventures, Angel Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, Fondo de Fondos, General Atlantic, Sierra Ventures, and SV LatAm.
  • Check out our interview with Co-Founder & CEO Adolfo Babatz in New York.

> Riverwood Capital led a US$50m Series C in Technisys, a digital software platform operating in Latin America, the US, and Canada.

> Brazilian credit marketplace FinanZero raised R$42m from Atlant Fonder, Dunross & Co, Vostok Emerging Finance and others. FinanZero was founded by CEO Olle Widén in 2016 with Webrock Ventures and Zentro Global Partners.

> e.Bricks Ventures made an undisclosed Series A investment in Bcredi, a Brazilian real estate credit fintech. Bcredi was founded in 2017 as the digital arm of Banco Barigui and spun out in 2018 under the leadership of Co-Founder & CEO Maria Teresa Fornea.

> Seaya Ventures led a US$4m investment in MUY Tech, a Colombian restaurant management platform. This is Seaya’s inaugural investment in Colombia.

  • MUY co-founders José Calderón (CEO) and Miguel McAllister previously founded and sold it to Delivery Hero in 2014.

> Astella Investimentos led a R$6.8m investment in JOTA, a data intelligence platform focused on Brazilian state institutions. This is the company’s first institutional financing.

  • Co-Founder and CEO Marc Sangarné says JOTA’s clients are largely from the financial market, as well as large companies and law firms with institutional relationships.

> Portuguese VC Indico Capital Partners made its inaugural Brazil investment in
Zenklub, an online therapy and wellness platform.

> Chromo Invest led an undisclosed Series B investment in Fitpass, a Mexican fitness membership platform founded by Liza Schvartzman (CEO) and Karen González. #EXIT Previous investors Capital Deportivo and Soldiers Field Angels exited as part of the transaction.

> Wayra Colombia made its first investment of 2019 in Peiky, a Colombian sales management tool for social media platforms. Peiky is founded by Hernando Varón, Juan David Espinosa, and Ricardo Mendoza and is eyeing expansion to Perú and Mexico.

>  Brazilian medical device startup brain4care (formerly Braincare) raised US$5m from Horácio Lafer Piva and other angel investors. Brain4care’s device for non-invasive cranial pressure monitoring recently received approval from Anvisa to commercialize in Brazil.

> Digital hiring platform Zolvers raised US$500k from IDB Lab. NXTP Labs invested previously.  

  • Zolvers is based in Argentina and run by Founder & CEO Cecilia Retegui.
  • The marketplace to hire domestic workers also extends them credit through banking partnerships.

> #HEALTHTECH Verus Group and Brazilian angels invested R$800k in Fix it, a Brazilian company producing biodegradable and thermoformable plastic materials as an alternative to casts for joint immobilization. ACE invested previously.

  • Co-Founder Felipe Neves says the raw material is derived from sugar cane, beet, and corn and bio-degrades within 45 days.

> Crabi, a pre-launch Mexican auto insurance startup, raised a US$1.3m seed round led by an undisclosed family office, with participation from Redwood Ventures and angels.

> Variv Capital and Austrian VC Speedinvest made an undisclosed investment in Bnext, a Spain-based marketplace for financial products. Bnext is planning expansion into Latin Americas.

> #CVC UK-based SuperAwesome, a digital media platform for kid-safe content, made an undisclosed investment in KidsCorp, an Argentine adtech platform for kids.

> #CVC Samsung will invest R$200k each in Hoobox, Fofuuu, Sinte Soft, Epistemic, Keep Smiling, Olivas, Alltism, RealVM, Birdie, NavegAM, Tarvos, and Indwise as part of its Creative Startups acceleration program.



> #CVC Colombia’s Bancoldex announced a US$30m fund-of-funds for creative industry projects.

> #CVC Brazilian cosmetics company Natura will invest US$5m in VC funds targeting new beauty/wellness brands, including Dynamo Beauty Ventures.



> Magazine Luiza acquired Brazilian ecommerce brand Netshoes for US$62m.

> Brazilian education company Arco Educação acquired Positivo, an educational content provider, for R$1.65b.

  • Arco Educação IPO’d on the Nasdaq in 2018. Backers include General Atlantic.

> 99 Minutos, a Mexican ecommerce shipping platform, acquired MuvSmart, a Chilean last-mile delivery startup, for an undisclosed amount.

  • #CVC Engie Factory Mexico made a follow-on investment in 99 Minutos as part of the transaction.



LAVCA spoke with Angel Uribe, Partner at LAVCA+ member firm TPG, about TPG Growth's exposure to Latin America to date and the trend of tech-enabled services and products continuing to grow in sectors like education, financial services and healthcare:

“Today, Latin America is already one of the largest and fastest growing markets for some of our global consumer technology businesses such as Uber, AirBnB and Spotify.”

Uribe also talked about how Latin America represents an important opportunity for The Rise Fund given the region’s development potential and how collinearity between investment success and impact is key.

“Latin America represents an important opportunity for The Rise Fund given its development potential but also broader sectoral trends taking place in the region: a focus on education and digital literacy, a proliferation of mobile technology and regional and national efforts to expand clean energy.”

Read our interview here. TPG Growth’s investments in Latin America include Azul Linhas Aereas, one of largest airlines in Brazil, Resultados Digitais, the leading marketing automation platform for SMBs in the region, and Digital House, an education platform providing coding and digital skills in Brazil and Argentina.



> IDB Lab, in partnership with Switzerland, deployed a US$1.4m Social Impact Bond (SIB) to boost employment prospects for vulnerable communities in Cali, Colombia.

  • Operated by Fundación Carvajal, Fundación Colombia Incluyente, and Kuepa, this effort builds upon a previous SIB to finance social programs using a payment-for-results approach.

> The Knight Foundation is giving US$1m to nine projects fostering entrepreneurship in Miami.

> ImpactAlpha profiles New Ventures Mexico.



> Levita Magnetics got clearance from the US FDA to market its Levita® Magnetic Surgical System for use in prostate cancer surgeries in addition to weight loss and gallbladder surgeries.

  • Levita founder Alberto Rodriguez-Navarro is a former surgeon who spent ten years in a public hospital in a poor area of Santiago de Chile, where he says one of the biggest issues he faced was avoiding and reducing pain. He founded Levita Magnetics in 2012 to develop tech for doctors to perform less invasive surgeries.

> Colombian fintech Sempli and RutaN launched a new credit line for Pymes in Colombia.

  • Sempli investors include Oikocredit, IDB Lab, Velum Ventures, and others. Velum partners Esteban Velasco and Felipe Llano founded Sempli in part as a response to the unmet demand they saw for Colombian entrepreneurs to access capital.

> Nubank is expanding to Mexico under the name “Nu.

  • Nubank has over 8 million clients in Brazil. Co-founder Cristina Junqueira says they will start issuing cards in Mexico in the second semester.

> Brazilian neobank C6 Bank is opening an invitation-only beta. C6 Bank was founded by former BTG Pactual execs Marcelo Kalim, Carlos Fonseca, and Leandro Torres.

> Lentesplus, a Colombian eyewear ecommerce platform, launched a retail experiment

> Bloomberg reports SoftBank is talking to Creditas.

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



> Brazil introduced the Medida Provisória da Liberdade Econômica to reduce bureaucracy for startups and other small businesses.

> New legislation in Buenos Aires regulates e-scooters and clears the way for market expansion.



> Expansión: En 2018, las start-ups de América Latina recaudaron 2,000 MDD de inversión.

> Crunchbase News interviews ALLVP and QuintoAndar in Latin America Has ‘Arrived’ Among Global VCs.

> Reuters reports Huawei plans to invest US$100m in cloud infrastructure in Chile in the next few years.

> Americas Quarterly: Is Latin America Prepared for China's Booming Tech Investments?

> Reuters reports Brazil's Magazine Luiza will sell books online to compete with Amazon. Customers will pick up books from any of 1,000 retail locations.

> New York Times: Battle for .amazon Domain Pits Retailer Against South American Nations:

  • "Amazon is the world’s biggest online retailer. It is also the world’s largest rainforest. The question is who owns the name."

> #ICYMI Term Sheet says LATAM IS RISING in the lead item of its April 24 issue.

> Bloomberg goes inside the world’s most valuable company (not Apple):

[Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella] insists the valuation—which passed US$1 trillion on April 25 and is up more than 230% since his watch began in February 2014—is “not meaningful” and any rejoicing about such an arbitrary milestone would mark “the beginning of the end.”

> FT profiles Rivigo, BlackBuck and Delhivery in Start-ups vie to lead India’s logistics revolution.



> LAVCA welcomes new member ChileGlobal Ventures.

> ChileGlobal Ventures is the VC arm of Fundación Chile. To date, ChileGlobal Ventures has partnered with 175+ startups, invested US$105m+ and executed 19 exits. The fund also developed Chile’s most active angel network with over 90 investors.



LAVCA Tech in Mexico

LAVCA, with support from Latin American Tech Growth Coalition member Facebook, conducted an Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups  to capture and report on the evolution and impact of 220+ of the region's leading early stage tech companies. Download it here


  • Experience: 66% of participating founders have started multiple companies; 59% advise other startups
  • Growth: 89% of startups reported positive net revenue growth for 2017-2018
  • Impact: 59% of startups are measuring some form of impact; job creation and financial inclusion top the list

> Thanks to all who participated. Download it here.

Powered by:

> VC/tech investors and qualified entrepreneurs are invited to join us for LAVCA Encontro Anual Brasil May 15 at Google in São Paulo. The 2019 program includes:

  • 🔥 Fireside Chat with Marcelo Loureiro, Co-Founder of Grow Mobility
  • 🔥 Fireside Chat with Stelleo Tolda, COO of MercadoLibre, & Helisson Lemos, COO of Movile
  • 🍽️ LAVCA members are invited to a private member-only dinner hosted by Latin American Tech Growth Coalition member Microsoft following the meeting.

✉️ Contact Leah Galamba ( to see if you qualify to attend. Discounted rate available for female investors, Endeavor Entrepreneurs, Members of the LAVCA Startup Directory, and LAVCA Startup Survey Participants.

> Investors from MAYA Capital, Innova Capital, Positive Ventures, Wayra Brasil, Google, and others are offering free mentoring for female entrepreneurs through Female Force LATAM. XX entrepreneurs, sign up here for free mentoring and spread the word. #CHANGETHERATIO

LatinSF is hosting an Innovation Tour in Medellin, Santiago, and Buenos Aires, May 12-17. LatinSF is a public-private partnership to promote business between San Francisco and the Latin American region. Apply to join.

LAB Ventures hosts the Future of Real Estate Tech Summit on May 14. The program will include a pitch competition for real estate & construction tech startups. 

MIT is hosting the Inclusive Innovation Challenge in LatAm to award entrepreneurs using tech to drive economic opportunity for workers. Apply here.

GSMA hosts the Mobile360LatAm conference June 4-6 in Mexico City. Details here.



> Anderson Thees of Redpoint eventures recaps last week’s Brazil in Silicon Valley conference: “Rich people were impressed that richer ones were there.”

> Laura Constantini of Astella Investimentos shares insights from the Kaufmann Fellows Summit in Tokyo (em português).

> FT: SoftBank’s cash has poured out — it’s starting to come back. Related: The Vision Fund is considering an IPO.

> Bloomberg: Billionaire Laurene Powell Jobs Turned Her LLC Into a VC Machine:

"The idea behind those investments isn’t to reap a huge return, Powell Jobs has said. She declined interview requests for this article. Instead—as may be fitting for a member of the Jobs family—the goal is to help push along companies that have the potential to transform industries, or the world.”



> #HUMANE TECH Axios Login: Tristan Harris and the humane tech movement want to see the tech industry fundamentally realign its priorities, shifting to meeting human needs rather than profiting from human attention.

> #CHINA Human Rights Watch: How Mass Surveillance Works in Xinjiang, China: Chinese authorities are using a mobile app to carry out illegal mass surveillance and arbitrary detention of ~1 million Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang region.

  • Chinese facial recognition startup Face++ (also known as Megvii) is part of the tech being used. Face++ has raised over US$750m at a valuation over US$4b from Bank of China, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Alibaba and others.

> #FOODTECH Plant-based beefmaker Beyond Meat IPO’d last week in what Dan Primack calledthe best IPO day performance since before the financial crisis.” What you need to know:

  • 90% of the company’s customers identify as carnivores.
  • Livestock are responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gases.
  • McDonalds’ former CEO is an investor and board member, but the company has no commercial deal with McDonalds. You can buy Beyond Meat products at Del Taco and Carls Jr, however…
  • CEO Ethan Brown: “Why go through all the trouble of using the animal or any organism if you don’t need to. The animal is just taking all of that material from the plant and organizing it in a certain way.”

> 🌌 #SPACE The New Yorker: The Race to Develop the Moon.


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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