LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin May 6, 2021

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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Editor's Note: The LatAm Venture Bulletin is produced by LAVCA’s VC team, Julie Ruvolo and Carlos Ramos de la Vega. Carlos is set to take over as Editor of the newsletter in the near future — get ready to see his name in your inbox!


📢 New Rounds for Bitso, Merama, Loft, Warren, Muncher, Avista, VALOREO, HUMBL, Erco Energía, Atrato, Delfos, Unbox

📢 Exits for Qualcomm Ventures, Redpoint eventures and monashees

📢 Fund closes for Volpe Capital (USD100m) and Positive Ventures (USD10m); fund launches for Sancor Seguros, Vox Capital, Via Varejo, Alaya Capital Partners and Crescera Capital.

Startups: Berlin-based JOKR expands to Latin America


Global Private Equity Conference

Join IFC and EMPEA on May 17-20 for the 22nd annual Global Private Equity Conference (GPEC), the world’s largest convening of private investors in a highly interactive virtual gathering to learn the latest industry trends and connect with its prominent voices. Featured sessions include:

  • Julian Cheng (Warburg Pincus) and JP Gan (INCE Capital) on backing Chinese tech
  • Chang Wen Lai (Ninja Van) on the future of delivery in Southeast Asia
  • Cem Sertoglu (Earlybird) on the sale of Peak Games to Zynga
  • Eric Acher (monashees) on Brazilian VC’s breakout moment
  • Judith Li (Lilly Asia Ventures) on biomedical VC
  • Actis and other leading GPs on the Global Tech Infrastructure Opportunity
  • General Atlantic’s Bill Ford interviews global entrepreneurs Byju Raveendran of India’s Byju’s and Ricardo Weder of Mexico’s Jüsto
  • Matias Muchnick (NotCo), Max Rye (TurtleTree) and Carrie Chan (Avant Meats) on the future of food





#UNICORN #CRYPTO Tiger Global and Coatue led a USD250m Series C for Mexican crypto exchange Bitso, with participation from Valor Capital Group, BOND and Paradigm, and follow-on from KASZEK, QED Investors and Pantera Capital, at a reported USD2.2b valuation.

  • KASZEK and QED led USD62m Series B in 2020 in the largest known blockchain-related VC investment in Latin America, according to LAVCA Data; Cometa (formerly Variv Capital) invested in 2016.
  • VIEW LAVCA’s Unicorn Leaderboard for an updated list of known LatAm tech unicorns.

Valor Capital Group, monashees and UK-based VC Balderton Capital led a USD60m equity and USD100m debt round for Merama, a Mexico- and Brazil-based startup seeking to acquire stakes in Latin American e-commerce businesses and support their international expansion, with participation from TriplePoint Capital and angels from UaláLoggiRappi and MadeiraMadeira.

  • Merama was founded by Sujay Tyle, current Venture Partner at Balderton Capital and former co-founder of car resale marketplace Frontier Car Group, which sold to OLX/Naspers for ~USD700m in 2019.

> #PROPTECH Baillie Gifford led a USD100m Series D extension for Brazilian proptech Loft, with participation from Flight Deck and angels from Better, GoPuff, Instacart, Kavak and Sweetgreen, and follow-on from Tarsadia Capital and Caffeinated Capital, at a reported USD2.9b valuation.

  • D1 Capital just led a USD425m Series D at a reported USD2.2b valuation.
  • Loft launched a BRL360m real estate fund in 2020 on the B3 and raised BRL216m in its first Fundo de Investimento Imobiliário (FII) in 2019.
  • VIEW LAVCA’s Unicorn Leaderboard for an updated list of known LatAm tech unicorns.

GIC led a BRL300m Series C for Brazilian digital brokerage Warren, with follow-on from KASZEK, MELI Fund, Ribbit Capital, Chromo Invest, QED Investors and Quartz.

> #FOODTECH TMT Investments and Copernion Capital Partners led a USD22m Series A for Muncher, a Colombian foodtech reusing trade containers in Colombia, Peru, and Mexico to set up dark kitchens, with participation from Amador Holdings, MGM Innova Capital and FEMSA Ventures.

> #DEBT Colombian credit placement platform Avista secured a USD20m credit line from Accial Capital.

  • Avista secured a USD75m credit line from undisclosed investors in 2020.
  • Avista provides credit lines products to under-banked Colombian pensioners and government employees.

> KASZEK invested in VALOREO, a Mexico-based e-commerce holding company specialized in acquiring, operating, and scaling Latin America-focused businesses under the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) business model.

  • Hernán Kazah will join the Board of Directors.
  • Angel Ventures, FJ Labs, Upper90 and Presight Capital led a USD50m round earlier this year in a record seed round for Latin America, according to LAVCA Data.

> Riverwood Capital made an undisclosed follow-on investment in SUMA, a financial management automation platform for SMEs.

  • SUMA just acquired Bind-ERP, a Mexican ERP software platform for SMEs, providing an exit for IGNIA Partners and Capital Invent.

> #CLEANTECH FCP Innovación, the investment arm of EPM, invested USD6m in Erco Energía, a Colombian startup developing electric vehicle charging and solar energy storage facilities, with participation from family office InverA&M.

> Elleve, a Brazilian educational credit platform, raised BRL28m from undisclosed investors.

> WE Impact, a Brazilian venture studio funded by Microsoft’s WE Ventures and focused on women founders, and MAYA Capital invested in Unbox, a Brazilian e-commerce sale and inventory management platform.

> NXTP invested in Inventa, a Brazilian wholesale marketplace connecting regional wholesalers with local retailers.

#CVC Brazilian supermarket chain Grupo Shibata invested BRL15m in Wiboo, a Brazilian engagement analytics platform for retailers.

> #AGTECH #IoT Genesis Ventures, Fundacion Chile’s CLIN and SVG Ventures led a USD2.8m round for Instacrops, a Chilean sensor-based crop monitoring platform.

> Accel led a USD2.7m round in Atrato, a Mexican lending platform enabling installment payments for retail brands and SMEs, with participation from Martin Schrimpff (PayU) and Bill Clerico (WePay).

> Active Capital led a USD2.5m seed round for Graviti, a Mexican lending platform enabling installment payments for underbanked consumers to purchase home appliances, with participation from Mucker Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures, and angels Kevin Patrick Mahaffey (Lookout) and Matt Brezina (Sincerely).

> #AGTECH #CVC Argentine insurance conglomerate Sancor Seguros led a USD2m Series A for Agree, an Argentine agriculture supply chain management platform.

> #CLEANTECH DOMO Invest led a BRL5m round for Delfos, a Brazilian predictive maintenance platform for wind, photovoltaic and hydroelectric plants, with follow-on from BMG Uptech, Bossa Nova Investimentos and EDP Ventures.

  • EDP Ventures led a BRL1.5m round in 2019.
  • Delfos was selected to participate in Google for Startups’ Brasil 2020 cohort.

> #DEBT #CROWDFUNDING Colombian restaurant management platform RobinFood raised ~USD266k in debt through A2censo, the Colombian Stock Exchange’s crowdfunding platform.

  • RobinFood raised USD16m in debt financing from MGM Sustainable Energy Fund in 2020, and raised a USD15m Series B and USD4m Series A in 2019.

> #CROSS-BORDER Chilean multifamily office Aurea Ventures acquired a USD7.5m stake in publicly-listed HUMBL, a US-based merchant services platform, and acquired the company’s country rights to operate in Chile.



#EXIT Crescera Capital exited Bling, a Brazilian ERP platform for e-commerce retailers, through a BRL524m sale to Locaweb, a Brazilian web services hosting platform.

> #EXIT Qualcomm Ventures, Redpoint eventures and monashees exited Memed, a Brazilian provider of digital drug prescriptions, through a secondary sale to DNA Capital.

  • DNA Capital led a USD4.5m Series B in 2020.

> #M&A Mexico-based small business lender Credijusto acquired Visor, a Mexican invoicing and accounts payable lending platform.

  • Visor raised an undisclosed round from IGNIA Partners, ALLVP and AMEX Ventures in 2018.

> #M&A Brazilian cashback platform Méliuz acquired Brazilian fintech Acesso Bank in a BRL324m all-stock deal.

  • Méliuz raised BRL629m in its public listing on the B3 in 2020, providing an exit for monashees, Lumia, Graph Ventures, Endeavor, FJ Labs and Social Capital.



Crescera Capital Acquisition, a USD200m SPAC formed by Crescera Capital, will list on the NASDAQ to acquire a business with operations in Latin America in the technology, healthcare, education or consumer sectors.

Excelsa Acquisition, a USD250m SPAC formed by Intercorp Peru founder Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor and Nexus Group Managing Partner Mark Rosen, filed to list on the NASDAQ and is looking to acquire a Latin America-focused company in financial services, healthcare, retail, education, entertainment or consumer goods.

> Itiquira Acquisition, a USD200m SPAC formed by Ygeia Capital Gestão de Recursos Managing Partner Paulo de Gouvea and Bank of America former LatAm Co-Head Marcus Silberman, listed on the NASDAQ and is looking to acquire a late stage Brazil-focused company in healthcare, education or consumer services.



Volpe Capital reached a USD100m close for Fund I, following a USD80m first close with commitments from SoftBank, BTG Pactual and Banco Inter affiliates earlier this year.

  • Volpe was founded by former SoftBank Partner Andre Maciel and former Warburg Pincus Principal Gregory Reider.
  • Volpe announced an inaugural investment in Brazilian edtech UOL Edtech.

#IMPACT #HEALTHTECH Albert Einstein Hospital made a BRL100m commitment to Vox Capital to back early-stage healthtech startups in Brazil.

  • The hospital will roll up prior investments made with Vox Capital through its accelerator program, including Brazilian cancer monitoring platform WeCancer.

#IMPACT Positive Ventures reached a USD10m close for its impact fund backing seed and Series A startups focused on recycling and carbon sustainable systems, workforce upskilling, education and health.

  • LPs include Luis Stuhlberger (Verde Asset Management) and Cândido Bacher (Itaú-Unibanco).
  • Positive Ventures acquired Brazilian neobank C6’s stake in Provi, a Brazilian financing platform for educational courses, earlier this year.

Crescera Capital launched Crescera Venture Fund III, a BRL600m growth equity fund backing late stage startups in education, health and financial services.

  • Crescera recently exited Konduto, a Brazilian payment fraud prevention platform for e-commerce stores and fintechs, through a sale to Boa Vista Serviços, a Brazilian credit bureau platform, and exited Passei Direto, a Brazilian education content platform, through a sale to UOL Edtech, a Brazilian B2B edtech developing MBA and post-graduate courses.

Alaya Capital Partners launched Alaya III, its third fund with a USD80m target backing Latin American and Miami-based early-stage startups.

> #CVC Brazilian retail company Via Varejo will launch a BRL200m fund to back Brazilian startups developing credit, logistics and customer engagement solutions that complement Via Varejo’s core retail business model.

 #CVC Argentine insurance company Sancor Seguros launched Sancor Seguros Ventures, a USD10m fund to back insurtech, fintech and healthtech early-stage startups in Latin America.



> Congratulations to Torre, a Colombian talent search and job matching platform targeting young professionals, for being selected for inclusion in Endeavor Colombia’s Network.

  • Torre raised USD5m from MatterScale Ventures and others in 2020.

> Alfonso de los Ríos of Nowports, a Mexican platform monitoring air and sea logistic routes backed by monashees and Base 10, shares his vision for the automotive industry in Mexico.

> Germán Dyzenchauz of Argentine corporate benefits platform Gointegro and Nicolás Tejerina of Argentine online classifieds platform Navent share their experience in launching operations in Brazil.

> David Poritz of Credijusto shares his view on the importance of local impact investors in supporting Mexican fintech and discusses the connection between access to credit and human rights.

> #CROSS-BORDER JOKR, a Berlin-based last-mile retail delivery platform founded by former SoftBank Managing Partner Ralf Wenzel, launched in Mexico, Brazil, and Peru, and will soon begin operations in Colombia.

  • JOKR has raised an undisclosed round from SoftBank, HV Capital and Tiger Global.

> Check out LAVCA’s 2020 directory of 126 Latin American startups with at least USD1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA (as of end-2019), our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.



> SIGN UP for EMPEA’s Global VC Cache. Edited by LAVCA Manager of Venture Capital Julie Ruvolo, this bi-weekly newsletter covers cross-border tech transactions in Asia, Latin America, Africa, CEE and Middle East.

VIEW the archive of previous editions and sign up here.



> #POLICY #SPACETECH The Congress of Nicaragua and Costa Rica approved the creation of national space agencies in February.

  • The AP reviews the development of space-related advancements in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia and Mexico in the past decade.

> #PRIVACY Carissa Véliz of University of Oxford discusses the challenges of Mexican authorities and telcos requesting biometric information from users.

  • “In passing this law, Mexico joins the proud ranks of China, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and 18 other countries that require biometric data in order to obtain a SIM card and are not exactly known for being bastions of liberal democracy.”

> FT: Uruguay’s tech scene nears critical mass.

  • “A combination of free trade zones, research institutes, a well-educated population, a solid reputation for political and macroeconomic stability, and a high standard of living, have all helped to boost Uruguay’s tech sector. More than 1,000 software development companies now operate in the nation of 3.4m people, generating almost USD1b in exports — mostly to the US. That makes it one of the world’s leading software exporters in per capita terms.”

 #CROSS-BORDER Chongqing Haifu Medical Technology, a Chinese medical conglomerate, is conducting a pilot study in Mexico to treat cancer patients with noninvasive ultrasound procedures. Haifu is expecting Mexico to be the first country in America with a private clinic leveraging this technology.

> Rest of World profiles Latinus in How a brand new Mexican digital outlet became President López Obrador’s most fearsome opponent.



> Congratulations to ALLVP for receiving AMEXCAP’s VC Deal of the Year for their exit from on-demand delivery platform Cornershop.

> Susana García-Robles of LAVCA and Capria Ventures examines the resilience of the Latin American tech ecosystem in the past two decades in A Story of Resilience: How Has the LatAm Venture Capital Ecosystem Grown?

 Fabrice Serfati of IGNIA Partners shares his view on how founders should assess a potential merger with a competing startup.

> Lara Lemann and Monica Saggioro of MAYA Capital discuss their investment criteria when considering an investment in an early-stage startup.


> LAVCA, EMPEA, Adobe Capital and IDB Lab will host a webcast on May 26 at 10am ET on Structuring for Exit: New approaches for Private Capital in Latin America and Beyond at FLII@Home. The webcast will discuss findings from the EMPEA | LAVCA Structuring for Exit Report, a deep dive analysis of innovative financing approaches used by investors in Latin America and other global markets to generate liquidity in challenging exit environments. REGISTER here.

> ProChile launched a program to connect Chilean startups looking for international expansion with companies in Mexico, Colombia and Peru.

> AMEXCAP will host a conversation with CVCs and entrepreneurs on May 13 to walk through the best practices when fundraising. Rodolfo Dieck of Proeza Ventures and Leonardo Cortina of miituo will lead the conversation. Registration is now open.

 PECAP will host the Peru Venture Capital Conference on June 22-24. Registration is now open. If you are a startup CEO apply to the Pitch Competition. 

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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