LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin June 19, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> 🦄 #UNICORNS Gympass, a Brazilian B2B gym membership platform with global operations, raised US$300m at a reported valuation over US$1b. Investors include SoftBank Vision Fund, SoftBank Latin America Fund, and existing investors General Atlantic, Atomico, and Valor Capital Group.

  • Gympass calls itself the largest gym network globally, with ~47,000 gyms across the Americas and Europe.

🦄 FYI Venture-backed tech unicorns in LatAm include: 🇧🇷 Gympass, 🇧🇷 Loggi, 🇦🇷 Auth0, 🇨🇴 Rappi, 🇧🇷 Nubank, 🇧🇷 99, 🇧🇷 Movile and iFood.

> Nubank raised R$375m using a Brazilian form of a fixed-income issuance.

> #CVC Brazilian geo-precision startup In Loco raised a US$20m Series B led by Valor Capital and Unbox Capital, the Trajano family office, with participation from Naspers and others. Naspers invested US$5m in 2017.

  • In Loco sells consumer geo-behavioral data to retailers, big banks and apps, and says they are already profitable, with 170+ employees.

> Andreessen Horowitz invested US$12.5m in ADDI, a Colombian point-of-sale lending startup, with participation from previous investors monashees, Village Global, and Sinai VC. ADDI raised US$3.8m in 2018.

  • TechCrunch: “Latin America is the only region outside of the U.S. where [Andreessen] is routinely investing capital.”

> Swiss VC Bulb Capital invested US$7m in Brazilian direct-to-consumer fashion label Amaro.

  • Founders Lodovico Brioschi and Dominique Oliver say Amaro is the largest DTC brand in Latin America, selling more than 1 million items in 2018.
  • Bulb Capital was formerly known as the PE arm of Sallfort Privatbank, established by Michael Bornhaeuser in 2012. LatAm investments include Trocafone.

> Foundation Capital invested US$6m in Colombian edtech Platzi. Other investors include Omidyar Network, Mountain Nazca Chile, Y Combinator and 500 Startups.

> #IMPACT Mexico City based impact startup raised US$12m from DILA Capital, Shell Foundation, Engie RDE Fund, EcoEnterprise Fund, EDFIMC (ElectriFI), Endeavor Catalyst, CoCapital, Triodos, Alpha Mundi, Lendahand, and others.

  • provides biodigester tech to smallholder farmers in India, Kenya, Mexico, and South America.

#CVC DNA Capital invested R$20m in Feegow Clinic, a Brazilian software provider to medical clinics.

> #CVC Globant Ventures invested US$500k in CamonApp (AR), AvanCargo (cargo transport), and TheEye (HRtech).

> HCS Capital invested US$3m in RedCapital, a Chilean crowdfunding platform.

> Chilean big data startup Odd Industries raised a US$2m seed round from undisclosed investors. Odd Industries is founded by serial entrepreneur Leo Prieto.

ALLVP made an undisclosed investment in Boston-based edtech Slang and partnered with the startup to launch a free English course on entrepreneurship for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos announced new deals in Automobi, Certus, Eats for You, GearUp, Mettzer, Meu Atendimento, Pedala, Social Wave, Smarthint, Standout, and real estate startups Desaperta and Play2Sell.

> Magma Partners made an undisclosed investment in Truora, a Colombian fraud detection startup providing instant background checks. Truora participated in the W19 Y Combinator.

Maltese VC Vereeni Investments acquired a 25% stake in Caleta Gaming, a Brazilian gaming content development studio, for an undisclosed amount.

> #ANGEL #HRTECH Harvard Angels Brazil invested in Jobecam, a Brazilian job matching platform. Jobecam founder and CEO Cammila Yochabell previously worked in HR for global IT companies.

Travel startup Jubel raised ~US$300k on 🦈Shark Tank Mexico in exchange for a 20% equity stake.



> Jaguar Ventures is seeking to raise US$25m for its second early-stage Latin America fund, according to an SEC filing.



> Magazine Luiza acquired Brazilian ecommerce brand Netshoes for US$115m, not US$62m as previously reported.



> #CHINA Alibaba is filing for a Hong Kong listing that could raise US$20b, five years after its New York listing raised ~US$25b.



> 🇦🇷 Nubank is expanding to Argentina. CEO David Velez estimates 16 million Argentines are unbanked, “or almost half of the adult population.”

> PayPal and Mexican fintech Konfio partnered to lend to small businesses in Mexico.

> Rappi users in Mexico can now order a Visa debit card for delivery.

> Crunchbase News: SoftBank Invests In Brazil’s Loggi, A New Unicorn, & Creditas.

> Brazilian tax filing and accounting SaaS Contabilizei has almost 300 employees and is growing rapidly.

> #HEALTHTECH Brazil’s Dr. Consulta is preparing a B2B product for health plan operators, in which Dr. Consulta charges a fixed monthly fee for attending to plan patients, more in the vein of China’s SoftBank-backed Ping An Good Doctor.

> #IMPACT Celcoin, a Brazilian mobile payments app, was named to the Inclusive Fintech 50, an inaugural list of fintechs benefiting financially underserved people globally, launched by MetLife Foundation, Visa, Accion and the IFC.

  • Celcoin, the only Latin American startup on the list, recently raised R$6m from Vox Capital.

> #IMPACT US-based Holberton School opened a Medellin coding school, its second in Colombia, through a partnership with Rappi and local nonprofit Coderise. Holberton is backed by Omidyar Network and others.

> Brazilian legaltech startups DOC9 and LinkJur merged.

> 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.

> 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.



> #BADNEWS Mexican regulator Cofece has put the nix on Walmart’s acquisition of Cornershop, announced last year.

  • La Asociación de Emprendedores de México (Asem) said the decision discourages innovation.
  • Stay tuned for what’s next for Cornershop.


> #REALESTATE WeWork is officially Mexico’s largest office tenant.

> Didi is expanding to Colombia and Chile, after making moves to Brazil, Mexico, Australia, and Japan in the last year or so.

> American RPA unicorn UiPath is expanding to Brazil. Video conferencing giant Zoom says Brazil is a key global expansion market.

> BBC: Argentina and Uruguay reel after massive power outage. Bloomberg: Argentina Isn’t Ruling Out a Cyberattack.

> Colombia has the highest rate of fintech adoption in Latin America, according to an EY study.

> Barrons: There’s a ‘Land Grab’ in Payments in Latin America. MercadoLibre Wants to Win.

> Uber launched Ellas, a project working with local orgs like Laboratoria, Technolochicas, and Epic Queens to close the gender gap in STEM careers in Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru.

> Google is rolling out free wifi in Brazil, starting in São Paulo.

> #PE Brazil’s Supreme Court lifted the suspension on Petrobras that had paused its asset divestiture program.

> TechCrunch maps out the Stanford connections behind Latin America’s multi-billion dollar startup renaissance.

> La República ¿Llegó la hora de América Latina?

> Bloomberg on the Microsoft/GitHub acquisition: Open-Source ‘Great Satan’ No More, Microsoft Wins Over Skeptics.

> Amazon debuted its new delivery drone.

> A rare interview with Amazon CTO Werner Vogels & head of Alexa Dave Limp:

Amazon's incredible, sophisticated systems are no longer being used just to serve up good deals, fast delivery times, or cheap web storage. Its big data capabilities are now the tool of police forces, and maybe soon the military. In the corporate world, Amazon is positioning itself to be the “brains” behind just about everything.

> #PRIVACY Gizmodo: Popular Soccer App Spied on Fans Through Phone Microphone to Catch Bars Pirating Game Streams.

> #COOL BBC: School girls are no longer required to wear skirts in Mexico City.



> The GIIN published its 2019 Annual Impact Investor Survey, aggregating perspectives from 260+ impact funds managing US$239b globally. Download it here.

> Quartz interviews Maria Cavalcanti,CEO of non-profit ProMujer, on how women are key to Latin America’s economic success. Pro Mujer provides financial, health & educational services to poor women in Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru.

> Enoch Capital Partners, a Salt Lake City-based impact fund, is looking to invest US$500k-$4m in growth capital in impactful Latin American businesses with a proven business model. Apply here.

> The UK is the first major economy to set a legally binding net-zero climate goal -- by 2050. Details here.


> LAVCA Week registration is now open for LAVCA members. In addition to the Venture Investors Annual Meeting on Sept 26 and after-party hosted by Riverwood Capital, LAVCA members are invited to a private cocktail with SVB and the Tech Growth Coalition on Weds. Sept 25, the evening prior. Register here for the meeting.

> Join the NVCA for VC Stratcomm Live: Meet the Press in New York on June 24. Details here.

> ABVCAP is hosting the annual Conferência Brasileira de Venture Capital in Florianópolis on August 12-13. Details here.

> BayBrazil hosts its annual conference on Aug. 22 in Silicon Valley, with speakers from DST, GGV, SoftBank, Qualcomm & more. Tickets here.

> Polymath Ventures is organizing a Latin American Tech Expedition to China, Sept 2-8. Visit Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou to connect entrepreneurs and investors with leading Chinese tech giants and top Chinese VC/PE funds to explore cross-border collaborations. 📧 Contact Ms. Yuan Li (, Director of China Initiative of Polymath Ventures, for more info.

Scotiabank joins Visa, IGNIA and others as a corporate partner of Startupbootcamp Fintech. Apply for the acceleration program in Mexico City by June 20.

BlastU is hosting a 2-day festival on ecosystem and innovation in São Paulo, August 13-14. Details here.

LatinSF is accepting applications to join the Latin American Innovation Tour, September 9-13 in Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. Details here.

> Applications are open for 500 Startups’ 4-month acceleration program in Mexico City. Apply here for US$60k in funding.

> 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

> SVB launched an Early Stage Job Board for companies in the SVB community to share job openings.



> Bloomberg: SoftBank Joins Valor Capital in Hunt for Latin American Startups. Expect to see more follow-ons in Valor portfolio companies like Gympass.

> SoftBank hired key management for the Latin America Fund.

> TechCrunch: Why is Andreessen and everyone else investing in Latin America now?

> Manoel Lemos of Redpoint eventures for Estadao: O boom do empreendedorismo digital no Brasil:

É hora de entender, porém, que a principal matéria prima do ecossistema não é capital. São pessoas. Teremos um desafio enorme de formar quem vai trabalhar nessas empresas – papel fundamental no futuro da nossa economia.

> Nathan Lustig of Magma Partners looks at new small business regulations in Chile that favor startups.

> Brazilian Report says Braziilan tech companies are going to New York to IPO.

> #CHINA WSJ: Chinese Cash That Powered Silicon Valley Is Suddenly Toxic.

> #ICYMI Mary Meeker launched her annual Internet Trends Report, with 333 slides on the global digital industry.

  • Tipping point: 51% of the planet (3.8 billion people) were online last year.
  • 53% of the world’s internet users are located in the Asia-Pacific.
  • Of the top 25 most valuable private tech companies, 60% were founded by first- or second-generation immigrants. They employed 1.9 million people last year.


> Facebook’s upcoming Libra cryptocurrency will be governed by the Swiss-based Libra Association, whose founding members include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, MercadoPago, Coinbase, Lyft, Uber, Spotify, Andreessen Horowitz, and others.

  • Some members will reportedly get privileged data access by paying a US$10m fee to create transaction verification ‘nodes’ on the system. They will also receive interest payments as the value of assets underlying the Libra grows.
  • A digital wallet subsidiary called Calibra will reportedly be default designed to opt out sharing transaction data with Facebook for ad targeting.
  • Former PayPal executive David Marcus leads the Libra project inside Facebook.

> Ripple (XRP) invested US$50m in money transfer giant MoneyGram.

> Brazil is establishing a committee to regulate cryptocurrencies.

> Canadian chat app Kik is in hot water with the SEC over the security/token debate. Fred Wilson of USV: “The SEC is regulating by enforcement, not new rulemaking."

> WSJ: Crypto Startups Are Raising Money Again, With a Twist: With Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs), digital tokens are sold to investors through a crypto exchange, not directly by a startup.



> Making a #DEEPFAKE video is literally as easy as copy-paste, according to these Stanford researchers.

> Speech2Face can guess what you look like based on your voice.

> Washington Post: Hong Kong protesters find ways for stealth in age super surveillance: “She knew what she had to do: delete all of her Chinese phone apps.”

> Pacific Standard: How China’s growing soy demand is fueling Brazilian deforestation:

Analysis of the supply chain to China, which imports nearly two-thirds of the soy on the international market, revealed that 40%+ of loans to these companies, worth $2.1b, bear the risk that they may have financed deforestation. More than $7b of bonds and shares to underwrite these companies also carry similar risk.

> Quartz: The Future of Food is in Israel:

Thanks to their own circumstances, Israelis have innovated their way out of pressing agricultural problems, and the world is starting to notice.

> The Verge: Is it OK to hurt robots?

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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