LatAm Venture Bulletin March 8, 2017

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

>  ENTREPRENEURS This month LAVCA interviews Brazilian Carolina Reis and Colombian Andrés Ochao, CEO and CTO of OneSkin, a biotech startup with ambitious plans to reverse the aging process. (See additional featured female entrepreneurs in Q&As with Semka, Agruppa, X-Runner, and Lastroom.) 

>  INVESTORS The VC community in Latin America is diverse, including women who are playing an active and important role investing in the early stage ecosystem. Here is our shortlist of Women Investing in Latin American VC: Decision Makers.

>  CHERS/SALUD/FELICIDADES to IDB/FOMIN's @wexchange and NXTP.Lab's @EmprendedoraLAC, two ongoing initiatives that foster women entrepreneurs in LatAm. 

>  GLOBAL POV Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures talks about the importance of gender diversity in his portfolio companies.


>  LAVCA, in partnership with Omidyar Network, Telefonica Open Future_, and Silicon Valley Bank, has organized a special agenda featuring two days of private meetings with the Bay Area's venture community. Select early stage fund managers are invited to join us on April 3 and 4 in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for VC in the Bay.

>  Reply here, or email Leah Galamba at, for a copy of the agenda or to see if you qualify to attend.


> Zoma Capital and Encourage Capital launched a sustainable seafood investment holding company, Pescador Holdings, with an initial US$10m investment. Pescador Holdings in turn invested in Chile’s Geomar, a “shore to shelf,” sustainable seafood company with products sold in major markets throughout the world.

> American funds Eldar Investments and ECS Capital Partners made an undisclosed investment in Dineer, a Brazilian dinner hosting platform. Bossa Nova Investmentos invested previously.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos announced 16 new investments in the US and Brazil, including Digital Influencer, Foodster, Automobi, Track n me, and Instacarro.


> With a recently closed late-stage fund, Alan Patricof’s Greycroft Partners is taking a look at deal opportunities in Brazil.


> OLX acquired Storia Imóveis to expand into the Brazilian real estate market.

Evertech, a Puerto Rican payment company servicing the banking industry, is acquiring Paygroup, a Chilean company specializing in transactional business solutions, for US$26m.


> We are social has some very useful “big picture” data on how Latin America stacks up to other global internet markets. As of January 2016:

  • Time spent on social media: LatAm dominates three of the top five markets (1: Philippines; 2: Brazil; 3: Mexico; 4: Argentina; 5: UAE)
  • Time spent on the internet: Brazil leads globally
  • Internet penetration: 60% in South America, 44% in Central America, 80% in Argentina

> Latin America is adding 4G connections twice as fast as the global average, according to new research from GSMA Intelligence.

> Endeavor’s Panorama del Fintech in Mexico does a deep dive on the fintech evolution in Mexico from 2008-2016, with case studies on Kubo Financeiro, Bitso, Clip, and Kueski.



> Mexican fintech startup Konfio partnered with Uber to provide loans up to MX$250k for drivers to buy their own car in Uber’s top market globally. From Konfio CEO David Arana:

"The intention is to get more drivers to become independent sole-proprietors, since this massively improves their income and lifestyle. It’s a way of creating financial inclusion by using our methodology to underwrite loans to drivers that otherwise would not get access. The partnership is working great with a massive and rapidly growing number of drivers serviced so far, thanks to Uber’s dominant user base in Mexico and ability to execute. We still have a long way to go, but we’re very happy with the results so far and it’s a promising long-term relationship."

Konfio is KaszeK Ventures and QED Investors’ first investment in Mexico. READ LAVCA’s interview with David Arana after raising a Series A from KaszeK, QED, Quona, and Jaguar Ventures.

> Conekta and OXXO launched OXXO Pay, a strategic partnership with corporate investor FEMSA Comercio to allow Mexicans without a bank account or credit card to pay for online purchases at over 14,000 OXXO stores. READ LAVCA’s interview with Conekta CEO Hector Cardenas on the heels of their Series A investment from VARIV Capital and Jaguar Ventures, retail giant FEMSA Comercio, and Conconi Growth Partners in Vancouver.

> El Economista covers electricity giant Engie’s strategic investment in Mexican solar startup Enlight with participation from ALLVP, to double the number of residential and commercial solar installations in Mexico. Enlight CEO Jullian Willenbrock says combating climate change was also a factor behind starting the company, especially in the context of challenges it poses for Mexico City.

> El Financiero covers Google for Entrepreneurs’ partnership with Centraal co-working space in Mexico City, including Google Launchpad alums Conekta,, and Miroculus, a cancer diagnostic startup.

WIRED: Startups Can Escape Their Cash Crunch by Going to Mexico.

> MercadoLibre is spending US$100m on its Mexican operations in 2017, which is almost all the revenue they made in 2016.

> Amazon AWS partnered with the Chilean government to promote education, training, and entrepreneurship around cloud services/products.

> Forbes covers Tala, a US-based startup offering micro-loans via smartphones that just raised US$30m from IVP and Ribbit Capital. IVP General Partner Jules Maltz is also an investor in Opportun, which markets loans to the under-banked Hispanic population in the U.S., and SoFi, which refinances college loans, joins the board.



> Applications are now open for MassChallenge’s Building for the Masses program in Mexico City. Despite the fact that 75% of Latin Americans live within the poverty line, very few startups are focusing on this market. Entrepreneurs building products and services that will have a positive impact on the quality of life of low-income communities in Mexico can apply by today, March 8.

> RTM (Rede de Telecomunicações para o Mercado) and FintechLab partnered to launch Desafio RTM, an accelerator program for fintech, telco, IT, and connectivity startups at any stage of development. Apply by March 13.

> Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program (SLELP) is looking for businesses with US$1m+ in revenue, or US$500k+ in funding, for a six-week mentorship program subsidized by Stanford’s donors. Apply by March 20.

> Santander Bank and Endeavor are partnering on Radar Santander, a growth accelerator for startups with a proven business model in CRM and big data, risk management, payment solutions, human resources management, and relationship channels. Startups can apply by March 24.

> Finnovista is accepting applications for Startup Bootcamp FinTech Mexico City this summer. Early-stage startups with a viable product and client base can apply by May 21.

> Wayra, accelerator of Telefonica Open Future_, has an open call for IT startups (including IoT, big data, cybersecurity) in Caracas, Lima, and Bogotá. Startups can apply by April 2. 

> Congrats to GoRaymi, an Ecuadorean tourism platform, and ZOMOZ, a Venezuelan experience discovery platform, for winning Telefonica Open Future_’s Global Race startup competition at 4YFN in Barcelona last week.



>  Snap IPO’d last week on the NYSE, marking the first American tech IPO of 2017. This is the biggest tech IPO since Alibaba in 2014, and the biggest American tech IPO since Facebook in 2012. This is a game-changer for the tech ecosystem in Los Angeles. But Snap is definitely an exception to the rule— in the US (as well as Europe and Israel), more than 90% of VC exits are through M&A.

> Is Silicon Valley about to put the world out of work? And if so, do technologists owe the world a solution? NYTimes goes inside a Kenyan experiment in Universal Basic Income.

> Between #deleteuber, multiple sexual harassment scandals, and a lawsuit from Google over lasers, it’s been a very bad month for Uber. READ How Uber Could End Up As Silicon Valley's Most Spectacular Crash.

> Related: The breathtaking scale of sexism in Silicon Valley.


The LatAm Venture Bulletin is a news platform of the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

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