LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin January 13, 2021

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> 🦄 #UNICORN SoftBank Group and Dynamo led a US$190m Series E round in MadeiraMadeira, a Brazilian home goods e-commerce startup, with participation from VELT Partners, Brasil Capital, and Brazilian family office Lakewood Investment Management, and follow-on from monashees and Flybridge Capital.

#EDTECH Mountain Nazca led a US$17.5m Series A in Peruvian edtech Crehana, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, IFC, and Salesforce Ventures, bringing the company’s total round of funding to US$23m after Acumen Latam Capital Partners led an undisclosed investment in May 2020.

  • Acumen led a US$4.5m round in 2019, and Rethink Education a US$900k round in 2017.
  • This is Salesforce Ventures’ third known investment in LatAm, after Auth0 and RunaHR.
  • Crehana recorded a 40% increase in demand for their content in Mexico during 1H2020 due to C19.

#HEALTHTECH IDB Invest, Swiss healthcare investment fund HBM Healthcare, and NY-based hedge fund Morgan Rio Capital Management invested US$18m in Farmalisto, a Colombian online pharmacy with operations in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

  • Farmalisto recently launched Care24, an on-demand telemedicine and doctor home visit services platform.

#IMPACT #INSURTECH QED Investors led a US$17.5m Series A in Betterfly (formerly Burn to Give), a Chilean certified B-Corp insurtech providing life insurance for employees of SMEs and incentivizing policyholder’s wellbeing with subsidized coverage.

  • Grupo Prisma, Albatross Capital, and Katapult Impact invested US$8.5m in Betterfly in July 2020.
  • The company announced expansion plans for Brazil.
  • Betterfly is one of a handful of known B-Corp startups in the region, including eduK, Cumplo, Escala Educacion, Sempli, and TriCiclos.

> San Francisco-based VC Amplify Partners led a US$8.5m Series A in RunwayML, a deep learning media production platform for creatives, with participation from Lux Capital and Compound Ventures. RunwayML is founded by Chilean entrepreneur Cristóbal Valenzuela.

> #CVC Mercado Libre’s MELI Fund made an undisclosed investment in Carflix, a Brazilian car resale marketplace.

  • Venture investment in resale marketplaces is on the rise, with recent deals for new unicorn Kavak (cars), Trocafone (electronics), and Repassa and GoTrendier (clothing).

> #PRTECH Oria Capital invested R$40m in Knewin, a Brazilian news and social media analytics platform.

  • Knewin previously raised R$16.5m from KPTL and Invisto, according to Brazil Journal.

> monashees led a R$30m round in Nomad, a Brazilian fintech offering US checking accounts for Brazilian residents. Nomad is founded by Patrick Sigrist (iFood) and Marcos Nader (DocuSign).

Linker, a Brazilian neobank for SMEs, raised R$12m from Darwin Capital, angels Marcelo Sampaio (Hashdex) and Roberto Nishikawa (Itaú Unibanco), and others.

DOMO Invest led a R$2.5m round in Credere, a Brazilian fintech lending platform for vehicle financing.

> #EDTECH Fuse Capital invested R$2m in AIO, a Brazilian edtech preparing high school students for the ENEM, Brazil’s college entrance exam for public universities.

> #HRTECH Intera, a Brazilian recruiting platform for SMEs, raised R$2.5m from undisclosed investors. Intera is co-founded by Paula Morais, former Head of Recruiting at Brazilian healthtech Sanar.

#CROWDFUNDING HerMoney, a Brazilian financial robo-advisor for women entrepreneurs, raised R$600k in equity crowdfunding through Wise Women Capital, a Brazilian equity crowdfunding platform for women-led businesses.

#IMPACT #HEALTHTECH Vox Capital led an undisclosed seed round in WeCancer, a Brazilian post-acute care platform for monitoring cancer patients.

California-based blockchain venture studio Draper Goren Holm led anundisclosed investment in LunarCRUSH, a California-based social media sentiment monitoring platform for cryptocurrencies that is expanding to the Chilean market, with participation from Manutara Ventures.



> #AGTECH SP Ventures reached a US$25m second close for AgVentures II, with a ~US$7.3m commitment from French animal nutrition company Adisseo and US phosphate mining company Mosaic. The fund has a US$50m target.

  • SP Ventures reached a US$17.2m first close in August 2020 with investors including Syngenta Ventures and BASF Venture Capital.

> Microsoft’s Women Entrepreneurship Ventures (WE Ventures) announced a R$5m commitment from Brazilian insurance holding company Porto Seguro.

  • WE Ventures made their inaugural investment with a R$1m commitment to PackID, a Brazilian food logistics services platform focused on temperature and humidity monitoring.
  • WE Ventures is Microsoft’s R$50m fund focused on backing women-led startups in Brazil, and is led by Chief Investment Officer Marcella Ceva.

> Softex, M8 Partners, and Bertha Capital launched Capital Semente, a VC fund with a R$50m target to back early stage companies in Brazil focused on AI, IoT, and cloud computing.

> #CVC 
UK-based accelerator The Bakery and Prana Capital launched a R$25m fund to target seed stage B2B SaaS startups in Brazil.



> #M&A Brazilian fintech Creditas acquired Bcredi, a Brazilian online platform providing mortgage financing.

  • Bcredi spun out from Banco Barigui in 2018 and is backed by e.Bricks Ventures. CEO María Teresa Fornea will join Creditas as VP of Real Estate Credit.
  • Creditas reached unicorn status in December 2020 with a US$255m Series E led by impact investment fund LGT Lightstone that reportedly valued the company at US$1.75b.

> Rappi launched RappiBank, its financial services division in Brazil.

  • RappiBank’s first product will be RappiCapital, a working capital credit line ranging from R$10k to R$500k for Rappi’s business partners in the country.

> #FOODTECH Matías Muchnick and Karim Pichara of Chilean foodtech NotCo share their experience launching operations in the US market during 2020.

  • Muchnick: “El camino de ejecución comercial que seguimos en Latinoamérica, el cual duró tres años, queremos reducirlo a uno en EE.UU.”

> #FOODTECH Marcos Leta of Brazilian foodtech Fazenda Futuro shares his view on the opportunity for plant-based protein in the local market and the potential to compete directly with the meatpacking industry.

  • “My competition is butchers. The mission of the company is to, at some point in the future, make meatpacking plants obsolete.”

> #HRTECH Courtney McColgan of Mexican automation platform RunaHR discusses the company’s latest report on the future of remote work and what it means for the Latin American workforce.

  • The report surveyed 365 professionals across 25 industries, including Didi, Nubank, Rappi, Conekta, and Liftit.
  • “After testing the pros and cons of a hybrid or remote workforce, many companies in Latin America will likely never return to the office as strictly as before. These new benefits will hopefully build a base for a happier, wealthier and more stable workforce with a significantly increased standard of living in the region after the pandemic has ended.”

> Brian Requarth of VivaReal/Grupo ZAP shares his advice on legal best practices for Latin American startups in Making a US$100m mistake with my startup in Latin America.

 Tatiana Pimenta of Brazilian online therapy platform Vittude shares how her startup has helped combat user anxiety attacks and depression during the ongoing C19 pandemic.

> Matías Rivera of Chilean sports streaming platform Fanatiz announced the company recorded a 120% subscription increase in the past year.

  • 777 Partners led a US$10m Series A in 2020, and Magma Partners invested in 2018.

> Congratulations to Construyo Red (Colombia) and Sidcodx (Chile) for being selected for CEMEX Venture’s list of Top 50 Contech 2020.

 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.



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> #POLICY Miguel Díaz, Head of Payment Systems and Market Infrastructure at the Mexican Central Bank, shared the institution’s 2021 plans to expand features of its national digital payments platform Cobro Digital (CoDi). 

> Gerando Falcões, a Brazilian non-profit focused on fostering entrepreneurial skills among financially vulnerable Brazilians, partnered with Accenture and Tellus Institute to develop a prototype for a “smart favela” that could bring an eightfold income increase to its residents.

  • MAYA Capital will be actively involved in connecting the initiative with local startup founders to assess a potential fit with their technology.
  • Edu Lyra of Gerando Falcões: “[Startups] must accelerate the implementation of their technologies in favelas, [founders] need to get involved in this discussion and the solution to these problems. Also, being present in the favelas means they will benefit from exchanges, learning and many opportunities to co-create their solutions.”
  • The project has enlisted Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemmann, Elie Horn, and Guilherme Benchimol of XP as advisors.

> Anna Wellenstein of the World Bank and Julie Rozenberg of The Economist examine the role of technology in helping Latin America get back on track after the C19 pandemic in This could be the best way to boost Latin America and the Caribbean's recovery.

> FT: Thriving tech scene allow Uruguay to shine during pandemic.

  • “In the early days in Silicon Valley it was a small ecosystem with a small, highly-educated population. So when you have that, and people know each other, you start seeing momentum. It’s like you can feel that happening in Uruguay [now],” said Ivonne Cuello, CEO, LAVCA.
  • “Once you have the talent in one place, a lot of good things start to happen,” added LAVCA Tech Growth Coalition member Francisco Alvarez-Demalde, Managing Partner of Riverwood Capital.

> The Mexican government offered political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Mexican President López Obrador commented that Assange should be pardoned by the US authorities.

  • López Obrador: “He is a journalist and deserves another chance.”

> The Washington Post sheds light on the persistent isolation lived by some Brazilians during the C19 crisis in She’s young, has no serious health conditions — and hasn’t left isolation since March.

> LABS: Hiring of Young Black Professionals in Brazil Grew 118% in 2020.

  • Companies in the survey included BASF, Bayer, Itaú, Nestlé, PepsiCo, PwC, Telefónica, and Unilever.

> Bloomberg: Boardrooms Need Diversity, Yet Latinos Are Fighting For Seats.



> Manoel Lemos of Redpoint eventures shares his view and predictions of potential Brazilian unicorns during 2021.

> Alejandro Diez Barroso of DILA Capital shares his view on key considerations for founders setting a fundraising target.

> Mexican impact fund Amplifica Capital joined ACTIVA, an initiative established by Angel Ventures Mexico in 2017 to amplify the role of gender inclusion in the development of the local ecosystem.

  • Amplifica Capital launched its first fund in 2020 and has made four undisclosed investments in the region.

> puntoSUR LatAm will host a virtual conversation on the future of VC in Latin America on January 26 with Susana Garcia-Robles of Capria Ventures and LAVCA, Julia Figueiredo of SVB, and Consuelo Valverde of SV LATAM Capital. Registration is now open.

> #GPEC IFC and EMPEA are hosting the 22nd annual Global Private Equity Conference (GPEC) as a highly interactive virtual gathering to connect global LPs and GPs on 17-20 May 2021. Registration for the program will open in next month and the agenda is set to include speakers and topics on VC/tech.

> Capria Ventures is looking for an Investment Fellow to expand its team. Candidates with 3+ years of professional experience, a rigorous analytical background, and strong interest in emerging markets are welcome to apply.

> IGNIA Partners is looking for an Investor Relations intern to join its team. Students and recent graduates are welcome to apply

> BayBrazil is looking for mentors to support the selection and growth of three startups focused on promoting education, health, and diversity as part of its Social Impact Initiative. Applications are now open.

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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