LatAm Venture Bulletin February 8, 2017

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> Peter Thiel said not to take him literally, but Trump is serious about trying to build a wall and keep refugees and immigrants from various parts of the globe out of the US. Axios says H1-B visas are next: "Short of shutting down the visas, Trump could administratively strangle the program or work with Congress to significantly slash it.”

The Verge and Quartz round up how Silicon Valley CEOs are reacting to Trump’s immigration ban. A #deleteuber campaign that unsubscribed over 200,000 customers helped pressure Uber CEO Travis Kalanick to leave Trump’s business advisory council and launch a US$3m fund for affected drivers.

Buzzfeed says Trump’s Bullying Of Mexico Is Bringing Latin America Closer Together. WSJ says Con muro o sin él, los empresarios de ese país siguen adelante. Partners at IGNIA Capital, Dila Capital, and 500 Startups in Mexico agree.

And Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto says he’s doubling down on ties to the region:

  • En Centroamérica, se fortalecerá la presencia de México como un actor propositivo en temas de interés común, como desarrollo, integración económica, migración y seguridad.
  • México profundizará su vinculación con países con los que no había sostenido acercamientos óptimos y para los que ahora se presentan oportunidades, como Argentina y Brasil.
  • Se continuarán construyendo logros concretos con las naciones de la Alianza del Pacífico.

> General Atlantic made an undisclosed investment in PayClip (formerly Clip). Luis Cervantes, General Atlantic’s head of Mexico, has joined the board. PayClip raised an US$8m Series A in 2015 led by Alta Ventures, with participation from AMEX Ventures, Sierra Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and Angel Ventures Mexico. General Atlantic’s current portfolio in the region includes Argentina’s and Brazil’s SAS Sistema de Ensino.

> Redpoint eventures made an undisclosed Series A in Brazilian electronic payment processor and SaaS company, Pismo.

Rise Capital joined existing investors FJ Labs and Lumia Capital in a US$10m investment in São Paulo based InstaCarro, an online platform for selling automobiles.

Carao Ventures made a US$550k investment in GoPato, a Costa Rican digital assistance platform. Carao Ventures also led a US$620k seed round in Slidebean, a Costa Rican presentation design platform, with participation from DreamIt Ventures Fund, Edge Harris Ventures, and others.

Cventures Primus led a R$2.5m investment in Asaas, a Brazilian billing and recurring payments platform.

KaszeK Ventures made an undisclosed investment in DigitalHouse, an Argentine coding school. 

IGNIA made an undisclosed investment in AirTM, a Mexican platform for moving money in local currency to dollars, and vice-versa. READ LAVCA’s interview with IGNIA.

Wayra Chile invested close to US$400k in four digital startups: Ipsum, Rocketpin, Hitmap, and ComunidadFeliz. Further north, startups accelerated by Wayra Perú in 2016 have gone on to raise over US$1.8m from other investors.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos made a R$1m investment in 33e34, a Brazilian shoe boutique for women with small feet. 33e34 closed a deal to sell their shoes through Dafiti. Bossa Nova Inestimentos made 44 investments in Brazil in 2H2016 and 18 investments in American startups in Q4 2016.

Carlyle made an undisclosed investment in Brazilian mobile security startup FS to become a minority shareholder.

> Buscapé alums Rodrigo Borges and Guga Stocco and others are launching DOMO Invest, a new fund focused on B2B and B2C investments in Brazil, with tickets from R$1.5-3m.

Start You Up partnered with a group of businesses in Espírito Santo, Brazil to launch Agrofip, a new agtech fund focused on investments in logistics, IoT, biotech, and sustainability that aims to invest R$25m over the next five years.


> A new report from NXTP Labs and Surfing Tsunamis, with support from the MIF, identifies private, technology-based companies in Latin America with a minimum estimated value of more than US$25m.

> New data from Citi: Chinese fintech companies raised more capital than North American fintech companies in the first three quarters of last year, accounting for more than half of all investments in the category.

CBInsights published a list of the top early stage investors in unicorns (SV Angels and Sequoia still lead).


> India-based Wipro acquired Infoserver, a Brazilian company specializing in systems development with a strong focus on financial services, for R$27.6m.

> Brazil’s online real estate marketplace VivaReal acquired Geoimovel, a company focused on real estate research, including a database of over 500 cities and covering a market equivalent to 80% of Brazilian GDP. READ LAVCA’s interview with VivaReal.



> Following the success of VC in NY in 2016, LAVCA will host a similar two-day immersion program for 12-15 early stage venture investors from Latin America in the Bay Area on April 3-4, 2017. Contact for more information or to see if you qualify.

> Visa launched Track, its pilot acceleration program in Brazil, in partnership with GSVLabs. B2B or B2C startups in lending, financing, and bitcoin/blockchain are encouraged to apply by March 31.

> Oracle is expanding its Startup Cloud Accelerator program to Brazil.

> NXTP Lab’s agtech acceleration program is accepting applications through March 12.

> Telefonica OpenFuture_ invites you to its PreSeries Startup Battle during Four Years From Now (4YFN) in Barcelona on February 28. Separately, Movistar's Rafael Nadal Academy and Telefonica Open Future_ are hosting an open global call for tech startups and entrepreneurs. Apply by February 15. Selected startups have the opportunity to receive EUR€140k.

> MUSEIC, the Mexico-US Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council, is looking for a new Secretariado Técnico. Details here.

> New Ventures is hosting the annual Foro Latinoamericano de Inversión de Impacto (FLII), Feb. 14-16 in Mérida, Mexico. LAVCA Members can contact about a discount on tickets.

> Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinTIC) and La Corporación de Alta Tecnología (Codaltec) opened a call for digital companies. Participate before July 14, 2017.

> Check out Casa Mexico (March 9-12) and Casa Argentina (March 12) at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX.

Finnovista is gearing up for FINNOSUMMIT in Bogotá, Colombia on March 14. LAVCA Members can contact about a discount on tickets.



> Trocafone is closing the digital gap in Brazil by making smartphones more affordable via trade-in programs for major carriers and manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Apple, and Movistar, and selling refurbished devices on READ LAVCA’s interview with Trocafone co-founder and CEO Guille Freire, where he discusses smartphone explosion in Latin America, Trocafone’s traction with investors, and expansion plans in the region.

> Rappi is expanding to Guadalajara and Monterrey, MX. READ LAVCA’s interview with CEO Simon Borrero.

> CargoX closed R$48m in revenue in 2016 and is planning to introduce automated trucks by 2020.

Wayra accelerated Colombian e-learning platform, Tarefa, just surpassed 100k users and 2.5k teachers after receiving US$65k from 500 Startups via its sixth LatAm Accelerator Batch back in October 2016.

> Americas Quarterly: Startups from Brazil to Mexico Are Giving Banks a Run for Their Money.

> Christian Science Monitor profiles Laboratoria, a coding academy for underprivileged women in Peru, Mexico, and Chile.

> London-based Seedcamp sold a small stake in its unicorn investment Transferwise, recouping 80% of its second fund in a single transaction. TechCrunch calls it “one of the best European seed exits in recent years that wasn’t an acquisition or IPO.” Fund I returned 1.5X.

> Congratulations Fácticothe first place winner of Hackathon Ethos Anticorrupción, hosted by Wayra Mexico and Ethos Laboratorio de Políticas Públicas in Mexico City. Fáctico's prize includes MXN$30k in cash, MXN$50k in services, and MXN$300k to develop the app over the next few months.

> Term Sheet’s Erin Griffith looks at Team8, a cybersecurity startup studio led by Israel's digital intelligence unit that received an undisclosed investment from Microsoft and Qualcomm, in the context of the growing prevalence of corporate hacking.



> Hernan Kazah at KaszeK Ventures talks to Valor Econômico about the under-capitalized fintech opportunity in Latin America:

"É um dos seis primeiros mercados do mundo, em termos de potencial, tamanho e população. Porém, é um país em que a penetração de vários serviços financeiros é baixa. Avalio como um mercado que vai crescer, melhorando serviços do passado, que passarão a ser feitos de maneira mais eficiente para os clientes, em termos de custo e agilidade."             

> Rise Capital’s Nazar Yasin tells the NYTimes about recent investments in OFI and Instacarro in ‘Tough Times,’ but U.S. Investor Bets on Latin American Start-Ups.

> Ciro Echesortu at NXTP Labs shares insights from their pilot agtech acceleration program and says Latin America should be an agtech powerhouse. LAVCA agrees; less than 1% of VC investment in the region in 2015 went to agtech startups.

> Fred Wilson on reserves: “One of the most common mistakes I see new ‘emerging VC managers’ make is that they don’t sufficiently reserve for follow-on investments.”

> Old but good: David McClure’s 2010 “Moneyball for Startups” post on his investment methodology for 500 Startups.



> Erin Griffith covers the unethical underside of Silicon Valley: “Fraud is not new in tech....but today more money is sloshing around, there’s less transparency as companies stay private longer, and there’s an endless supply of legal gray areas to exploit as technology invades every sector, from fintech and med-tech to auto-tech and ed-tech.”

> AngelList launched CLEAR, a free tool for founders to extend equity offers, and for employees to understand their equity and tax implications.

> WSJ: Atomic, With First Fund, Looks to Upend Venture-Capital Model.


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