LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin August 22, 2018

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LatAm Venture Bulletin


LAVCA Startup Directory

Over the last 5+ years, Latin America has produced a new generation of startups backed by the region’s tech investors. LAVCA established the Latin American Startup Directory to identify and follow this universe of startups as they grow.

Using venture backing as an initial criteria*, LAVCA identified 256 Latin American startups in the 2018 directory, up from 155 in the 2017 directory, and 100 in the inaugural list.

ACCESS THE DIRECTORY and sort companies by geo, sector, and stage of investment.

The 2018 Latin American Startup Directory includes early stage companies that have received US$1m+ in verified venture funding and are still in operation, as tracked by LAVCA, but does not include companies that have been acquired or realized an IPO.

Click here for a separate list of highlighted companies that have raised US$1m+ and have been acquired/listed, including 99, Globant, Despegar, Netshoes, and others.


> Arc Labs made a US$10m debt investment in Creze, a Mexican startup providing financial services to small businesses. In 2017, DILA Capital and Mountain Nazca led a MXN$50m investment in Creze.

> The Venture City, Velum Ventures, and Grupo Cisneros led a US$4.5m Series A in Fluvip, a Colombian influencer marketing platform with offices in Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, the US, and Spain. Fluvip was founded by Sebastián Jasminoy in Bogotá in 2012.

> Pedralbes Partners and Aihuishou, a Chinese electronics recycle startup backed by Tiger Global, made a US$3m investment in Trocafone, a Brazil-based marketplace for used electronics.

  • Trocafone raised US$15m in 2017 from Callfort, MIT Castor Ventures Fund, FJ Labs, Rocketship, and Mercado Libre Fund. Existing investors include Wayra, Quasar Builders, NXTP Labs, South Ventures, Lumia Capital, and 500 Startups.
  • READ LAVCA's interview with CEO Guille Freire on Trocafone’s expansion plans in the region.

> SP Ventures and Abseed made a R$5m investment in Aegro, a software platform for grain cultivation with a team from UFRGS and IRGA. SP Ventures also invested in 2017. Aegro is on CBInsights’ list of top agtech startups.

> Brazilian IT company Accesstage made a R$2m investment in Moneto, a Brazilian payment processing app targeting individual business owners. Fundo de Inovação Paulista, managed by SP Ventures, invested R$2.5m in 2016.

> Axon Partners and Top Seeds Lab made an undisclosed investment in Turismoi, a Peruvian tourism platform operating in Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Spain.

> Criatec 2 made undisclosed investments in Brazil's Spume, a big data deep learning startup, and Auvo, a field management software platform.

> Puerto Asís made an undisclosed investment in Argentina's uSound, a manufacturer of solutions to improve hearing for people with limited resources.

> Prelude Ventures led a US$18m investment in Canadian mining startup Minesense, with participation from ABB Technology Ventures and existing investors Aurus Capital, Crysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital, and corporates Caterpillar and Mitsubishi Corporation. In Latin America, Minesense has operations in Chile, Peru, and Brazil.

> Aurus Capital made a US$2.14m Series A investment in UC3 (The Ultraconductuve Copper Company), a Boston-based nanotech company developing the most electrically conductive room-temperature material in existence, with operations in Chile and Switzerland.



> Brazilian startup star Ronaldinho invested US$75m in 5xmais Holding Business, a VC fund based in Goiânia, Brazil with almost 100 investments globally. 5xmais is partnered with Bossa Nova Investmentos, Cubo, and others.

> VC firm Social Capital is bringing its innovative Capital-as-a-Service platform to Brazil—so innovative that it’s caused a staff upheaval at the firm over data-driven decision making. Social Capital’s portfolio in the region includes Descomplica & Revelo in Brazil, and Apli & Kinedu in Mexico.



> Brazilian enterprise software startup Resultados Digitais acquired Plug CRM, a CRM platform for small businesses, for an undisclosed amount. This is the company’s first acquisition. Resultados Digitais hosts its annual RD Summit on Nov. 7-9.

> DadaRoom, a Mexican platform for shared rentals, was acquired by Roomi, an American roommate-finding app, for an undisclosed amount. DadaRoom is backed by Wayra and Start-Up Chile.

> Linx is launching two new brands, Linx Impulse Suite and Linx Pay Hub, as a result of integrating some of the startups it’s acquired. Startse says Linx has spent over R$350m on M&A.



> The Rise Fund led a US$13m Series A in Mines, a California-based credit platform for emerging markets. In LatAm, The Rise Fund is invested in Digital House and Grupo VI-DA.

  • JOIN The Rise Fund Senior Partner Maya Chorengel at LAVCA’s Venture Investors Annual Meeting on Sept 27 in New York. Chorengel will be speaking about the intersection of impact and returns along with Roy Swan of The Ford Foundation.

> Echoing Green hosts the All Fellows Conference in Medellin, Oct 15-19. Social/impact entrepreneurs are encouraged to register here to join.

> ANDE has launched funding for impact measurement and gender inclusion in Latin America, and will disburse US$150k across 4-6 projects, with the goal of building capacity among intermediaries, small/growing businesses, and researchers to measure impact with a gender lens. Details here.

> Omidyar Network has launched a Building an Impact Investing Team, a guide for families who are beginning to tackle the many strategic questions involved in assembling the right staff and structure to achieve their impact investing goals.

> Impact Management Project published A Guide to Mapping the Impact of an Investment.

> Sir Richard Branson announced the launch of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator to support climate solutions for resilience, green energy, the development of sustainable cities, oceans, and transportation.

> Save the date for the GIIN Investor Forum, October 30-31 in Paris France.

> 30 Segundos Por Mexico is an acceleration program for impact-driven entrepreneurs, organized by AT&T, New Ventures, and The Center at MIT. Idea-stage and active projects welcome, apply here.

> Save the date for FLII Central America and the Caribbean on November 7-8 in Guatemala.



> Amazon is preparing to launch Echo and Alexa in Mexico, it’s first localized Latin American country. Amazon is also opening a customer service center in Bogotá.

> Uber is opening a new center in São Paulo to develop tech for rider/driver safety and cash payments, a key payment method in its rapid expansion in Latin America, according to Reuters.

> Valor looks at the warming relationship between Brazilian banks and fintechs.

> El Financiero looks at the warming relationship between Mexican banks and growth-stage fintechs.

> Mexico’s new government will look to address financial inclusion through collaboration with fintechs and banks, according to Reuters.

> Iupana looks at how Mexican banks are starting to use AI.

> CAF is opening a US$50m credit line with Santander Bank in Brazil to encourage access to credit among female-run small businesses

> Endeavor launched a new office in Puerto Rico.



> DogHero, a Brazilian pet-hosting startup backed by IGNIA, monashees+, KaszeK and others, is expanding to Mexico.

> Bogotá-based LentesPlus is selling US$230k/month in contact lenses to over 70,000 clients, according to PulsoSocial. LentesPlus is backed by IGNIA, Stella Maris, inQlab, and others.

> Brazilian workforce productivity platform Levee (formerly Emprego Ligado) was named the regional winner for MIT's Future of Work Inclusive Innovation Challenge, in the 'access to technology' category. Levee is backed by monashees+, The Venture City, and others.

> Israeli equity crowdfunding platform OurCrowd is launching in Chile.

> Finnovista counts 125 new fintech startups in Mexico in the past 12 months.

> Tiger Global announced plans to sell its entire 43.7% stake in Decolar shortly after the company announced a stock buyback plan. Tiger partner Jason Lenga sits on the board, complicating matters.



> Chilean presidentSebastián Piñera announced the launch of OPEN, la Oficina de Productividad y Emprendimiento Nacional, to reduce bureaucracy and encourage investment in innovation. OPEN is overseen by Andres Osorio. Take a look at the initial regulatory agenda.

> El Ministerio de Producción de la Nación de Argentina collaborated with Superintendencia de Seguros de la Nación, ARCAP, ASEA and the insurance sector to roll out new opportunities for Argentine insurance companies to invest in startups:

Todas las compañías aseguradoras del país podrán financiar proyectos de emprendedores a través de las Instituciones de Capital Emprendedor (ICEs) computando sus inversiones, de hasta el 1%, dentro del estado de cobertura. Las modificaciones a la norma incluyen que dichas entidades puedan invertir en capital privado (PPPs, Infraestructura, Inmobiliario). Con la implementación de esta medida, las compañías aseguradoras podrán acceder a los beneficios fiscales previstos por la Ley de Emprendedores y los emprendedores tendrán mayor acceso al financiamiento.

> Brazilian president Michel Temer sanctioned Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Brasileira to define and regulate data privacy. Marco Civil creator Ronaldo Lemos, Executive Director of ITS-Rio, says the new legislation may cause a lot of problems, and it is unclear how it will harmonize with existing data privacy provisions under Marco Civil. Read the full text here.


> ACCESS THE AGENDA and REGISTER for the LAVCA Venture Investors Annual Meeting in New York on September 27, followed by an after-party hosted by Riverwood Capital.

Session Highlights:

    🚩 FUTURE OF VOICE: Ilya Gelfenbeyn oversees investments for Google’s new program to provide capital and other resources to early-stage startups building AI, voice, developer tools, and other applications in the Google Assistant ecosystem. Gelfenbeyn joins us for a futuristic conversation about the collision of consumer tech, AI, and voice recognition.

    🚩 BATTLEGROUND FOR THE LAST MILE: Eric Acher, founding partner of monashees+ and an investor in 99, Rappi, Yellow and Grin, moderates a discussion on the battleground for the last mile, from rideshare and delivery to e-scooters and mopeds, with participation from Rappi, Postmates, UberEats, and Cornershop investor ALLVP.

> 500 Startups selected 11 startups for its seed program in Mexico City, which includes US$60k in investment:

Mexico: Bonnus, Custodian, MiConcierge, Pixy Album, Raw Apothecary
Colombia: DartSpeed, Globalwork, Lo que necesito
Chile: Payform
Peru: Fitco, Rebaja tus cuentas

> Village Capital selected 12 startups for its FinTech LatAm 2018 cohort:

Mexico: Axend, Hurra Credit, Swap, Vexi
Argentina: Credibility, Koibanx, Siembro
Chile: Contable, Finvox, RedCapital
Colombia: UALET
Perú: Solven

> The Venture Capital Forum of the Latin American Digital Congress of Business and Technology 2018 is Sept. 5-6 in Santiago de Chile. Register here.

> Join BID, FOMIN, UTEC, Startup Perú and COFIDE for the Peru Venture Capital Conference on Sept 11 in Lima. Agenda here; register here.

> Dell and Springboard Enterprises are hosting Women Funding Women in Mexico City on Sept 13 and São Paulo on Sept 18. #CHANGETHERATIO

> Investors are invited to GSMA's upcoming Mobile World Congress Americas in LA on September 12-14. 

> LAVCA members and network have access to a 20% discount (using code LAVCA20) to Finnosummit Mexico City (Sept 12-13) and Miami (Oct 4-5). .

> BoostLab, BTG Pactual’s accelerator in partnership with ACE, is accepting applications for it second cohort. Six startups made the cut for the inaugural cohort: Neurotech, Agronow, Clicksign, F(X), Liber Capital, and Zigpay. Apply by August 24.

> Seedstars World is accepting applications from startups with less than US$500k in funding for its upcoming pitch competitions in Buenos Aires and Santo Domingo. Apply by August 29 & 31, respectively.

> Start-Up Chile opened applications for its Seed G21 program. Start-Up Chile provides entrepreneurs with a US$40K equity-free grant, workspace and acceleration. Apply by Sept 4.

> Nokia Open Innovation Challenge is offering mentorship and financial support for Brazilian IoT startups. Apply by Sept 6.

> SAVE THE DATE for WeXchange, a forum to connect high-growth entrepreneurs with mentors and investors, November 6-7 in Lima, Peru.

> SAVE THE DATE for Chile's 5th International Investment Forum on January 15-17. Pan-regional and global tech investors receive a complimentary pass for special programming and discussions about the country's opportunities. More information here.



> LAVCA is in the process of updating our list of Top Women Investors in Latin American Startups. Please nominate female partners, associates, principals, and angels actively investing in Latin American startups by filling out this very short form.

> Brazil, Chile, and Mexico are the top markets for corporate venturing, according to a new report supported by the IDB and Telefonica Open Future_.

LatAm Fund Managers: Please share insights you think would be useful for the broader tech investor community by replying to this email (



> Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi is opening offices in São Paulo.

> The Guardian says Bitcoin’s energy usage is huge – we can't afford to ignore it:

The cryptocurrency uses as much CO2 a year as one million transatlantic flights. We need to take it seriously as a climate threat…. This is a winner-takes-all game, where the prize is guaranteed to be paid to one, and only one, miner every 10 minutes. Burning more electricity increases your chances of winning, but correspondingly decreases everyone else’s – and so they have a motivation to burn more electricity in turn.

> Blockchain investor Jalak Jobanputra talks about how citizens of currency-volatile countries Turkey and Venezuela are turning to crypto investments as a safe haven:

While many of us debate whether bitcoin will ultimately realize Satoshi’s vision of “a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” or simply a store of value, it’s important to remember that others worldwide view cryptocurrency as a survival mechanism in response to damaging government monetary policies.



> Foreign Policy: For two centuries, countries have used low-wage labor to climb out of poverty. What will happen when robots take those jobs?

If automation prevents other poor nations from developing the kind of manufacturing that would allow them to increase urbanization, train low-skilled workers, and accumulate capital, the long-term economic impact could be disastrous.


The LatAm Venture Bulletin is the VC/tech newsletter and content platform of the Latin American Private Capital Association.

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