LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin February 5, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> SoftBank led a US$125m Series B in AlphaCredit, a Mexican lender to individuals and SMBs in Mexico and Colombia. This is the company’s first disclosed financing. AlphaCredit has disbursed over US$1b in loans since 2010.

> #AGTECH 🌿 Unbox Capital led a US$40m Series B in Brazilian agtech Solinftec, with follow-on from TPG ART. Also included in the round was US$20m agri asset-backed debt, led by Itaú BBA and Gaia Securitizations and backed by family offices and hedge funds. Unbox Capital manages US$100m of Magazine Luiza’s Trajano family money.

  • Agfunder invested in Solinftec in 2018. TPG invested in 2017 through TPG ART, the firm’s Alternative and Renewables Technologies growth equity platform.

> e.bricks Ventures invested R$40m in Acesso Digital, a Brazilian digital identity and facial recognition company. This is the company’s first disclosed financing, and one of the largest checks to date from e.bricks.

> #PROPTECH In 2019, monashees led a R$20m seed investment in Yuca, a Brazilian rental services startup, with participation from ONEVC, Creditas, and others. Yuca is looking to raise a real estate fund with a R$100m target this year with Itaú BBA.

> Moons, a Mexico-based orthodontics startup, raised US$5m from Jaguar Ventures, Foundation Capital, Tuesday Capital, and others.

> Pachama, a marketplace for carbon offset projects, raised US$4.1m in seed investment from Global Founders Capital, Social Capital, Lowercase Capital, Saltwater Capital, and angels including Paul Graham (YC) and others.

  • Pachama was founded by Diego Saez-Gil (formerly CEO of smart luggage startup Bluesmart) and is based in San Francisco, with forest projects in Brazil, Peru, and the US.

> Chilean payments platform Global 66 raised US$3.25m from Venrex Investment Management, with participation from angels Mario Solari (Genesis Management) and Will Armitage.

>  Astella Investimentos led an undisclosed investment in Grão (formerly Diin), a savings app for low-income Brazilians, with participation from Vox Capital and Domo Invest.

  • Co-founded by Monica Saccarelli and Frederico Meinberg in 2018, Grão previously raised R$7.5m and has over 10k clients.

>  Cedro Capital invested R$2.5m in Portal de Compras Públicas, a Brazilian platform for public procurement purchases.

> Iporanga Ventures led an undisclosed investment in Stark Bank, a Brazilian B2B payments processing platform founded by Rafael Stark. Clients include Rappi, Rebel, and others.

  • Leonardo Teixeira of Iporanga Ventures says there is a large opportunity to raise the bar for the quality of payments for tech companies.

> Angel Ventures and Magma Partners led a US$415k investment in Rebus, A Colombian event tech startup, with participation from Magma Partners, Enlaces, Quake Capital, Avalancha Ventures, and angels.

  • Founded by Juliana Villalba and Jose H. Berrío, Rebus will use the capital to fund expansion into Mexico. Villalba shares: “We have already signed deals that back our vision valued at over US$800k in revenue, with companies such as Eventbrite, major ticketing websites, and event management platforms all over Latin America.”

> Smart Money Ventures led a R$3m investment in Gama Academy, a Brazilian edtech focused on professional training in programming, design, marketing, and sales.

> Capital Lab led a R$3m investment in Atomic Agro, a Brazilian agtech productivity platform for small-scale producers.

> #CVC TradeMachine, a Brazilian automatic trading platform, raised R$2.2m from Energhias, a new Brazilian holding company investing in innovation.

> OmniChat, a Brazilian sales facilitation platform that runs on WhatsApp, raised R$1-2m from Honey Island Capital (formerly Hi Capital), a seed investment firm run by EBANX founders.

> Angel Ventures led an undisclosed investment in Decifra, a Mexican SaaS platform focused on geospacial analytics.

> #US Radian Capital led a US$23m Series A in Mural, a US-based visual collaboration software platform with operations in Argentina, with participation from Gradient Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst.

> #EU Angel Ventures Mexico led a €8m investment in ByHours, a Spain-based hotel reservation platform for stays under 24 hours in duration, with participation from DILA Capital and others.

> #ANGEL Anjos do Brasil led a R$1m investment in OSucateiro, a Brazilian reseller marketplace for waste materials.



> By executive decree, COFIDE will administer a fund to invest ~US$21m in Peruvian VCs.

> Chile’s Screen Capital will launch a US$20m venture fund in March to invest in the audiovisual and entertainment sector, with a focus on content for distribution streaming platforms, according to Variety.

> Caravela Capital is a new Brazilian early-stage VC firm founded by Lucas Lima and Mario de Lara. The first fund has a R$75m target.

> #IMPACT Omidyar Network’s edtech investment practice has spun out into an independent entity called Imaginable Futures. The LatAm portfolio includes AgendaEdu, Digital House, EduK, Geekie, Quero Educação, Platzi, and others.

> #IMPACT Acceso, formerly the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP), has spun out as an independent entity focused on supporting agribusinesses in Latin America and the Caribbean to sustainably lift farmers and fishers out of poverty. More info here.



> M&A iFood acquired Hekima, a Minas Gerais-based big data company with ~100 employees.

  • iFood also launched Loop, a service that delivers lunchtime marmitas meals.

> #M&A Despegar entered into an agreement to acquire Best Day Travel Group, a Mexican travel agency, for a reported US$136m.

> #M&A Brazilian healthy meal kit delivery service Liv Up acquired YVA, a company providing point of sale meal services to office buildings, to accelerate corporate sales. Liv Up raised R$90m from KaszeK, ThornTree Capital, and others in 2019.

> Nubank now has over 20 million clients.

> CrediTú says the company originated over US$100m in mortgage loans, reaching 1% of market share of the Chilean mortgage industry (including banks) in 2019.

> ♀️ Argentine fintech Ualá says 41% of its workforce is female.

> Gympass and WeWork, both in the SoftBank portfolio, partnered to provide office space for Gympass’ New York employees.

> #POLICY Loggi, Movile’s iFood, and Rapiddo appear to be receiving different legal outcomes regarding their delivery workforce in Brazil. More info here.

> 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.



> SoftBank, in partnership with Microsoft, IDB Lab, and iNNpulsa Colombia, announced the launch of an AI/data science course for founders and startup employees. SoftBank will subsidize the course for employees of its portfolio companies in LatAm; those not currently employed will only pay the course fee after getting a job in this field; scholarships will also be available.

> Reuters: Amazon's AWS to invest US$236m in Brazil to strengthen cloud infrastructure. AWS is also a member of the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition.

> WSJ looks at the delivery battleground in Latin America’s major cities in this story on Rappi, Didi, and Uber.

  • Didi’s operations in Mexico City now include 700 electric and hybrid vehicles.

> #POLICY Argentina’s Central Bank instituted new fintech regulations around handling user accounts.



> ♀️ WX Insights 2020: The Rise of Women STEMpreneurs is a new report from IDB Lab and WeXchange, with collaboration from Santander, on Women Entrepreneurs in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean that summarizes the profiles, needs, and challenges of this important community. The study is based on a region-wide survey of 1,148 responsesDownload it here.

 #CHANGETHERATIO Also supported by IDB Lab, access LAVCA's Women in VC/Tech portal that aggregates key directories, surveys, interviews, and information on gender diversity in the tech ecosystem in Latin America: LAVCA.ORG/WOMEN

> Crunchbase’s 2019 Diversity Report indicates 20% of newly funded startups In 2019 have a female founder. The number has doubled from 10% in 2010.

> SVB launched their Q1 2020 State of the Markets report with a 2020 forecast for US venture capital.


Riverwood Capital welcomes Harish Belur, Joaquim Lima, and Scott Ransenberg as new Partners.

> Congrats to three startups joining TheVentureCity’s six-month acceleration program, which includes an investment of US$100k for 6% equity: TusDatos (automated background checks; Colombia), Explorest (Miami), LessonBee (New York).

> #CVC C&A, Nivea, and L’Oreal have launched acceleration programs for startups in the region.

> #AGTECH The Yield Lab is accepting applications for its 2020 accelerator program. Agtechs can apply by Feb 14.

> #FINTECH The IDB and Finnovista are asking fintechs to participate in their third annual survey on the state of fintech in Latin America. Participate by Feb 21.

> Foro Latinoamericano de Inversión de Impacto X, hosted by FLII, will be held in Merida, México, February 18-20th. Tickets here.

> Smart Capital Summit 2020 will take place in Medellín on February 27 and 28. More information here.

> ♀️ 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



> Martin Escobari (General Atlantic), Veronica Allende Serra (Innova Capital), Andre Street (Stone Pagamentos), and others share investment advice in a new e-book called Fora da Curva 2.

> Sophia Wood of Magma Partners shared a roundup of LatAm tech activity for TechCrunch.

> Contxto interviews Carlos de la Pradilla of Polymath Ventures on the state of the ecosystem:

Despite recent complex macro-political events, Latin America is reaching a phase of considerable entrepreneurship. And we’re reaching the best point of this phase for the entire region, not just Brazil.


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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