LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin August 14, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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🦄 Tech UNICORNS are a more recent phenomenon in Latin America, as the size of an investment round that would normally generate a unicorn valuation has become available in a markedly increased capacity since 2017.

To track the emergence of these unicorns, LAVCA has created a Latin American Unicorn Leaderboard, current as of July 2019, and based on information reported by secondary sources, linked to where possible.

For the purposes of the leaderboard, LAVCA defines unicorns as privately held tech companies with post-money valuations of US$1b+ based on their last disclosed valuation event.

unicorn leaderboard IMAGE


> KaszeK Ventures and SoftBank led a R$70m (US$17.6m) round in Brazilian digital used car portal Volanty with participation from existing investors monashees and Canary. monashees and Canary previously invested R$19m in 2018.

> #CVC Bradesco's Inovabra fund and Positivo's corporate venture arm led a R$22m Series A investment in Brazilian agtech Agrosmart. Previous investors include SP Ventures, São Paulo innovation fund Desenvolve SP, Baita, Embrapa, and Cedro Capital.

> Aurus Capital led an undisclosed Series A investment in Aguamarina, a Chilean industrial biotech company focused on sustainable solutions for the mining industry, with participation from Khosla Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst.

  • This is Khosla Ventures’ inaugural investment in Chile; Khosla invested in Mexican healthech Higia in 2018.

> Jaguar Ventures led a US$1.3m seed investment in Checkars, an Argentine auto resell marketplace, with participation from angels Luis Ureta Saenz Peña (Peugeot), Matias Rechia (IguanaFix) and Alejandro Ayestaran (

  • CEO Jaime Macaya says the goal is to make used car buying and selling a hassle-free and digital experience in Latin America.

> Jaguar Ventures also made an undisclosed investment in Nubank through a secondary sale.

  • Jaguar joins KaszeK Ventures as Nubank’s second locally based VC investor.

> NXTP Labs, ArFintech, and Rosental Inversores made a US$1.1m investment in Alquilando, an Argentine proptech platform for residential rentals. Buenos Aires seed fund Troopa and Alpha4Ventures invested previously.

  • CEO Mauro Ayala founded Alquilando in 2017.

> #IMPACT Adobe Capital invested US$1m in Universidad Kuepa, a Mexican online university offering bachelors and masters degrees to its student base in Mexico and the US hispanics market.

> Wayra invested R$500k in Brazilian agtech startup IoTag.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos made a seed investment in Brazilian legaltech Juristas.

> Primatec, managed by Antera Gestão de Recursos, made undisclosed investments in Brazilian startups Target Solutions (telco ops management) and Autaza (autotech).

> #CVC Crescera Investimentos (via its Growth FIP fund) and Bradesco (via FIP Inovabra) acquired a minority stake in Semantix, a Brazilian provider of big data solutions.

#ACCELERATOR Aceleradora del Litoral made seed investments in Argentine biotech startups Nairoby, Bioheuris, and Inbioar.

> ACCELERATOR AES Tietê, in partnership with Liga Ventures, invested R$1.5m in Brazilian energy tech startups movE and Mitsidi Brain.

> #US Youper, an app for supporting people with social anxiety, raised US$3m from Goodwater Capital. Youper was founded by Brazilian psychologist José Hamilton Vargas and engineer Diego Dotta, and relocated to California in 2017.

> #UK EnjoyHQ, a London-based UX testing platform founded by Venezuelan Sofía Quintero, raised a US$2m seed round from The Venture City, Point Nine Capital, Social Capital, and others.



> #IMPACT Adobe Capital closed its Adobe Mezzanine Fund II with US$30.3m in capital commitments, entirely comprised of institutional investors. Fund I was a US$20m vehicle raised in 2012.

> #CVC Brazilian pharmaceutical company Eurofarma launched Axon Ventures, a R$45m early-stage CVC fund.

> Brazilian VC Iporanga Investimentos is raising a VC vehicle with a US$100m target.

> Mexico Ventures invested in CerraCap Ventures, a California-based early-stage venture capital firm focused on cyber security, analytics, and healthtech. Mexico Ventures is co-managed by Fondo de Fondos (Mexico City) and Sun Mountain Capital (New Mexico).

> #RFP IDB Lab is looking for a dedicated General Partner to manage a new LAC-Korea Startup Fund.

  • The fund will provide early stage financing to two categories of startups/scaleups: LAC companies expanding within and beyond LAC (in particular Korea/Asia), and to Korean companies operating in or expanding to LAC.
  • Submit an expression of interest by September 23.

> For the first time, Jamaican pension funds can invest in PE and VC vehicles.



> ALLVP exited WeexMobile, a Mexican MVNO targeting millennials, through a sale to Yonder Media Mobile.



> Payments 🦄 unicorn Stripe launched its first office in Latin America in Mexico City. Stripe partners in LatAm include Rappi, Platzi, Cornershop, and Urbvan.

> #M&A Brazilian fintech Creditas acquired Creditoo, a credit consignment platform for private sector employees.

> #M&A New York-based digital payments processor Kushki Pagos acquired Chilean fintech QVO to expand into Chile.

> #TECHPOLICY Buenos Aires suspends Rappi, Glovo, and PedidosYa for safety infractions. Grin is exiting CDMX for now.

> 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.



> VC/tech investors, corporates, and qualified entrepreneurs are invited to join LAVCA on Thursday, September 26 in New York for the Venture Investors Annual Meeting, on the final day of LAVCA Week, followed by cocktails 🍸 hosted by Riverwood Capital. Details & registration here.

> Program Highlights:

🔥 ⭐Keynote Fireside Chat with Craig Thornburn, Director - Emerging Markets, Future FundInterviewed by: Nico Szekasy, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, KaszeK Ventures

🔥 Fireside Chat with Will Kohler, Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Interviewed by: Scott Voss, Managing Director, HarbourVest

🏦 Beyond LatAm: Banking the Unbanked in Nigeria with Arjuna Costa, Managing Director, Flourish Ventures, & Tayo Oviosu, Founder & CEO, Paga

🍸 LAVCA Members are invited to a private cocktail with Silicon Valley Bank and the Tech Growth Coalition on Weds. September 25, the evening prior.



> #MICROFINANCE Zürich-based impact asset manager responsability  closed a US$175m securitization of loans to microfinance and SME-finance institutions in emerging markets. Investors making commitments include the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Alecta, a Swedish pension provider.

  • The underlying pool of assets are 26 newly issued senior bullet loans to fast-growing Microfinance Institutions and SME-Banks in 17 different countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

> The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) Investor Forum will take place in Amsterdam, Netherlands, October 2-3. Register here.

> Alterna, in collaboration with New Ventures, is hosting the Latin American Impact Investment Forum for Central America and the Caribbean (FLII CA&C) on November 13-14 in Antigua, Guatemala. More information here.

> LAVCA members have a discount to the GSG Impact Summit, hosted by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, taking place Nov. 18-20 in Santiago, Chile. Details here. Contact Catalina Santos ( for information about the discount.

> Sandra Sainz, former Managing Partner of SV LatAm and IFC alum, joins Promotora Social Mexico as Investment Officer of Impact Investing.

> BlueOrchard Impact Investment Managers is hiring a Regional Manager - Latin America, based in Lima. Details here.



> Financial Times Opinion: Latin America’s digital spring: work in progress: “Could this digital spring revive Latin America’s growth momentum after almost two decades of lacklustre performance?”

> Reuters: Japan's SoftBank chases more deals with Mexican startups.

> Brazilian entrepreneurship platform Startse launched an equity crowdfunding platform called CapTable.

> TheNextWeb: An entrepreneur’s guide to Brazil’s startup ecosystem.

> Reuters: Food delivery giants JustEat and agreed to merger terms.


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

Wayra Brasil is hosting an Investor’s Day in São Paulo on August 28. Admission is by invitation; interested investors can email to inquire for details.

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

> Save the date for the Peru Venture Capital Conference, hosted by COFIDE, Ministerio de Producción, Startup Perú, BID Lab, UTEC Ventures, ESAN on October 16-17 in Lima.

> Scotiabank is hosting the Latin America Innovation & Disruption Forum in Mexico City on November 12-13. Topics include retail, tech media & telecom, food & beverage, cannabis, and financials. Details here. 📧 Contact  Marcela Villarreal ( to participate.

> The University of Cambridge is hosting its first Latin American Business Summit (LABS), a five-day event in Santiago, Chile Nov. 3-8. Details here.

> Google’s Launchpad Accelerator LATAM is accepting applications for its Mexico and Brazil programs, offering equity-free support to high-growth startups. Apply by August 31.

> Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 is accepting applications for its 7th cohort. Startups receive US$40k (equity-free) and up to US$75k in follow-on funding. Apply here.

> The LatAm New York Accelerator, powered by ERA Global, is accepting applications for its program to help for Latin American startups accelerate their US market-entry. Details here.

> Agtech startups are invited to apply to GROW, an agtech accelerator in Singapore organized by Agfunder and Australian accelerator Rocket Seeder. Apply for US$120k in funding by August 19.

> Brazilian accelerator Darwin Startups launched Seleção Natural, a workshop program for entrepreneurs in northern Brazil.

> 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



> Reuters interviews Scott Sobel of Valor Capital and André Maciel of SoftBank in Venture capital fuels Latam 'unicorns' expansion beyond borders.


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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