LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin September 11, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> VC/tech investors, corporates, and qualified entrepreneurs are invited to join us on Thursday, September 26 in New York for our Venture Investors Annual Meeting, on the final day of LAVCA Week, followed by cocktails hosted by Riverwood Capital.

📅 Details, agenda & registration here.

🍸 LAVCA members are invited to a private cocktail with SVB and the Tech Growth Coalition on Weds. September 25, the evening prior.



> KaszeK Ventures raised US$600m across two new funds. KaszeK Ventures IV is a US$375m early-stage fund, the largest raised to date from a Latin American VC fund; KaszeK Ventures Opportunity I is a US$225m late-stage fund.

  • Both funds were several times oversubscribed.
  • KaszeK says they are the first early-stage firm in the region to surpass US$1b in VC funds raised.
  • Previously, KaszeK closed a US$200m Fund III in 2017.

> Patricia Saenz (Mountain Nazca Colombia) and Paula Arango (Elevar Equity) joined forces to launch EWA Capital, a VC fund seeking US$30m to focus on investing in women entrepreneurs.

  • Patricia Saenz defines the criteria: “Uno es startups que tengan en sus equipos gerenciales mujeres, el segundo, aquellas que tengan entre su equipo gerencial mujeres y el tercero, más relevante, la mujer como cliente final. Lo que encontramos es que se ha menospreciado a la mujer en la toma de decisiones y al final del día somos grandes influenciadoras en consumo.”

> #IMPACT Global nonprofit Accion’s seed-stage investment initiative, Accion Venture Lab, launched a new US$33m fund, leveraging third-party capital for the first time (US$23m) and including a separate US$10m investment from Accion.

  • Accion Venture Lab estimates 20-30% of the new fund will be deployed in LatAm.
  • Current LatAm portfolio includes Clip, Konfio, Salud Facil, Escala, Tienda Pago, Jeitto, SmartMEI and Destacame.

#CRYPTO Algo Capital closed a US$200m VC fund to invest in accelerating adoption of the Algo, the digital currency of the open source public blockchain Algorand.

  • The fund will look at investments globally, including in Latin America.
  • Founder and Managing Partner David Garcia is also a board member of Ripio, a Mexico-based bitcoin and digital payments company.

> Valor Capital is reportedly raising US$300m for a third VC fund as well as an opportunity fund.



> 🦄 Brazilian proptech QuintoAndar reached unicorn status with a US$250m Series D investment from SoftBank, with participation from Dragoneer Investment Group, and follow-on from KaszeK Ventures and General Atlantic.

  • GA led the R$250m Series C in 2018. Previous investors include QED Investors and Ruane Cunniff.
  • QuintoAndar is 1000+ employees strong and operates in 25 cities in Brazil, signing 4,500+ rental contracts monthly.
  • Read LAVCA’s interview with Co-Founder and CTO Andre Penha.
  • 🦄 View LAVCA’s Unicorn Leaderboard for the latest list of LatAm unicorns.

> Credijusto, a fintech startup that provides affordable financing to SMEs in Mexico, raised US$42m from Goldman Sachs and Point72 Ventures, with participation from Thomvest Ventures, Wolfson Group, Third Lake Capital and Argo Ventures, and follow-on from Kaszek Ventures, QED Investors, Broadhaven Capital Partners, John J. Mack and Supernode Ventures.

  • Goldman invested via its Principal Strategic Investments group. Goldman also made a US$100m debt investment in Credijusto earlier this year to expand Credijusto’s credit operations.
  • Other Credijusto investors include: Elevar Equity, Victory Park Capital, City Hall Capital, Fourth Green Capital, Uprising Venture Fund, Flatiron Investors, M4Fund, and others.
  • Credijusto CEO David Portiz will be speaking at LAVCA’s Venture Investors Annual Meeting on 9/26. Join us.

> #DEBT Mexican lending platform Konfio raised a US$100m debt round from Goldman Sachs.

  • In 2018, Vostok Emerging Finance led a US$25m Series C investment in Konfio, with follow-on from existing investors Jaguar Ventures, KaszeK Ventures, Quona Capital, QED Investors and the IFC, among others. The IFC led Konfio’s US$10m Series B in 2017.
  • CEO David Arana told Bloomberg the investment will help Konfio, which provides unsecured working capital to small and midsize companies, lend about US$250m in the next 12 months.
  • Konfio also recently partnered with PayPal.

> The IFC led a R$70m investment in Revelo, a Brazil-based job matching platform, with follow-on from Valor Capital, Dalus Capital, FJLabs and corporate investor Seek.

> Urbvan, a transport app providing van-sharing rides along pre-established routes in Mexico City and Monterrey, raised a US$9m round from KaszeK Ventures and Angel Ventures Mexico, with participation from Liil Ventures and follow-on from DILA Capital.

  • Founded in 2017 by co-CEOs Joao Albino and Renato Picard, Urbvan raised MXN$16m from DILA Capital and Mountain Nazca, and also received a grant from MassChallenge Mexico in 2017.
  • Urbvan counts over 15,000 monthly users and a fleet of 180 vans.

> Grupo Pegasus invested US$10m in Colombian cosmetics retailer Blush-Bar.

  • Founded in 2015 by Claudia Lloreda, Blush-Bar is one of the leading female-led startups in the country and was awarded the first Endeavor Women with Impact Prize in 2017.

> minu, a payroll fintech providing Mexican employees digital access to their earned wages, raised a US$6.5m seed round from QED Investors, Village Global, Next Billion Ventures, and Mountain Nazca Mexico. This is minu’s first institutional capital.

> ALLVP led a US$4.5m pre-seed round in Flat, a Mexican proptech employing the iBuyer model, with participation from Liquid 2 Ventures, Next Billion Ventures, Picus Capital, and angel investors.

  • Co-founders Victor Noguera and Bernardo Cordero met at UC Berkeley.
  • Bernardo Cordero will be speaking at LAVCA’s Venture Investors Annual Meeting on 9/26. Join us.

> Foundation Capital led an undisclosed pre-seed investment in Jüsto, a Mexico-based grocery delivery startup, with participation from Quiet Capital, Vas Ventures, 500 Startups, and others. Jüsto is founded by Cabify’s former Global President, Ricardo Weder.

  • Foundation Capital just raised a US$350m Fund 9.

> #CVC InovaBra Ventures led a R$15m investment in Direct One, a Brazilian multichannel customer communications platform founded by Fernando Wosniak Steler.

> #IMPACT Denda, a Chilean aggregator of sustainable consumer goods, raised US$1m in seed financing from SUDAMERIK, Dadneo, and angel investors. Venda was accelerated at Chile’s ENGIE Factory.

> ONEVC made undisclosed seed investments in Rocket.Chat and Yuca.

> Nilo Ventures made an undisclosed seed investment in Covela, a digital insurance broker for SMEs in Latin America that just finished YC (S2019 cohort).

  • This is Nilo’s second investment after Keynua.

> #DEBT Mutuo Financiera, a Mexican vehicle fleet leasing company focused on clean energy passenger transportation, raised US$100m in debt financing from Crayhill Capital Management to expand its fleet.

> Lara Lemann and Monica Saggioro of MAYA Capital have made 12 investments since launching last year, including Avocado, EmCasa, Gupy, Kovi, LiveHere, NotCo, Nuvocargo and Truora.



> #M&A Last issue, we noted that Global Founders Capital exited Creditoo through a sale to Brazilian fintech Creditas. This transaction also represents a full exit for Canary from Creditoo.

> #M&A #CRYPTO Coinbase acquired Argentina-based crypto-focused exchange Xapo for a reported US$55m.

> Chilean foodtech startup NotCo launched two new products in 1000 stores in Chile, and just launched in Argentina.

  • NotCo CEO Matias Muchnick will be speaking at LAVCA’s Venture Investors Annual Meeting on 9/26. Join us.

> Reuters: Rappi plans to double footprint by year-end.

> Forbes traces Gympass’ global expansion from Brazil into Europe, Asia and the rest of LatAm.

> Peruvian edtech Crehana is opening a Colombia office.

> #IMPACT B Corp released Best for the World 2019 Honorees, a list that recognizes the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses, including Sempli (Colombia), Avante (Brazil), and TriCiclos (Chile).

> #AFRICA The Financial Times looks at Nigerian trucking logistics startup Kobo360, backed by Goldman Sachs: “Most African countries rank near the bottom of the World Bank’s annual logistics performance index because the system is rife with inefficiencies. “

> 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.



> LAVCA welcomes new member Global Founders Capital, a global, stage-agnostic VC firm built by successful founders and operators.

  • LatAm portfolio includes: Escale, DogHero, Instacarro, Zen Finance, BeeTech, Flash, Provi, Hihab, Lar, SouSmile, Rapidoo, Kovi, Simetrik, and others.
  • Global portfolio includes: Eventbrite, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Slack.
  • Key contacts: Fabricio Pettena and Alex Anton.

iFood veteran Alex Anton shares: “Although we have a portfolio of more than 20 companies in LatAm, we feel that we are just getting started as we deeply believe in the region's potential. Our mission is to partner with category defining founders, helping as much as possible operationally and through funding as the company scales.”

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



> Colombian President Ivan Duque joined the IDB and OPIC to announce letters of intent to provide financing to MAS Equity Fund IV and Altra Fund III, two Colombian private sector investment funds that will apply a gender lens to their investments.

  • OPIC has surpassed initial targets to mobilize US$500m to women in Latin America through its 2X Americas initiative.
  • President Ivan Duque will be speaking at LAVCA’s Summit & Investor Roundtable. More information here.

> Schroders’ acquired a majority stake in Swiss impact specialist BlueOrchard Finance.

  • The Financial Times says the deal opens way for more M&A in impact investing, and “is being hailed as the sector’s coming of age, with Peter Harrison, chief executive of the £444bn London-listed group, calling impact investing “a mega trend”."

> #INDIA Swiss investor (and LAVCA member) LGT acquired Aspada, an India-focused impact investment fund, from Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF). LGT's future investments in India will be branded under the name LGT Lightstone Aspada.

> The Financial Times says KKR has sped past the $1bn target on its premier impact investing fund, thanks largely to demand from wealthy retail investors.

> Salkantay Partners, which is raising a US$25m VC vehicle to invest in Peruvian startups focused on regional expansion, has joined the Capria network.

> CIC Miami shared an update on their growth: We became home to South Florida’s first and only shared wet laboratory. Together, our clients have raised $162.6M+ in funds. They generated 900+ local and global jobs.

> 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.



> Crunchbase News: Latin America’s Kaszek Ventures Closes on $600M Funds, Underscoring Region’s Growing Appeal: “The news is further evidence that the Latin American startup scene is hotter than ever.”

> Quartz: The US-China trade war is creating winners out of Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and Canada:

  • Mexico has replaced China as the US’s largest trading partner in the first half of 2019. The US now buys more data processing and storage devices as well as electric wire and fiber optic cables from Mexico.
  • Brazil has benefited from the reduced US agricultural exports to China. Now China goes to Brazil for soybeans and cotton.
  • Related: China and Hong Kong account for 44% of Brazil’s beef exports.

> Didi Chuxing is launching an AI engineer exchange program in Brazil and a joint lab in Chile with Universidad de Chile.

> Spotify continues its aggressive LatAm expansion.

> ZDNet: BayBrazil and Silicon Valley's changing role in driving global innovation.

> #CRYPTO Brazilian payments processor Cielo has begun accepting bitcoin.


>  #womenSTEMpreneur 📣 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. Participate here. WeXchange is taking place November 13-14 in Asuncion, Paraguay. 

FINNOSUMMIT Mexico 2019 will happen Sept. 10-13 in Mexico City. Tickets here

> Save the date for the Peru Venture Capital Conference, hosted by COFIDE, Ministerio de Producción, Startup Perú, BID Lab, UTEC Ventures, ESAN on October 16-17 in Lima.

> 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.

> ChileGlobal Ventures is accepting applications for the APEC 2019 Startup Challenge. Apply by Sept 29.

Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech Mexico City: applications close October 13. Apply here.

MercadoLibre held its annual MELI Experience in Brazil with ~8,000 attendees and a ferris wheel. Congrats to the startups that pitched investors, including Gluco Gear, Já Entendi, Predify, Iouu, James Tip, O2O bots, Onyo, and PayFace.

> Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 partnered with Google Developers Launchpad.

> 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 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.

> WSJ: Garcia’s Take: Today’s Mexico Startups Offer Future Fishing Ground for Private Equity: “A robust period in Mexico’s venture-capital industry offers a well of potential future deal flow for the nation’s PE investors.”

> Bedy Yang of 500 Startups: Why Brazil’s Tech Scene Is One To Watch

> Nathan Lustig of Magma Partners interviews Ariel Arrieta of NXTP Labs.

> Expansión says debt financing is on the rise for Mexican companies.

> Reuters: SoftBank in talks to invest in Latam venture capital funds.

> The Economist: China’s Silicon Valley is transforming China, but not yet the world.



> #PRIVACY WIRED: How the West Got China's Social Credit System Wrong: The system as it exists today is more a patchwork of regional pilots and experimental projects, with few indications about what could be implemented at a national scale.

> #PRIVACY MIT Technology Review: Soon, satellites will be able to watch you everywhere all the time.

> 🌳Colombia’s President Iván Duque and Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra met last week in the Colombian Amazon and discussed joining forces to protect the Amazon rainforest.

> 🌳Reuters: Amazon India to weed out single-use plastic packaging by June 2020.

> 🌳 Retail giants H&M, Vans, The Northface, Timberland and others have stopped buying Brazilian leather in the fallout over accelerating Amazon deforestation.

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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