LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin December 4, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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LAVCA WOMEN investing

Female investors in early-stage tech are underrepresented in Latin America as they are globally. And among entrepreneurs, only 17% of venture-backed startups globally have a female co-founder, and globally, they capture only about 3% of the VC funding.

In an effort to raise the visibility of female investors in early-stage technology in Latin America, LAVCA has published an updated list of the Top Women Investing in Latin American Tech, as well as the second annual list of ⭐ Emerging Women Investors in Latin American Tech

The 88 investors represented on the Top Women list and the 89 investors represented on the Emerging Women list in 2019 represents a 7% and 89% increase, respectively, over 2018.

👀 VIEW the Top Women Directory.
👀 VIEW the Emerging Women List.

LAVCA’s gender diversity content is made possible with support from IDB LAB, Member of the IDB Group.

ℹ️ More content at LAVCA.ORG/WOMEN



EDITORS NOTE: This edition represents the first time FOUR deals over US$100m are in one newsletter cycle: Fintechs Neon, Ualá and Konfio; and VTEX.

> #CVC General Atlantic and Banco Votorantim led a R$400m investment in Brazilian digital bank Neon, with follow-on from monashees, Quona Capital, Flourish Ventures (formerly part of Omidyar Network), Propel Venture Partners, and others.

  • monashees, Quona Capital, and Propel led a US$22m Series A in 2018.
  • Neon’s digital banking app was downloaded over 1 million times in October, according to CEO Pedro Conrade.

> #CVC Tencent and SoftBank led a US$150m investment in Ualá, an Argentine mobile banking app.

  • This is SoftBank’s first known deal in Argentina. Tencent made an undisclosed investment earlier in 2019, and is also invested in Nubank. Goldman Sachs led a US$34m investment in Ualá in 2018, with participation from monashees, Ribbit Capital, Jefferies Group, Cohen’s Point72 Ventures, and Soros' family office.

> SoftBank led a US$140m investment in VTEX, a Brazilian ecommerce SaaS platform, with participation from Gávea Investments and Constellation Asset Management. Riverwood Capital and Naspers invested previously.

  • TechCrunch says VTEX processes ~US$2.4b in GMV annually across 2,500 stores.

> SoftBank led a US$100m investment in Mexican lending platform Konfio, with follow-on from KaszeK Ventures, QED Investors, and Vostok Emerging Finance.

  • Konfio raised a US$250m debt round from Goldman Sachs (US$100m) and Victory Park Capital (US$150m) earlier in 2019.
  • Equity Investors include Vostok Emerging Finance, which led the company’s Series C in 2018, Jaguar Ventures, Quona Capital, the IFC, and others.

> Redpoint eventures made a R$50m investment in Housi, a Brazilian property rental platform that spun out of Vitacon, a Brazilian real estate developer.

> monashees and Fintech Collective led a US$10m investment in Brazilian personal credit fintech REBEL.

  • Earlier this year, REBEL raised R$167m from Franklin Templeton, XP Asset Management, and others via a public offering of regular debentures. In 2018, REBEL raised US$4m from monashees, XP Investimentos, Point Break Capital, and family office J. Malucelli. monashees was the company’s first investor in 2017.

> Redpoint eventures led a US$3.5m investment in Mediação Online, a B2B legal dispute mediation service for Brazilian businesses and consumers, with participation from Canary. Wayra Brasil and 500 Startups invested previously.

  • The company has mediated over 35,000 disputes to date via its platform. Negotiation of client debt and customer service complaints are frequent examples.
  • ♀️ Co-Founder and CEO Melissa Gava told LAVCA about Brazil’s “stratospheric” number of litigation proceedings, and how Mediação Online is working to lower the cost of mediation services. READ the interview.

> Confrapar and Lorinvest led a US$7m investment in Rio de Janeiro-based Fielo, a Salesforce-native CRM platform for incentive/loyalty programs, to expand its presence in Brazil and the US.

>  Tiger Global led a US$5.5m seed investment in Habi, a Colombian proptech startup, with participation from Homebrew, FJ Labs, Zigg Capital, Reshape Holdings, and Supernode Ventures.

>  Iporanga Ventures and others invested R$5m in Simplypag, a payments platform for domestic laborers.

> Redpoint eventures led a US$1.12m seed investment in Vittude, a Brazilian healthtech developing an online therapy platform for businesses to offer their employees, with participation from Superjobs Ventures. Vittude plans to offer the platform as an employee health/wellness benefit to corporations, a la Gympass.

  • Resultados Digitais is an early adopter.

> Criatec 3, managed by Inseed Investimentos, made a R$2.5m investment in NeuroUp, a Brazil-based wellness startup working on muscular biofeedback to address chronic pain.

> #CVC Engie Factory, Alaya Capital Partners and Albi Investments led an undisclosed investment in Inti Tech, a Chilean robotics startup that developed an autonomous robotic system for dry cleaning of photovoltaic power plants.

> Alaya Capital Partners made an undisclosed investment in Filadd, an Argentina-based edtech for university students.

> Redwood Ventures led an undisclosed investment in Mexico-based payments app Parco, with participation from Poligono Capital and others.

> #US US-based fintech Drip Capital raised US$20m from Sequoia India, YC, GC1 Ventures, and others to expand its presence in Mexico and India.



> monashees closed a US$280m Fund 9, according to The Information. In 2018, monashees closed Fund 8, a US$150m vehicle, with participation from international endowments, foundations, family offices, funds, and entrepreneurs

> #CVC #AGTECH BASF Venture Capital invested US$4m in SP Ventures’ AgVentures Fund II.

> #CVC Nestle made an undisclosed investment in Angel Ventures to invest in foodtech startups in the Pacific Alliance.

> #CVC Cemex Ventures is entering China via partnerships with Interdream Ventures and software company Glodon.

> Nico Berardi (Miami Angels), Antonio Osio (Capital Invent) and Caro Acevedo launched Animo Ventures, a US-focused US$60m VC fund backed by Argentine conglomerate Techint.



> ♀️ NEW REPORT LAVCA Gender Diversity in Latin American Startups is a 6-page breakout of findings from the Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups with insights on gender diversity from 220+ entrepreneurs and founders.

  • 60.4% of startups indicated they have one or more women represented on the executive team (Vice President or higher).
  • Colombia had the highest percentage of startups with one or more women on the executive team, followed by Mexico, and Peru.
  • 42% of startups have commitments from 1+ female investor.
  • 48% of respondents said 40%+ of their full-time workforce is female.

> 🦄 ♀️ Quartz interviews Nubank Co-Founder and CMO Cristina Junqueira in A Brazilian company is pushing an entire industry to become more inclusive:

[Nubank] uses blind recruitment to minimize biases in the hiring process. It has a mentoring scheme specifically for female leaders, which involves discussion groups aimed at tackling unconscious bias. And Nubank has a program that allows new mothers to stay connected with their professional purpose while they take their six months of family leave (new fathers are granted 20 days of leave).... All this translates to a more inclusive culture. Women now make up 43% of the digital bank’s workforce of over 2,000 people, including 30% of all senior roles.

> 🦄 Movile CEO Fabricio Bloisi has also assumed the role of CEO of iFood.

> The Times: Just Eat is a tasty starter for iFood, the Brazilian main course:

Brazil might be 5,500 miles from Just Eat’s core UK market but it is at the centre of a £4.9bn tussle between two of the world’s biggest takeaway groups [Just Eat and].

> #M&A Grupo Pão de Açúcar (GPA) acquired Cheftime, a Brazilian meal-planning service.

> #M&A Novare, a Brazilian investor relations SaaS platform that has handled Startup Brasil’s calls for startups, was acquired by, a similar SaaS platform backed by European VC SpeedInvest.

>  #M&A Exact Sales, a Florianopolis-based pre-sales optimization platform, acquired Resultys, a Brazilian big data analytics startup. Exact Sales is backed by Astella, CVentures, and others.

> Clip partnered with Visa to expand digital payments solutions for Mexican small business merchants.

> Brazilian edtech Quero Educação invested R$5m in Melhor Escola to expand its scholarship program for students.

> FT features Chilean foodtech NotCo in Companies pin hopes on meat-free cash cows.

  • UBS estimates the plant-based meat market will reach US$50b by 2025. That would still be dwarfed by the US$1.2t spent annually on the animal meat market.

> Crunchbase News covers grocery delivery startup Jüsto’s recent US$10m funding:

The company opts to choose items only from local suppliers, thus giving them a new channel to sell their products (which can get buried in larger supermarkets). Jüsto also prides itself on developing fair trade agreements with suppliers.

> 🏆 TiX Tecologia Assistiva, a Brazilian startup developing solutions for disabled people to develop tech competencies and skills, was awarded US$100k from Dubai-based accelerator Gitex Future Stars.

> Finnovista announced the six participants of its next Startupbootcamp Scale Fintech program: Ai360, Apperto, Bederr, Kobra, Koibanx, and Siembro.




Company: Unima
Investors: Vulcano, Fondo Alerce, Genesis Ventures, Avalancha Ventures, Ringold Ventures, Y Combinator, Social Capital, Investo, angel investors
Interview With: Laura Mendoza, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer

Unima is a Mexico-based healthtech startup developing fast and low-cost diagnostics and infectious disease surveillance for limited resource settings. Co-Founder and CPO Laura Mendoza won the 2018 WeXchange pitch competition organized by Angel Ventures in Lima, Peru; she also spoke at LAVCA’s 2019 Venture Investors Annual Meeting on a biotech panel with founders of OneSkin, and Miroculus.

On how Unima’s infectious disease detection technology compare to other technologies globally:  

Current diagnostic technologies are very accurate and can diagnose almost any disease known, but they require specialized labs and equipment that are very scarce in emerging and developing countries. These technologies could take days or even weeks to provide a result and can cost above US$10 per test. Because of this, it is close to impossible to provide universal access to diagnostic for everyone. Our technology allows anyone, even people with very little technical training, to diagnose a disease directly at the point of care, in under 15 minutes and at a fraction of the cost.

On the market opportunity:  

We are working on a huge problem for more than half of the world’s population, and this represents a large market opportunity. This opportunity is not exclusive to Mexico, but a need in all emerging and developing countries, from key markets like China, India or Brazil, to developing markets in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia.

On the impact of winning WeXchange’s 2018 pitch competition:

Access to investors: About 2/5 of the equity funding we have received has come from investors we met as a result of being part of WeXchange. All of our Latin America investors (except for our Mexican investors) came as a result of participating in WeXChange.

> READ LAVCA’s full interview with Laura Mendoza. Visit LAVCA.ORG/WOMEN for more content on female founders and investors.



LAVCA published the fourth annual Latin American Startup Directory

Using venture backing as an initial criteria, LAVCA identified all known startups in the region in operation that have reported US$1m+ in funding to LAVCA as of Jan. 1, 2019. 
This year’s directory includes 330+ startups, up from 256 in 2018.

Startup Directory

The directory does not include venture-backed startups that have IPO’d or been acquired/merged. See an updated list of highlighted companies that have been acquired/listed, including Stone Pagamentos, Globant, Despegar, and others.

The Latin American Startup Directory is made possible with support from the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, including Amazon Web Services, Inc., Facebook, Globant, Google, KIO Networks, Mercado Libre, Microsoft, Movile, Qualcomm Ventures, Riverwood Capital, Softbank, Visa, and Telefonica Open Innovation.



> Sonen Capital, a fund of funds partnered with Fondo de Fondos whose investors include Grupo Bimbo, was awarded Impact Asset Manager of the Year at the GSG Impact Summit in Buenos Aires.

> Valor Econômico covers Positive Ventures in Fundo apoia negócios com impacto social.

> ♀️ Value for Women published a new report on impact investing with a gender lens in Latin America.

> HBR interviews LeapFrog Investments CEO Andy Kuper, also a board member of EMPEA, in Returns on Investment: Andy Kuper and the Value of Moral Capitalism.

> GSG and FMO hosted a roundtable on impact investing. Read the highlights.

> La Nacion: Economía de impacto. América Latina es el segundo destino elegido para este tipo de inversiones.

> ♀️ Triple Pundit: Six Reasons Women are Shaking up Impact Investing.

> #PODCAST Sir Ronald Cohen of The Portland Trust and Bridges Ventures: ‘We are overthrowing the dictatorship of profit’.

> #POLICY The European Council adopted the Disclosure Regulation, part of a package of EU measures related to sustainable investment that includes transparency obligations on how European investment firms integrate ESG factors into their investment & advisory process.



"Without a doubt, Danielle is a star that went out too soon."
Danielle Wainer (1983-2019)

> A note from Elevar Equity on the passing of Danielle Wainer:

Danielle joined Elevar in 2016 as a member of the investing team in our Bogota office. We lost Danielle in 2019 after a long battle with cancer. Her several years at Elevar, prior professional experience, education and personal focus were always geared towards the impact investing space; it married her drive to make a difference in the world with her love of numbers and finance.

Danielle, always willing to roll up her sleeves, was incredibly detailed oriented and one knew that anything that she wrote or said could be taken at face value. We will always remember her for her sense of purpose and how she deeply cared about her family and friends, and touched many people. We will miss her dearly.

> Johanna Posada, Co-Founding Partner & Managing Director, shares:

I was and am very proud of her. I am proud of how she always followed her sense of purpose. How she cared about her family and friends, and touched so many people. I am proud and in awe of her courage and strength and how hard she fought the cancer. The tenacity that I saw in her on day one, was there in her amazing fight. I am humbled that even in her most frail moments, she was calm, thoughtful and kept her sense of humor.


Thanks to all who attended our early-stage investing workshop for family offices and VC/CVC fund managers in Medellin. Thanks to lead sponsor AWS, as well as the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, Gunderson Dettmer, and host RutaN.

> ♀️ Congratulations to WeXchange Pitch Competition Winner Vicky Ricaurte, Co-Founder and CEO of Arukay, an edtech company that teaches k-12 students STEAM curriculum through programming (coding).

WeXchange was founded in 2013 as an initiative of the IDB Lab, with the aim of unleashing the growth potential of women entrepreneurs in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean. Access key takeaways from this year's event in Asunción, Paraguay in November from Nathan Lustig.

> Finnosummit Miami by LendIt Fintech is happening Dec 3-4 in Miami, sponsored by Visa and others. Details here.

> ChileGlobal Ventures and HDI Seguros are looking for startups innovating the insurance industry. Apply by Dec. 8.

> ♀️ 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



> ♀️ Crunchbase: Q3 2019 Diversity Report: Over $20B Invested In Female-Founded, Co-Founded Startups This Year Alone.

> ♀️ A new report from PitchBook and All Raise says that teams with at least one female co-founder raised 18% of VC dollars in 2018 (leading sectors: pharma & biotech) and contributed 14% of exits (~US$26b).

  • 🦄 Australian startup Canva is one of the most valuable female-led tech startups globally after a US$85m round led by Mary Meeker’s Bond Capital at a reported US$3.2b valuation.

> ♀️ Bloomberg looks at a new study from Kaufmann Fellows: The Few Startups with Female Founders Raise More Venture Cash.

> ♀️ Microsoft’s annual report on its employee gender pay gap just got more granular. Meanwhile, Oracle continues to refuse to issue one. Are there any LatAm startups with over 100 employees who monitor payroll for pay discrepancies among men and women? If so, we would like to know.

♀️ The Internet Association, whose members include Google and Facebook, published the organization’s first diversity/inclusion benchmark study.

  • While women and people of color remain underrepresented throughout the tech industry, the gap is less wide at companies that have a dedicated budget for diversity and inclusion.
  • Only  60% of big tech companies in the Internet Association release public facing data regarding the diversity of their workforce.

> ♀️ Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women of 2019 and 50 Most Powerful International Women of 2019. Ana Botín, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, tops the list.

> ♀️ Forbes profiles some of Brazil’s most powerful women.

> ♀️ Laboratoria CEO Mariana Costa Checa for Fortune: Latin America Is a Growing Tech Hub. But It Needs to Invest in Its Talent. READ LAVCA’s interview with Costa on closing the gender coding gap.

> ♀️ Non-profit Girls Who Venture published reports on the landscape for women entrepreneurs in Brazil and Haiti.

> ♀️ Forbes: ClassPass Founder Payal Kadakia’s Advice For Early-Stage Entrepreneurs:

I do think sleep is very important and I don’t think you should compromise on that. Being nine years into my company, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t sleep.

> ♀️ Fortune: Strength in Numbers: How Women From Twitter, Facebook, and Uber Are Teaming Up to Fund Silicon Valley’s Future.

> ♀️ Forbes Colombia: ¿Por qué es importante el emprendimiento femenino en Colombia?

> ♀️ Fortune: Latinas in the US make $0.53 for every dollar earned by white men.

> ♀️ Fortune: Japanese Women Are Fighting for the Right to Wear Glasses to the Office. They are still required to wear heels. #KUTOO

> ♀️ Veteran tech journalist Kara Swisher talks about the fallout from the renowned MIT Media Lab’s hidden connections with convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein: “[this] style of corner-cutting ethics is all too common in tech.”

> ♀️ #QUOTABLE: “More women’s representation will result in more diverse decisions that incorporate women’s experiences. I don’t think having women in positions of power means that the world is going to be perfect or that conflict will be eradicated. It just means that the concerns of half of the world’s population will finally be center stage.” 
-Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie



> #COOL Alphabet subsidiary Loon and Internet Para Todos Perú (IpT) partnered to use high-altitude balloons to expand mobile internet access to parts of the Peruvian Amazonia.

  • The companies aim to provide service to Telefónica customers in Peru in 2020, and will require regulatory approval.
  • This will make Peru the first place in LatAm to use this connectivity solution on a sustained, non-emergency basis. A Kenya project is also pending regulatory approval.

> Facebook launched Startup Hub Bogotá to support the development of Colombian startups, in partnership with Mass Challenge Mexico. Join the launch celebration on Dec. 4-5.

> #POLICY Brazil launched Comitê Nacional de Iniciativas de Apoio a Startups to help the Executive Branch articulate policies in favor of startup development. BNDES, APEX, Embrapa, Finep, Sebrae, and others will take part.

> Reuters: Uber’s Latin American Stronghold Pursued by SoftBank-Funded Rivals: Spanning 32 cities, Didi’s presence in Mexico is its largest outside of China under the Didi brand.

> Latin America Reports: Colombian startups look abroad for funding opportunities.

> UOL: Templeton quer lançar fundo de crédito de fintechs no Brasil.

> New research from Google Brasil says residents in the North and Northeast are the most inclined to trade traditional financial institutions for services provided by fintech startups.

> Bloomberg: Brazil’s Politics and Economics Are Splitting Apart: And yet to look at Brazil’s economy, blue skies beckon.

> #POLICY Quartz Africa: Kenya is stepping up its citizens’ digital security with a new EU-inspired data protection law. FYI: Tech policy in the EU and California tends to globalize.

> Facebook launched a new payments product called Facebook Pay. Google Pay is launching a checking account product.

> NYTimes: More Than 140 Nazca Lines Are Discovered in Peruvian Desert#AI was involved, apparently.

> Quartz: Fuel tankering saves airlines money but costs the planet: Around 30% of all flights within Europe use either partial or full fuel tanking.

> 🌳🔥 NYTimes: Brazil’s Leader Falsely Blames Leonardo DiCaprio for Amazon Fires.




> ♀️ Susana Garcia-Robles for Crunchbase News: Female STEM Entrepreneurs In Latin America Are Gaining Momentum:

Although female founders receive less than 2 percent of venture capital funding worldwide, Latin America is a growing hub for female STEM entrepreneurs who are building startups to solve pressing social issues.

> ♀️ Irene Arias of IDB Invest for El Pais: Necesitamos más mujeres emprendedoras.

> LAVCA profiled Victor Aguilera of Aurus Capital, a Chilean VC with US$130m AUM focusing on industrial tech and impact. READ the interview.

  • ♀️ Aguilera says 25% of portfolio companies in Fund III have a female co-founder (Aguamarina, Scarab, Sunamp), exceeding their initial target of 10%.

> El Diario Financiero: Ejecutivas de la industria de fondos hablan de desafíos de género en el asset management.

> ♀️ Melinda Gates: Here's Why I'm Committing $1 Billion to Promote Gender Equality.

> ♀️ 🎧 NEW WeXchange podcast with Rodrigo Baer, Redpoint eVentures with advice for #WomenSTEMpreneurs, as well as insights and experience bridging Silicon Valley and LatAm ecosystems.

> ♀️ INC: Female VC to Women Entrepreneurs: Here's How to Answer If an Investor Asks About Children:

For investors: Consider how offensive the question might be perceived and stop asking it. And if you can't quit this retrograde habit cold turkey, then ask both the male and the female entrepreneurs. Aside from the obvious short-term time off, there should not be a difference.

> FT: Investors race to tech start-ups despite SoftBank stumbles.

> Fortune interviews André Maciel of SoftBank: Why SoftBank Is Investing in Brazil, and Why Nobody There Seems to Care About WeWork.

> #CHINA FT looks at China’s richest founders in China’s tech billionaires keep it in the family office.



> ☀️ FastCo: This Bill Gates-backed solar tech could help finally decarbonize heavy industry:

Heliogen announced it can concentrate solar energy to over 1000* Celsius. This is a big deal because industrial processes require ultra-high heat to make steel, cement and glass, and only fossil fuels have done the job to date.

CNBC: European Investment Bank will stop all fossil fuel lending at end of 2021.

#AI Bloomberg: Bill Gates Says Open Research Beats Erecting Borders in AI.

> #AI A new study released by Microsoft says Brazil can boost GDP by 7% with full AI adoption, and includes some information on forecasted job gains/losses by industry.

> The Guardian: Tim Berners-Lee unveils global plan to save the web:

“If we leave the web as it is, there’s a very large number of things that will go wrong. We could end up with a digital dystopia if we don’t turn things around. It’s not that we need a 10-year plan for the web, we need to turn the web around now.”

> Wikipedia co-founded Jimmy Wales is launching a social network, WT:Social, where the community of users will assign quality scores to the shared content and police for potential abuses of the site. 

> #CONSENT South Korean regulators in constant search for porn, with a mission to hunt down and remove sexual videos posted without consent.

> HuffPost editor in chief Lydia Polgreen for The Guardian: The collapse of the information ecosystem poses profound risks for humanity: Just as companies decarbonize their businesses, they should think carefully about how they contribute to the destruction of our information ecosystem.

> #CHINA NYTimes: China Uses DNA to Map Faces, With Help From the West.

Beijing’s pursuit of control over a Muslim ethnic group pushes the rules of science and raises questions about consent.

> #WATCH VICE News: China’s Vanishing Muslims: Undercover In The Most Dystopian Place In The World.

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