LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin August 5, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> REMINDER: VC/tech investors, corporates, and select VC-backed startup founders and CEOs are invited to LAVCA's annual investor meeting scheduled for September 14-17.

The 2020 LAVCA Week agenda will be organized around a series of virtual meetings and content for private capital investors from Latin America and around the globe. Details and registration here.

> The Latest Program Highlights:

📢 Keynote Address by Howard Marks, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Oaktree Capital Management

🔥 Fireside Chat with David Velez, CEO, Nubank

🌎 The Global VC Context with Virginia Tan, Founding Partner, 
Teja Ventures, Kuo-Yi Kim, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Monk's Hill Ventures, and Karthik Prabhakar, Executive Director, Chiratae Ventures

💻 Accelerating the Evolution of Consumer Behavior with Farah Khan, Partner, L CattertonFlavia Almeida, CEO, Peninsula Participações, and Matias Muchnik, CEO, NotCo

💸 Private breakouts and roundtables on Women in Private Capital;
Opportunity Funds; Venture Debt; CVC; and Startup Founders

View the agenda-at-a-glance. REGISTER by August 7 for the early bird rate. 



> Redpoint eventures, Spectra, and Fir Capital invested R$115m in ABC da Construção, a Brazilian construction finishing company, to fuel its digital expansion.

> #DEBT Arc Labs made a US$25m debt investment in, a Mexican proptech focused on the purchase, renovation, and resale of residential real estate. ALLVP led Flat’s US$4.5m pre-seed round in 2019. Flat is part of the current YC cohort.

  • Co-Founder Bernardo Cordero sheds light into Flat’s expansion plans and how the company is navigating the current C19 crisis: “We are currently in 40 neighborhoods in Mexico and will be expanding that to be present in most of Mexico City by the end of the year. During C19 we’ve been able to sell most of the initial inventory we had purchased….the current situation also enhances the need for low-touch, highly digital processes, which fits perfectly for the solution we are building.”

> Redpoint eventures led a US$11m Series B in Magnetis, a Brazilian personal finance management platform, with follow-on from Vostok Emerging Finance. Magnetis raised a R$17m Series A in 2018 from monashees and Vostok Emerging Finance.

  • Magnetis aims to use the newly raised capital to reach R$1b in AUM in the next 12 months.

#EDTECH Iporanga Ventures led a R$5m round in Classpert, a Brazilian search engine for online courses, with participation from Canary. Classpert is a spinoff of Quero Educação, a Brazilian marketplace for school discovery, according to Co-Founder Felipe Jordao, who shares: “There's a lot of work to be done in the field of organizing content created by third parties.”


> #HEALTHTECH SoftBank made an undisclosed Series B investment in iClinic, a Brazilian healthtech platform focused on providing electronic health records, as well as marketing and billing services to independent medical practices.

> MatterScale Ventures invested US$5m in Torre, a Colombian talent search and job matching platform targeting young professionals.

> Quest Venture Partners made a US$4m follow-on investment in dataPlor, a Brazilian startup crowdsourcing local retail market intelligence, with participation from Space Capital and FF Venture Capital. Quest Venture Partners led an undisclosed seed round in the company in 2019.

> Miami-based Clout Capital invested US$2m in ComunidadFeliz, a Chilean operations and finance management platform for condominium administrators and tenants. Wayra, BlueBox Ventures, and Mexican real estate company Tierra y Armonía were among ComunidadFeliz’s previous investors.

> Pathfind, a Brazilian route optimization platform for enterprise logistics, raised R$10m from unnamed investors.

> Allievo Capital, Caravela Capital, and Fundacao Estudar invested US$2m in Mottu, a Brazilian motorbike rental service for last-mile delivery companies.

> Magma Partners and LEAP Global Partners invested US$1.2m in ARCA, a Mexican insurtech marketplace focused on car insurance, with participation from insurance company Grupo Peña Verde.

> #CHANGETHERATIO Women Entrepreneurship Ventures (WE Ventures), a R$50m fund Microsoft launched to back women-led startups in Brazil, invested R$1m in PackID, a Brazilian food logistics services platform focused on temperature and humidity monitoring, in March. PackID raised R$1m from GV Angels, ACE, and others in 2019.

  • This is Microsoft’s inaugural investment from its fund for women-led Brazilian entrepreneurs. 

> #IMPACT Barn Investments made an undisclosed investment in Origem Motos Eléctricas, a Brazilian manufacturer and B2B provider of electric motorbikes. Brazilian accelerator Cotidiano and SMU Crowdfunding are previous investors.

  • Co-Founder Diogo Lisita shares his view on the current incentive for businesses to switch to electric logistic solutions: “We believe there must be a way to charge a motorbike that is as convenient as refilling an ICE (internal combustion engine) in order for riders to shift from gas to electric motorcycles. We are tackling this by building a network of battery swap stations in Brazil. We’re also seeing a large demand from an enterprise standpoint, given that a lot of companies that hold medium and large fleets are looking to "upgrade" their vehicles for electric ones due to their ESG goals.”

#PROPTECH Astella Investimentos made an undisclosed investment in Livance, a Brazilian on-demand office space provider for health professionals.

> Fundación Bancolombia and Fondo Acción made a US$500k investment in Awake Travel, a Colombian travel booking platform for eco-friendly trips.

> Manutara Ventures invested US$300k in IwanaCash, a Chilean fintech enabling cashback benefits for enterprises.

> Y Combinator invested US$150k in Conta Simples, a Brazilian finance management platform enabling SMEs to issue corporate cards for streamlining payments with suppliers.

> KPTL made an undisclosed investment in Syos, a Brazilian IoT platform focused on temperature and maintenance monitoring for commercial refrigerators. The investment in Syos comes from KPTL’s Criatec III Fund and will be allocated in installments that can add up to R$10m.

> Capital Invent and Soldiers Field Angels made an undisclosed investment in Hamoc, a Mexican proptech focused on residential rental management.

#BIOTECH New Age Capital, a NY-based VC fund focused on supporting Black and Latino founders, made an undisclosed investment in Spora Biomaterials, a Chilean biotech that aims to replace the use of animal leather with natural fibers derived from mushrooms.

#CVC Technology solutions company Nexaas and Rio-based investment fund Acrux Capital made an undisclosed investment in Engelink, a Brazilian proptech focused on supplier and maintenance management for condominiums.

> #ANGEL Anjos do Brasil and The Next Company made an undisclosed investment in Holistix, a Brazilian D2C social media driven startup focused on the health and wellness market.

> #ANGEL Peiky, a Colombian sales management tool for social media platforms, raised US$1.3m in a bridge round from unnamed angels.

> #ANGEL UDlab, a Brazilian dentaltech startup focused on streamlining prosthetic orders between dentists and laboratories, raised R$600k from unnamed investors. 

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$4.6b in 2019, according to LAVCA data



> Cventures, CRP, and Astella Investimentos exited Zygo Technology, a Brazilian customer loyalty platform for restaurants, through a sale to PagSeguro, a Brazilian mobile payments provider for SMEs.

> Dalus Capital exited Sirena, an Argentine sales and customer service management platform, through a sale to Zenvia, a Brazilian customer management and communications platform. Sirena is primarily focused on serving businesses within e-commerce, retail, finance, and health.

  • Co-Founder Julián Bender shares: “Sirena has customers in more than 20 countries. The objective of the operation is to further promote Zenvia's LatAm performance with the WhatsApp Business API, a Facebook technology of which the Brazilian technology company is Official Business Solution Provider.”



> Loft launched a R$360m real estate fund on B3, the São Paulo Stock Exchange. The capital is expected to enable the proptech to execute ~2,000 real estate transactions in the next three years, according to Mate Pencz, Founder of Loft.

  • Loft raised R$216m in its first Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário (FII) fund in 2019, from a mix of family offices and institutional real estate and credit investors, to finance the purchase of ~1,200 properties.

> #IMPACT ALIVE Ventures, formerly Acumen LatAm Capital Partners, reached a final close for its US$28m Latin America Early Growth Fund. The fund will focus on agribusiness, education, and clean energy in Colombia and Peru. LPs include Bancoldex, Mercantil Colpatria, Fundación Bancolombia, Fundación Sura, and Fundación WWB Colombia.

Bossa Nova Investimentos launched Pool Fintech, a R$5m fund focused on fintech investing led by former Banco Itaú CTO João Bezerra.

#CVC Minerva Foods, a Brazilian beef exporter, announced the launch of its CVC arm focused on high-growth digital sales startups within the agtech industry. Minerva Foods will first be looking at opportunities in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay.




LAVCA’s 2020 Latin American Startup Directory profiles 126 startups that raised at least US$1m in verified financing in 2019, a year of record venture investment in the region, with US$4.6b deployed.

The 2020 Startup Directory includes 51 startups that raised US$1m+ prior to 2019 and that raised a follow-on round of at least US$1m (and up to US$1b) in 2019, including, notably, unicorns Gympass, Loft, Loggi, Nubank, Quinto Andar, Rappi, and Wildlife Studios, as well as an additional 75 new startups that raised at least US$1m in VC funding in 2019 alone.

LAVCA also spoke directly with the CEOs of 74 of these startups to understand how they’re navigating 2020 year to date, in business terms as well as contributing to relief efforts in their markets of operation.


ACCESS LAVCA’s 2020 Latin American Startup Directory.

The Latin American Startup Directory is made possible with support from the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, IDB Lab, and INNpulsa.




SWAP, a Brazilian fintech services provider for enterprises launched by former Didi-99 executives, recently raised an undisclosed round from Global Founders Capital, ONEVC, and Flourish Ventures, with participation from angels Brad Flora (YC) and Patrick Sigrist (iFood).

LAVCA interviewed co-founders Douglas Storf, former Head of Strategy at 99, and Ury Rappaport, former Business Development Lead at 99, for more insight on SWAP and its current standing amid the C19 crisis.

LAVCA: Why did you launch SWAP in 2019 and what problem is the company trying to solve?

At 99, we realized how much the company relied on multiple integrations with different agents in financial services. On the passenger side, 99 was required to integrate with acquirers and accept as many payment methods as possible, and on the driver side, the company needed to handle disbursements via prepaid cards or bank transfers as efficiently as possible.

Managing the multiple payment providers was time consuming and laborious, especially when the legacy systems suffered from major outages. By the time 99 was sold to Didi Chuxing, the problem motivated us to work on a new initiative to create an internal fintech within 99 and optimize the financial flow to improve the experience of the user base and the overall unit economics.

After months of seeking an alternative infrastructure provider with no success, it became clear that there was a huge opportunity in the space. That was when we decided to leave the team at Didi and create our own "Banking as a Service" platform.

READ how the former 99 executives are building SWAP’s modular payment platform and providing focused solutions to replace in-house fintech infrastructure.



> #M&A Nubank acquired Cognitec, a US-based software engineering consultancy.

  • This is Nubank’s second known acquisition after the company acquired Plataformatec earlier this year.

> #M&A e.Bricks Ventures-backed Liber Capital acquired a majority stake in Adianta, a Brazilian receivables fintech for small businesses, and fully acquired Meerkat, a software development startup focused on facial recognition technology.

> #M&A Riverwood-backed Conductor, a Brazilian fintech focused on card issuance and payment management, acquired Muxi, a Brazilian fintech providing SMEs and retailers with transaction capturing services at points of sale.

 Rappi announced the launch of a zero-fee sales and deliveries management platform for restaurants to launch an online store and get access to marketing services.

> Creditas launched its payroll advance program for companies’ employees to gain access to their already-earned wages with additional flexibility.

> FitBank, a Brazilian fintech focused on payment settlements, announced plans to expand to Mexico, the US, and Argentina in the coming year. FitBank became J.P. Morgan’s first known strategic investment in the payments industry in Latin America earlier this year when the bank acquired a majority stake in the company.

 MUY Tech, a Colombian restaurant management platform, launched its first 100% contactless restaurant in Bogota, requiring no human interaction between restaurant employees and customers.

> NeoFeed ties the origin of Brazilian startups SWAP and Kovi back to the founders’ participation in Didi-backed 99.

> 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.



> SIGN UP for a bi-weekly newsletter covering cross-border tech transactions and innovations with cross-border applications in a rapidly changing world. Geographies include Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and other emerging venture+tech markets. View the latest issue, with seven rounds over US$100m, and sign up here.



> Mercado Libre announced a US$27m investment in a new distribution center located in Jalisco, Mexico.

  • Mexico Country Manager David Geisen: “We’ve added over one million buyers onto the platform in Mexico, among which 100,000 are from Jalisco. To satisfy this demand, we’ve decided to increase our funding in our logistics operations to guarantee delivery times.”
  • The Economist reviews Mercado Libre’s potential to become “Latin America’s next Alibaba”.

> TechCrunch: Facebook is fighting an order to globally block accounts linked to Brazilian election meddling.

 EBANX announced the launch of its debit and credit card payment processing operations in Uruguay, the ninth country in the company’s expansion plans.

> Didi launched Didi Solidario, a nation-wide delivery service for foundations and charitable institutions to mobilize resources across Chile at a discounted rate. 

> Brazilian online lender Banco Agibank launched its first concept store in Porto Alegre.


> Congratulations to the companies selected to participate in 500 Startups Batch 12: Agrapp, Chipax, Círculo de Belleza, Como Quiero, Güeno, Pagaris, Puramente, SeeMexico, Vech, and YoFío.

> Congratulations to Cecilia Flores of Webee Corporation, an Argentine IoT manufacturer, for winning US$2m at the Female Founders Competition hosted by Microsoft’s Venture Fund M12, Mayfield Fund, and Pivotal Ventures.

> Facebook launched Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity, and Facebook Accelerator: Commerce, two 12-week programs aimed at improving availability and affordability of internet access in Latin America.

> Polymath Ventures launched a six-month Service Design Fellowship based in Colombia to assist on the launch of new strategic initiatives with Polymath’s corporate partners. Applications are now open.

> Startup Chile launched its Growth program, aimed at supporting high-growth startups in more mature stages. Selected startups will be invited to participate in a twelve-month program and receive investment of up to US$100k. Applications are now open.

> BICTIA, a Colombian accelerator backed by ProBogotá Region, is accepting applications for its accelerator program that will include mentorship from key players such as Felipe Betancourt of Lifit, Patricia Saenz of EWA Capital. Applications close August 11.

AMEXCAP will host Cumbre AMEXCAP on August 12 and 13. Speakers include Maria Ariza of BIVA, Agustina Palmai of Mercado Libre, and Martin Escobari of General AtlanticRegistration is now open to investors. LAVCA Members and women investors please contact Catalina Santos to receive a discounted rate.

PECAP invites investors, startups, corporates, and other actors in the VC ecosystem to its 5th Perú Venture Capital Series 2020 (PVCS20) taking place August 18-20, 26 and 27. The event will focus on local and regional Peru VC activity. Access is complementary. Register here

Endeavor opened applications for its scale-up program for companies in the healthtech and construction sectors. Applications close August 28.

Embrapa, Venture Hub, and Bayer’s agricultural division launched an acceleration program for agtech startups in Brazil. Applications close September 1.


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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