LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin July 3, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> monashees and Base10 led a US$5.3m seed investment in Nowports, a Mexican automated freight platform, with participation from investors including Y Combinator, Broadhaven, Soma Capital, Partech, Tekton, and Paul Buchheit.

  • Check out our interview with CEO Maximiliano Casal below.

> #AGTECH Colombian agtech Frubana raised US$12m over two rounds. monashees, Y Combinator, Kairos and GE32 Capital invested US$2m pre-seed, and Kairos led a US$10m seed round.

  • Frubana was founded in 2018 by Rappi veteran Fabián Gomez, and has over 100 employees.

> Redpoint eventures and Intact Ventures disclosed 20% and 25% equity stakes respectively, totaling US$60m recently converted from debt to equity, in Minuto Seguros, a Brazilian insurance platform.

> Brazilian fintech BTX Digital raised R$10m from RedLions Capital and partnered with Hubchain Technologies.

> Burea, a Puerto Rican mobile analytics platform for offline sales, raised US$2m from unnamed local investors. Burea was accelerated at Parallel18 and is run by Co-founder & CEO Vivian Vargas.

> #CVC EDP Ventures Brasil and Inseed Investimentos invested R$6.5m in Dom Rock, a Brazilian enterprise consulting and analytics platform.

> Canary led a R$4.5m investment in Shopper, a Brazilian subscription delivery platform for consumer products.

DOMO Invest made a R$4m investment in Instaviagem, a Brazilian travel platform.

> Finep Startup invested R$1m in Mainô, a Brazilian fiscal management platform for foreign trade business.

> Cornershop co-founders Oscar Hjertonsson and Daniel Undurraga led an angel investment in Kredito, a microcredit platform targeting rideshare drivers in Latin America.

Brazilian P2P lending startup Mutual raised R$4m on equity crowdfunding platform Eqseed.

> Loud Voice Services, a Brazilian B2B voice tech startup, raised US$1.5m pre-seed funding from undisclosed investors. Founder Leonardo Leão is a Facebook alum.

BoBAGS, a Brazilian rental service for fashion accessories, raised an undisclosed investment from management consultant Visagio.



> Brazilian accelerator ACE announced plans to launch a R$100m seed fund.

> NXTP Labs became a certified B-Corp. Founding Partner Marta Cruz:

Debemos ser el cambio que queremos ver en el mundo. A través de nuestras acciones como compañía, tenemos que aspirar a que nuestros negocios giren en torno al beneficio de las personas y del planeta. Esta es la verdadera importancia de la inversión con propósito.



> Business Insider gets a rare interview with Gympass Founder & CEO Cesar Carvalho in The Founder of a $1 billion startup reveals why he took SoftBank's cash after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi:

As a condition of accepting funding from SoftBank, Carvalho asked the Vision Fund to facilitate business ties with its other portfolio companies. As a result, Gympass counts both Uber and WeWork among its customers….

"It happened simultaneously," Carvalho said. "We already asked [SoftBank] to help us during the process to prove it was a valuable thing. We had done partnerships with several companies in the portfolio and the idea now is to take that to every single market that we are in…. It's access to that ecosystem that will move the needle for us more than the capital.".

The other pull is SoftBank's ties to Asia. "It's a key market when we think about the future for us," said Carvalho. "We had many other offers on the table, but we made the decision to go with them."....

Carvalho added that SoftBank firms are "changing people's lives for the better."

> Grow Mobility says the scooter rideshare has logged 10 million rides across 23 cities in Latin America.

> Cabify and Easy apps are now fully integrated, two years after the companies merged. Cabify, Easy and Movo are part of Spanish transport tech holding company Maxi Mobility.

> #M&A Brazilian edtechs Edools and EADBOX merged to form Herospark under the leadership of EADBOX founder Nilson Filatieri.

> #TECHPOLICY Colombian regulators ordered micro-mobility startup Movo to remove its scooters nationwide.

> La Tercera: What’s next for Cornershop?

> Colombian edtech Platzi partnered with Facebook Developer Circles to offer scholarships for a tech training developer program.

> Brazilian healthtech Bright is raising a Series A, according to BrazilJournal. Bright’s hardware uses photobiomodulation tech for spot-based pain therapy.

> Peruvian dating app Mi Media Manzana is ceasing operations.

> 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.



> Mexican freight logistics platform 📦 Nowports just raised a seed round from monashees and Base10 Partners. LAVCA spoke with Co-Founder & CEO Maximiliano Casal about the opportunity. Nowports is already operating in nine countries in Latin America and will open offices in each country this year.

LAVCA: How does Latin America figure in the global market for freight shipments?

Casal: The LatAm market is as big as the USA market.

LAVCA: Who are your clients?

Casal: Small and Medium companies that imports or exports cargo internationally. We also work with large companies (moving more than 100 containers per month).

LAVCA: TechCrunch says you worked as a freight forwarder in Kansas City to get closer to the industry.

Casal: Kansas City is a logistics hub because of the rail center (largest in US). There are hundreds of Freight Forwarders that are looking for technology to improve their process.

LAVCA: Anyone else working on the software side of freight shipping in Latin America?

Casal: No, we are the first ones. There might be some small platforms that are willing to start, but there is no other established player yet.



> Acumen invested US$876k in Acceso Colombia, a local agribusiness working with smallholder farmers, through its Investing for Peace Fund, in partnership with USAID.

> FIS Ameris signed a pre-investment agreement with Puntaje Nacional, an edtech company aiming to reduce the education gap in Chile and LatAm.

> ACAFI, FIS-Ameris and PUC-Chile partnered on an inaugural guide to impact investing in Chile, with information on ChileGlobal Ventures, Fen Ventures, FIS-Ameris, Lumini, Sembrador, and Sudamerik. (En Español)

> Acumen is spinning out its impact measurement methodology into a stand-alone startup called 60 Decibels.

> SITAWI partnered with Instituto Sabin to launch uma Plataforma de Empréstimo Coletivo, a platform to connect social/environmental impact entrepreneurs to potential investors.

> Value for Women launched Panorama de la Inversión de Impacto con Enfoque de Género en América Latina, a report on measuring gender-related impact investing. (Available in Spanish & English)

> Enoch Capital Partners, a Salt Lake City-based impact fund, is looking to invest US$500k-US$4m in growth capital in impactful Latin American businesses with a proven business model. Apply here.

> Female entrepreneurs can apply for grants from WomenConnect Challenge, a project to bridge the gender digital divide. Apply by August 6.

> Female founders of socially-minded companies globally are invited to apply to the Cartier Womens Initiative. Details here.

  • 2019 LatAm finalists Tatiana Pimenta (Vittude) & Marcela Torres (Holacode) received US$30k in awards; winner Liza Velarde (Delee) received US$100k.

> 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.

> WSJ: The Difficulty of Measuring a Company’s Social Impact: “Even as more companies push to quantify social impact both internally and externally, the numbers produced often have little meaningful to say.”

> FT: How impact investing can complement but not displace philanthropy: “Many long-term problems can be fixed by market-based investable ideas, but many other problems will always be dependent on generosity.”



> AWS is planning a significant data center project in Argentina. AWS is also launching Edge locations in Buenos Aires and other major LatAm cities.

> Walmart Mexico launched grocery delivery from its Superama stores via WhatsApp. Also, Walmart will pay US$282m over foreign corruption charges in Brazil.

> Forbes: The Top Tech IPOs In 2019 Have Been Started By Immigrants.

> Bloomberg: Brazil's Bolsonaro Calls Off Xi Meeting Over Chinese Delay.

> Quartz covers the football gender pay gap:

FIFA expects a total of 1 billion viewers to tune in for 2019 World Cup. With ticket prices breaking records and women’s national soccer players in places ranging from Australia and Norway to Brazil and Nigeria calling out the gender pay gap in their own countries, employers’ efforts to justify the wage gap look increasingly feeble in sports, and everywhere else, too.


> LAVCA Week registration is now open for LAVCA members. Details & registration here.

  • 🎤 Speakers include Amazon (Alexa Fund), Future FundFlourish Ventures, General Atlantic, QED, Qualcomm Ventures, SoftBank, TPG Growth, & CEOs of Loft, Miroculus, NotCo & Sempli.
  • 🍸 In addition to the Venture Investors Annual Meeting on September 26 & after-party hosted by Riverwood Capital, LAVCA members are invited to a private cocktail with SVB and the Tech Growth Coalition on Weds. September 25, the evening prior.

> ABVCAP is hosting the annual Conferência Brasileira de Venture Capital in Florianópolis on August 12-13. Details here.

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

BlastU is hosting a 2-day festival on ecosystem and innovation in São Paulo, August 13-14. Details here.

> Polymath Ventures is organizing a Latin American Tech Expedition to China, Sept 2-8. Visit Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou to connect entrepreneurs and investors with leading Chinese tech giants and top Chinese VC/PE funds to explore cross-border collaborations. 📧 Contact Ms. Yuan Li (, Director of China Initiative of Polymath Ventures, for more info.

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.

> Women entrepreneurs with tech-based and STEM startups are invited to apply to the WeXchange Pitch Competition. READ LAVCA’s interviews with past winners including Lab4U, Semka Biomedical Technologies, and Agruppa. Apply by July 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.

> Applications are open for 500 Startups’ 4-month acceleration program in Mexico City. Apply here for US$60k in funding.

> ChileGlobal Ventures and Alianza del Pacifico organized a meeting on June 24 to connect Mexican VCs and entrepreneurs in Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Mexico.

> Plug and Play is looking to launch a program in Latin America.

> 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



> NEW from LAVCA’s Executive Director Cate Ambrose: The Glass Half Full: Finding Opportunity in Latin America Today.

The recent EU/LatAm trade deals are a bright spot in the midst of slow macro growth and complex political environments in Latin America’s major economies. They are also another positive indicator for sophisticated long-term investors who, seeking value in global private capital markets, have turned their attention to the region.

Growth opportunities in technology-related startups and infrastructure, power and renewable energy, and consumer sectors have spurred capital commitments from a wide range of global fund managers and institutional and corporate investors over the last 18 months.

> The Venture City Founder & CEO Laura Estefani-Gomez is one of 22 experts appointed to guide the European Innovation Council (EIC).

> Agtech investor The Yield Lab expanded to Brazil.

> Anjos do Brasil says an emigration of Brazilian angel investors contributed to a slight decline in Brazilian angel investing in 2018.

> 🦄 57% of the private market cap for American unicorns is in San Francisco. 71% of China’s unicorn market cap is in Beijing.

> Ophelia Brown of Blossom Capital on redefining the European Series A:

Too many companies in Europe have been constrained by limited cash…. Time and time again, it’s not because the founders have accounted poorly — it’s that the investors convinced them to take on less capital. Not because it’s best for the company, but because it better fits the investors’ risk appetite and conservative fund model.



> Digital Currency Group says Facebook’s Libra project is ”extremely validating” for the crypto industry:

Facebook has done its homework and drawn lessons from many predecessor projects. The Libra White Paper contains notes of Bitcoin (decentralized currency), Ethereum (smart contracts), Ripple (permissioned nodes), R3 (private ledger consortium), Hedera Hashgraph (governing counsel), Tezos (on-chain governance), Tether (reserved stablecoin), Basis (a second “share” token), Abra (crypto remittance), Telegram’s TON (mobile distribution), and Dogecoin (just kidding).



> Curbed says experimental 3D-printed homes will be built this summer at an undisclosed location in Latin America, through a partnership with Texas sustainable building startup Icon and housing charity New Story.

> The Atlantic: At Work, Expertise Is Falling Out of Favor:

Ten years from now, the Deloitte consultant Erica Volini projects 70-90% of workers will be in so-called hybrid jobs or superjobs—that is, positions combining tasks once performed by people in two or more traditional roles.

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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