LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin October 2, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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LAVCA VC 2019 Photos

LAVCA Week took place in New York last week and concluded with the Venture Investors Annual Meeting in Tribeca on Sept. 26, with record attendance from investors, and participation from invited startup CEOs for the first time. We especially enjoyed global 🌍 perspectives from speakers from Shanghai ➡️ Lagos.

Big thanks to our sponsors, IDB Lab, Silicon Valley Bank, ABVCAP/ApexBrasil, and the following members of the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition: Amazon Web Services, Inc., Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Riverwood Capital, SoftBank, Visa, and Wayra/Telefonica Open Innovation.

special thanks to the following LAVCA members and partners in attendance:

    ABVCAP, AC Ventures, ACAFI, Adobe Capital, Alaya Capital Partners, ALLVP, Altment Capital Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners, Amazon Web Services, Inc., AMEXCAP, ARCAP, Artha Partners, Astella Investimentos, Aurus Capital, Baker & McKenzie, Beccar Varela, BlueBox Ventures, Bossa Nova Investimentos, BRE Capital, Brigard & Urrutia, Canary, Candido Martins Advogados, Carao Ventures, ChileGlobal Ventures, CITES, Colombia Fintech, CRP Companhia de Participações, Cygnus Capital, DEG mbH, Development Bank of Jamaica, DGF, DILA Capital, DOMO Invest, e.Bricks Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, EY, Facebook, FESA Group, Finnovista, Flourish Ventures, Fortaleza SAFI, General Atlantic, Global Founders Capital, Globant Ventures, Google, Gunderson Dettmer, HarbourVest Partners, IDB Invest, IDB Lab, IGNIA Partners, Indicator Capital, Innogen Capital Ventures, Invermaster Ventures, InvestChile, Iporanga Investimentos, Jaguar Growth Partners, Jaguar Ventures, Kamay Ventures, KaszeK Ventures, KIO Networks, Lafise Investment Management, LIV Capital, Marval O'Farrell & Mairal, Mercado Libre, Microsoft, monashees, Mountain Nazca Mexico, Movile, Mubadala, Nexus Group, NXTP Labs, PC Capital, Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uría, Polymath Ventures, ProColombia, Qualcomm Ventures, Redpoint eventures, Riverwood Capital, Shearman & Sterling, Silicon Valley Bank, Stifel Investment Bank, SoftBank, Telefonica, Temasek, TPG Growth, TheVentureCity, Valor Capital Group, Variv Capital, Visa, Wayra Argentina, Wayra Peru

    *Names in bold are members of the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition.


> #DEBT Mexican lending platform Konfio raised a US$250m debt round from Goldman Sachs (US$100m) and Victory Park Capital (US$150m), not US$100m as previously reported. Equity investors include Vostok Emerging Finance, Jaguar Ventures, KaszeK Ventures, Quona Capital, QED Investors, the IFC, and others.

> SoftBank is doubling down on Banco Inter, a publicly traded Brazilian digital bank, shortly after acquiring an 8.1% stake for ~R$760m in shares.

> SoftBank led a US$110m investment in MadeiraMadeira, a Brazilian home goods e-commerce startup, with participation from Light Street Capital and follow-on from Flybridge Capital. KaszeK Ventures and monashees invested previously.

  • CEO Daniel Scandian told Reuters the company is break-even, although it’s unclear if that was before or after the capital raise.

> ThornTree Capital Partners led a R$90m investment in Liv Up, a Brazilian meal kit delivery service, with participation from KaszeK Ventures, Spectra, and Endeavor Catalyst. KaszeK invested US$2.7m in 2017. iFood founder Patrick Sigrist and Rapiddo CEO Guilherme Bonifácio invested previously.

  • Industrial engineers Victor Santos and Henrique Castellani founded Liv Up in 2016 to provide healthy food for children and families. READ LAVCA's interview with CEO Victor Santos below.

> #DEBT #CVC Mexican digital banking startup Klar raised US$7.5m in equity and US$50m in debt financing. Quona Capital led the US$7.5m equity investment, with the participation of Santander Innoventures, aCrew Capital (a new fund spun out of Aspect Ventures), FJ Labs, and Western Technology Investment. Arc Labs provided the US$50m debt financing.

> #IMPACT Oikocredit and Incofin CVSO led a US$8m Series A investment in Sempli, a digital lending platform for small businesses in Colombia, with participation from IDB Lab, XPT1 Fund, Generación Exponencial, Impulsum Ventures, and others.

  • Sempli CEO Esteban Velasco spoke at LAVCA’s Venture Investors Annual Meeting last week in NY on debt and credit financing for Latin American startups.
  • B Corp recently recognized Sempli as a top-performing B Corp.

> Confrapar invested R$20m in Vindi, a Brazilian SaaS billing platform. In 2017, Vindi raised R$5.8m from Criatec2, managed by Crescera Investimentos (formerly Bozano Investmentos).

> DGF led a R$18m investment in Stilingue, a Brazilian social media monitoring startup, at a reported R$100m valuation. This is the company’s first institutional financing.

> #HRTECH Vostok Emerging Finance led a US$13m investment in Xerpa, a Brazilian human resource management platform, with follow-on from KaszeK Ventures, Redpoint eventures, and QED Investors.

> #HEALTHTECH Valor Capital led a US$2m investment in TNH Health, a Brazilian healthtech startup that developed a chatbot within Facebook Messenger to provide virtual psychology services free of charge.

> Carao Ventures led a US$2m investment in Huli, a Costa Rican healthtech SaaS platform founded by Alejandro Vega. Huli raised US$1.75m previously from Innogen Venture Capital and others.

> Global Founders Capital led a R$4m investment in, a Brazilian proptech providing financial management for condominiums, with participation from angels including Brian Requarth (VivaReal/GrupoZAP) and Bruno Nardon (Rappi Brasil). The founders worked previously at iFood, Easy, and Vitta and cite a highly fragmented market.

> Global Founders Capital led a US$1.3m seed investment in provi, a Brazilian financing platform for educational courses, with participation from angel group Fundação Estudar Alumni Partners (FEAP).

> Fundo BR Startups, managed by MSW Capital, invested R$2.5m in Árvore Educação, a Brazilian edtech that resulted from the merger of Árvore de Livros and Guten.

> #HRTECH Brazilian HRtech BossaBox raised a R$1.6m seed round from Redpoint eventures and angels including Diego Gomes (Rock Content), Renato Freitas (Yellow/99), and Pedro Sirotsky (Barrah B1).

> Bossa Nova Investimentos made a new investment in Clean Cloud, a Brazilian cloud management tool for AWS, and followed on in the Series A for Rabbot, (formerly CarGuru).

> Axon Partners made an undisclosed investment in Billpocket, a Mexican payments fintech. This is Axon’s first investment in the company.

> Bynd, a Brazilian corporate rideshare startup, raised R$1.2m in equity crowdfunding on EqSeed.


    > Grupo Globo invested R$35m in Bom Pra Crédito, a Brazilian consumer lending platform, in a media-for-equity deal.

    • Innova Capital led a R$22m Series A investment in Bom Pra Crédito in 2018, with participation from Astella Investimentos, which led the company’s seed round in 2017.

    > Quicko, a Brazilian smart mobility startup working on commuter transit, raised US$10m from CCR, a Brazilian infrastructure conglomerate, and J2L Partners.

    > Wayra Peru invested in Colombian fintech IMIX.

    > PasajeBus, a Chilean bus ticketing online travel agency, raised an undisclosed Series A from strategics Kaufmann and

    > Banregio, a regional bank in Northern Mexico, invested US$500k in Play Business, a Mexican equity crowdfunding platform.

    > #IMPACT #ISRAEL Agritask, an Israeli precision agtech startup, raised a R$5m Series A from InsuResilience, a German state-owned bank, managed by impact firm BlueOrchard, with participation from Barn Investmentos.

    • Agritask has operations in Latin America, Africa, Canada, and Israel.


> LAVCA welcomes new member DOMO Invest.

DOMO Invest is a Brazilian venture capital firm that invests in best in class entrepreneurs. DOMO Invest started from the collective desire of its founding partners to contribute to the success of the next generation of Brazilian entrepreneurs. GPs have founded companies such as Buscapé in Brazil. The team was also among the early investors in Loggi, Gympass, Hotmart, and others.

💸 Recent investments: Turbi and Fretadão (mobility); MLabs (social presence for SMBs).

📇 Key contacts: Marcio Zarzur, Gabriel Sidi, Rodrigo Borges.

> LAVCA published an updated directory of VC/Tech members, with profiles on 75+ firms active in Latin America.



Minuto Seguros

Industrial engineers Victor Santos and Henrique Castellani founded Liv Up in 2016 to provide healthy food for children and families. The Brazilian meal kit delivery service delivers ready-to-heat, flash-frozen meals, snacks, spreadables, and soon, cold pressed juices, and yogurt. Liv Up just raised a R$90m round from ThornTree Capital Partners, KaszeK Ventures, Spectra, and Endeavor Catalyst.

LAVCA: What’s the opportunity for subscription-based meal kits in Brazil versus the US or other markets?

Victor Santos: We asked ourselves this question so many times in 2015 when there was loads of capital financing to meal kit companies in the US. We decided to go a different way and launched ready-to-heat meals as our first category. Meal kits are an interesting alternative for those who have extra time and are looking for a nice and fun cooking experience, but we don’t think this is an effective solution to bring convenience.

Upcoming product launches? Estadão mentioned you are testing a restaurant service in São Paulo that will deliver ready-to-eat (versus frozen) meals.

Being a direct-to-consumer brand enabled us to collect lots of feedback and count on our customers to assist us on what to do next. We got so many suggestions to bring our quality meals through a restaurant experience that we decided to take this step now.

How do you define “healthy food”?

It has to be good for our bodies, but it has to respect the environment and create positive social impact in the whole supply chain, from farmers to customers. We work with organic producers and small farmers to bring the best ingredients to our customers, purchasing over 30 tons of organic vegetables and greens every month. We only use natural ingredients: no chemicals, no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives. They are completely off the table for us.

What is the goal of your disruption?

Latin America’s food market is huge and traditional companies are still creating and providing products like they used to do decades ago. We believe there’s such a great opportunity to put consumers back in the center of the food R&D process, reconnecting people with great products and awesome experiences.



> Fortune interviews Cristina Junqueira, Co-Founder and CMO of Nubank, which now has over 12 million customers:

"I worked for the largest incumbent bank in Brazil for five years, and I was just done making rich people richer. I was trying to make a lot of changes to make consumers' lives better, and failing miserably at it. And at some point I was like, you know what, I’m done."

> #M&A Neon Pagamentos acquired MEI Fácil, a provider of services for micro-entrpreneurs. Neon investors include monashees, Quona Capital, Flourish Ventures, Propel Venture Partners, and others.

> Loggi is looking to hire 1,000 engineers in Brazil and Portugal.

> Creditas opened a tech center in Spain.

> Alameda, a Mexico-based home furnishings e-commerce platform backed by DILA Capital and Angel Ventures Mexico, opened its first retail store in Colombia.

> Revolut, a London-based finance app, partnered with Visa to expand to 24 new markets.

> 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.

> 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.



> Axios: Google announced a 1.6 gigawatt package of renewable power deals in the U.S., South America and Europe that it’s calling the "biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history."

> Airbnb launched its first Latin American support center in Bogotá.

> WSJ: Private Companies Shake Up Mexico City’s Earthquake-Alert System.

> New York Times: How YouTube Radicalized Brazil: Reality, he said, is shaped by whatever message goes most viral.

> #CRYPTO Bloomberg: Venezuela Has Bitcoin Stash and Doesn’t Know What to Do With It.

> 🦄 New CEOs for the most valuable American unicorns: Adam Neumann is out at WeWork and there will be no IPO in 2019; and Juul replaced its CEO Kevin Burns with a big tobacco exec while the Altria/Philips Morris merger is on hold with all the vaping deaths.



    > Google, MercadoLibre, Airbnb, and other members of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Internet (ALAI) are in favor of a digital VAT tax the Mexican government is looking to implement in 2020, in support of Mexico’s economic development.

    > Many but not all Mexican fintechs (specifically, online payment processors and collective financing service providers) have applied to operate under Mexico’s new Ley del Fintech.

    > California signed a landmark bill reclassifying gig economy workers as employees, not contractors. Uber has indicated it won’t comply, arguing that drivers aren’t core to its business.



> IDB Group and SoftBank partnered to support startups in Latin America and the Caribbean. As part of the partnership, IDB Group will provide guidance to SoftBank on ESG practices in the region.

> Quartz released its list of 2019 Quartz Africa Innovators. Iyin Aboyeji, co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela, sees little separation between building tech and trying to improve his country or the continent:

“I don’t want entrepreneurship as it’s currently used today to be a tool for further impoverishing the poor.”

> Bloomberg interviews AllianzGI CEO Utermann on impact investing and their new equity/debt fund to invest in sustainable projects in Europe.

> WSJ: More Companies Are Making Noise About ESG.

> The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum will take place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 2-3. Register here.

> Alterna, in collaboration with New Ventures, is hosting the Latin American Impact Investment Forum for Central America and the Caribbean (FLII CA&C) on November 13-14 in Antigua, Guatemala. More information here.

> LAVCA members have a discount to the GSG Impact Summit, hosted by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, taking place Nov. 18-20 in Santiago, Chile. Details here. Contact Catalina Santos ( for information about the discount.


> LAVCA is hosting Family Office/VC Workshops in Medellin (Nov. 12 @RutaN) and Santiago de Chile (Nov. 14 @Carey Abogados). .

  • This half-day program is designed for family offices investing in tech startups, as well as VC fund managers on their first and second funds, new corporate ventures, heads of accelerators, and notable angel investors, and will focus on how to best prepare your portfolio companies to receive follow-on capital.
  • 🙌 Special thanks to lead sponsor Amazon Web Services, Inc., and hosts RutaN and Carey Abogados for their support to deliver practical training to Latin America’s emerging cohort of tech investors.
  • Participation is by invitation only. Qualified investors may contact Julie Ruvolo ( to request an invitation.

>  📣 Are you a woman in STEM? IDB Lab and WeXchange are conducting important research on the current state of women entrepreneurs in STEM in LatAm. The report will be presented at WeXchange this year. WeXchange is taking place November 13-14 in Asuncion, Paraguay. 

Join us for AMEXCAP's Mexico VC Day, Oct. 17th in San Francisco, in partnership with LatinSF. Register here

Join ARCAP for a fireside chat with Marcelo Claure and Andy Freire of SoftBank, Oct. 9 in Buenos Aires. Details here.

Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 welcomes 42 startups from ten countries to its seventh cohort.

> The Peru Venture Capital Conference, hosted by COFIDE, Ministerio de Producción, Startup Perú, BID Lab, UTEC Ventures, ESAN is October 16-17 in Lima.

> Endeavor Peru is hosting an event to match international VCs with local entrepreneurs on Oct. 16 in Lima. For more info, contact Maria Fe Canovas,

> The University of Cambridge is hosting its first Latin American Business Summit (LABS), a five-day event in Santiago, Chile Nov. 3-8. Details here.

> Scotiabank is hosting the Latin America Innovation & Disruption Forum in Mexico City on November 12-13. Topics include retail, tech media & telecom, food & beverage, cannabis, and financials. Details here. 📧 Contact  Marcela Villarreal ( to participate.

> Facebook Accelerator CDMX, in partnership with MassChallenge Mexico, is hosting a free 8-week acceleration program for Mexican startups. Apply by Oct. 3.

> Applications for Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech Mexico City close Oct 13. Apply here.

> 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



> LAVCA is updating our list of Top Women Investors and Emerging Women Investors. 📢 Please nominate female partners, associates, principals, and angels on your radar by filling out this brief nomination form.

> Wayra and The Venture City partnered to co-invest in deep tech startups in Latin America, including AI, ML, IoT, and cybersecurity.

> Reuters: SoftBank is exploring synergies between its global and Latin American portfolios.

> Thiago Paiva of Liquia Digital Assets for TechCrunch: The emergence of super apps in Latin America.



> 🌳 New York Times: Where Is the Amazon Rainforest Vanishing? Not Just in Brazil. "Mr. Bolsonaro’s aggressive weakening of forest protections seems to be influencing officials in neighboring countries, just as Brazil’s previous leadership on the environment did."

> Gizmodo: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Are Breeding in Brazil, Despite Biotech Firm's Assurances to the Contrary.

> A new study on city preparedness for AI says 46% of Chinese citizens see data privacy violations as the No. 1 risk from AI, and 95% of Shanghai residents believe technological change will make their lives better (the global average is 69%).

> WIRED: How reliable is a Fitbit in a murder trial?: A Brutal Murder, a Wearable Witness, and an Unlikely Suspect.

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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