LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin November 13, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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NEW! 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.



> Global Founders Capital led a US$30m investment in Kovi, a Brazilian provider of rental cars for on-demand drivers in Latin America, with participation from Quona Capital, and follow-on from monashees, MAYA Capital, ONEVC, Y Combinator, Broadhaven Ventures, and angels Kevin Efrusy and Justin Mateen.

  • monashees led a US$10.5m seed investment earlier in 2019.
  • Co-founders Adhemar Milani Neto (CEO) and Joao Costa (CTO) are alums of rideshare 99. READ our interview with Neto and Costa below 👇.

> ALLVP led a US$15m Series B in MUY Tech, a Colombian restaurant management platform founded by José Calderón (CEO) and Miguel Mc Allister, who previously founded and sold it to Delivery Hero in 2014. MUY raised US$4m earlier in 2019 led by Seaya Ventures.

  • CEO José Calderón: "Current delivery marketplaces in the region are focused on high-income users. When you compare the minimum wage with average order value, you can see that this is around 35x in LatAm, this means a person earning minimum wage could order 35 deliveries a month, while in more developed countries, this might go up to 200x. We need to use the technology to build an offering that low and mid-income Latin Americans can pay."
  • Co-Founder Miguel Mc Allister spoke at LAVCA’s Family Office/VC Workshop in Medellin on Nov. 12.

> #CVC Mountain Nazca Mexico, Foundation Capital, and FEMSA Ventures made a US$10m seed investment in Jüsto, a Mexico-based grocery delivery startup founded by Cabify alum Ricardo Weber. Quiet Capital, Vas Ventures, 500 Startups, and others invested previously.

  • Weber: "Despite the uncertainty of the economical and political perspective in Mexico, we believe that this round among others we have seen in the past months is a strong signal of the current development and maturity of the Mexican entrepreneurship ecosystem, and also the quality and passion of Mexican entrepreneurs."

> #CVC Chinese trucking logistics giant Manbang Group made an undisclosed investment in Truckpad, a Braziilan platform for hiring and managing freelance truck drivers. Truckpad is backed by Mercedes-Benz Brasil

> Indicator Capital and Gávea Angels led a R$5m investment in Tevec, a Brazilian retail tech startup.

> QED Investors led an R$60m investment in Pitzi, a Brazilian mobile phone insurance provider, with participation from Thrive Capital and Valiant Partners, at a reported valuation of US$100m. QED invested previously, as did KaszeK Ventures, DCM, and Flybridge.

> Dux Capital invested US$500k in EPICA, a Miami-based retail tech startup with a Mexican subsidiary, in a round that included EWA Capital, TheVentureCity, 11-11 Ventures, and Tribune Capital.

>  Apex Partners led a R$2m investment in Brazilian edtech Luma.

>  Kredito, a Chilean fintech focused on micro-loans to underbanked Chileans, raised an undisclosed round from local angels and family offices.

> Nama, a Brazilian maker of B2B chatbots, raised R$2.5m on equity crowdfunding platform Eqseed.

> CORRECTION: Redpoint eventures and angels invested R$4.5m in Antecipa, a B2B receivables platform. The last edition incorrectly stated that DGF, Yellow Ventures, Osher Tech, and 42K invested previously.



> SP Ventures launched a venture debt vehicle, Brazil Venture Debt, with R$140m under management from BNDES and others. Gabriela Gonçalves is CEO of the new vehicle.

  • According to Valor Econômico, the fund is looking at startups with up to R$90m in annual revenues and a relatively established business model.

> #IMPACT Doble Impacto, a Chilean crowdfunding platform for impact projects, and Quest Capital, a Chilean corporate finance advisory firm, partnered to launch a US$10m Chilean social impact fund.

> Angel Ventures partnered with Dubai-based Iliad Partners to launch South-South Venture Alliance (SSVA) to support entrepreneurship in emerging markets.



> LAVCA welcomes new member Quona Capital, a global emerging markets venture firm focused on financial technology. Among its investments in Latin America are Konfio and Klar in Mexico, and Creditas, Neon, BizCapital, Contabilizei, and Kovi in Brazil.

> LAVCA published an updated directory of VC/Tech members, with profiles on 75+ firms active in Latin America.




Adhemar Milani Neto (CEO) and João Costa (CTO) are co-founders of Kovi, a provider of rental cars for on-demand drivers in Latin America.

Funding: Global Founders Capital just led a US$30m investment with participation from Quona Capital, and follow-on from monashees, MAYA Capital, ONEVC, Y Combinator, Broadhaven Ventures, and others; monashees led the company’s US$10.5m seed investment earlier this year.

Background: Neto and Costa are alums of Brazilian rideshare 99. Neto served as General Manager on the launch of 99 Pop; Costa was the former Chief Product Officer at 99, and previously held that role at BelezaNaWeb. Didi Chuxing acquired 99 in early 2018, and Neto and Costa left 99 later that year to start Kovi with a goal of providing rideshare drivers access to cars and better quality of life.

Fintech versus Rideshare: Neto says Kovi is also a fintech business at its core, extending credit to drivers, and generally to sub-prime drivers. Of about 750,000 rideshare drivers in Brazil, he estimates some 70% are renters. “Rideshare would grow faster if drivers had more access to cars.”

Zooming out, Costa says about 80% of Brazilians don’t own their vehicle, and about the inverse is true in the United States.

Business Model: The model is for Kovi to rent the car fleet, and to sublet the cars to drivers; they are not in the business of financing fleet acquisition. The focus is on fleet management, including tracking and reducing costs for drivers, and customer service.

Drivers currently access cars through partnerships Kovi strikes with the rideshares, versus a B2C model. Kovi currently operates in Brazil (São Paulo, Porto Alegre) and Mexico (Mexico City).

Expansion Plans: While Kovi is starting with rideshare, the plan is to expand to fleet management for food delivery and logistics driving as well, and to offer a suite of services for drivers that includes car rental, insurance, and potentially home insurance and other financial services for which drivers may be under-served with their current banking options. “The goal is to be a Rappi for gig workers.



> #M&A Brazilian proptech Loft acquired Decorati, a Brazilian construction company focused on apartment renovation. Canary is invested in both companies.

  • Exame says this will 5x the number of simultaneous remodels Loft can perform.
  • LAVCA spoke with Loft Co-Founder Mate Pencz in our Spotlight on Proptech.

> #M&A Itaú will acquire 51% of Zup Serviços, a Brazilian provider of IT services for businesses, for a reported R$293m, as part of a three-stage acquisition deal. KaszeK Ventures invested in Zup previously. 

> Cisco veteran Michelle Dennedy joins big data platform Drumwave as CEO. Drumwave, founded by Andre Vellozo, is based in California, with offices in Palo Alto and Brazil, and is backed by DGF Investmentos. Dennedy formerly served as VP and Chief Privacy Officer at Cisco.

> Simetrik Universal Reconciliator, a Colombia-based B2B SaaS platform for automatic financial reconciliation, will process all of Mercado Libre’s transactions. Mercado Libre recently participated in an undisclosed investment in the company alongside monashees, Global Founders Capital, and others. Rappi is also a client.

> Quartz: Nubank’s app has been downloaded more than Revolut, Monzo, and N26 combined.

> Check out LAVCA’s directory of 331 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA (as of end-2018), our Unicorn Leaderboard, 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.



> Alterna, in collaboration with New Ventures, is hosting the Latin American Impact Investment Forum for Central America and the Caribbean (FLII CA&C) this week 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 Buenos Aires. Details here. Contact Catalina Santos ( for information about the discount.

> Capria is looking to invest up to US$20m in existing and 1-2 new funds in Latin America. Sign up here.



📢 LAVCA is expanding its VC/tech coverage and is seeking a talented, manager/director-level candidate to join its New York HQ. Requirements:

✔️ Excellent writing skills with sharp attention to detail.
✔️ Spanish and/or Portuguese fluency.
✔️ A passion for how tech is changing Latin American lives for the better.

📧 Email Julie Ruvolo ( for more info.


>  📣 WeXchange is taking place this week on November 13-14 in Asuncion, Paraguay. Details here.

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.

> Latin America Ventures Summit is Nov. 13-15 in Cartagena. Details here.

> ERA Global is accepting applications for its equity-free LatAm New York Accelerator. LatAm startups looking to expand globally and fundraise in the US are welcome to apply by Nov. 15.

> The Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) are hosting the VII Innovation Summit of The Pacific Alliance, Nov. 20-21 in San Francisco, California. More information here.

> FICE 2019 (Festival de Inovação e Cultura Emprendedora) is Nov. 23 in São Paulo. Details here.

> Colombia Fintech is hosting a fintech conference in Bogotá on Nov. 28. Details here.

> Greentech Challenge Investor Day is Nov. 28 in São Paulo at Cubo. Startups can apply to pitch here.

> Seedstars LatAm Summit is Nov. 27-29 in Medellin. Active investors interested to get one of the free investors pass to meet with the 30+ selected startup can email to qualify for a free investor pass.

> Mercado Libre, Telefonica, Arca Continental, Engie Factory, and BBVA welcomes finalists for its Plug In Mexico acceleration program on Nov. 29 in CDMX. Details here.

> 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



> Valor: Aportes de venture capital na América Latina atingem US$ 2,6 bi no 1o semestre:

Mesmo tirando a Rappi da conta, o desempenho entre janeiro e junho foi forte, com aumento significativo no valor médio dos aportes. Em 159 negócios, o tíquete médio ficou em US$10m— mais que os US$5,4m registrados no mesmo período do ano passado e do que a média do ano de 2018 (US$4,3m).

> Reuters: How Brazil's SoftBank-backed Banco Inter aims to supercharge loan growth.

> Telefonica, Wayra, and CEmprende partnered on Colombia’s first IoT lab for entrepreneurs.

> Huawei announced it will invest US$50m in app development in Latin America and open a lab in Mexico.

> LinkedIn is opening offices in CDMX.

> Uber CPO Manik Gupta indicated at Web Summit in Lisbon last week that 40% of rides globally are paid in cash.

> Travis Kalanick raised US$400m from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund for CloudKitchens, his first venture since departing Uber.

  • Morning Brew: This marks the fund’s first known investment in the Bay Area since Saudi operatives murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Oct. 2018.

> DiDi suspended its carpool service, Hitch, after drivers killed two female passengers in separate incidents last year. Didi’s solution for the relaunch? Women can only ride till 8pm, and men till 11pm... apparently to keep women safe.

> DiDi has launched in Bogotá.

> #5G Fortune: China Is Launching Its 5G Network Ahead of Schedule and on a Spectrum the U.S. Can’t Yet Match.

> #5G Axios: Special report: The next tech wave rides on 5G.



> Martin Escobari was promoted to Co-President of General Atlantic. Escobari spoke at LAVCA's Venture Investors Annual Meeting on the topic of growth capital, alongside Riverwood, SoftBank, and DST Global.

> Yuan Li of the China-Latin America Tech Initiative interviews LAVCA on the rise of LatAm VC.

> BNamericas interviewed Andy Freire of SoftBank in La apuesta a largo plazo de SoftBank por la innovación latinoamericana:

No es un foco particular Brasil. Hemos hecho inversiones en México y Colombia y espero que pronto podamos anunciar inversiones en el Cono Sur. Brasil simplemente tiene una escala y un producto bruto que hace que un gran porcentaje del fondo termine destinado al país

> Sophia Wood of Magma Partners wrote a round-up of recent LatAm tech activity for TechCrunch.



WashingtonPost: Think you’re anonymous online? A third of popular websites are ‘fingerprinting’ you.

Bloomberg: The Global Fertility Crash: Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador are some of the countries have seen steeper declines than the global average.

Bloomberg: Leading Maggot Farmer to Expand From Cape Town to California:

The company behind the world’s first industrial-scale maggot farm based on organic waste plans to kick off its international expansion with a plant in California next year, taking advantage of two global problems: a shortage of protein and an abundance of trash.

> Crunchbase: As Wildfires Burn Through California, Here’s What Startups Are Doing.

> WIRED: Hackers Can Use Lasers to ‘Speak’ to Your Amazon Echo or Google Home.

> Freedom House published its ninth annual “Freedom of the Net” report. Internet freedom, the right to internet access without censorship or manipulation of content and without violations of user rights, has been declining every year since 2010.

> WIRED published a list of 25 People Who Are Racing to Save Us:

Whether it’s arming the immune system’s T-cells to precisely target tumors, developing eco-friendly alternatives to livestock-industry meat, or monitoring the internet’s hell sites to sniff out trouble, the 25 people and groups here offer real hope that we can fix the mistakes of the past and still have a chance for a future we can survive.

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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