LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin August 28, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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

📅 Details, agenda & registration here.

🍸 LAVCA members are invited to a private cocktail with SVB and the Tech Growth Coalition on Weds. September 25, the evening prior.



> Riverwood Capital led a US$50m Series D investment in Resultados Digitais, a Brazilian marketing automation platform for small businesses in Latin America, with participation from existing investors DGF Investmentos, Redpoint eventures, TPG Growth, and Astella Investmentos.

  • TPG Growth led a US$19m round in 2016. Endeavor Catalyst invested previously.

> Brazilian personal credit fintech REBEL raised R$167m from Franklin Templeton, XP Asset Management, and others via a public offering of regular debentures.

  • In 2018, REBEL raised US$4m from monashees, XP Investimentos, Point Break Capital, and family office J. Malucelli. monashees was the company’s first investor in 2017.

> #CVC Iguanafix, an Argentine marketplace for home improvement services, raised an undisclosed round from Stanley Black & Decker’s venture funding arm, in their inaugural investment in South America.

  • Temasek led the company’s US$16m Series B in 2016, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and RVC Capital.

> #CVC Grupo Globo invested R$16m in, a Brazilian holding company for fitness apps, primarily using a media-for-equity model.

> DGF Investimentos invested US$3.5m in Sólides, a Brazilian talent management platform. This is the company’s first institutional capital.

> Redpoint eventures and a.b.Seed made a US$2.2m investment in Movidesk, a Brazilian multi-channel help-desk platform. a.b.Seed invested previously in 2018.

> Criatec3, managed by Inseed Investimentos, invested R$2.7m in Neomode, a Brazilian retail software platform.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos made new investments in OMNIHUNTER and Nvoip.

> Canadian media magnate David Thomson, chairman of Thomson Reuters, acquired a 15% stake in Argentine digital bank Brubank for an undisclosed amount.

> CORRECTION: Last issue we covered Brazilian agtech Agrosmart’s R$22m Series A from Bradesco's Inovabra fund and Positivo's corporate venture arm. Previous investors include SP Ventures, São Paulo innovation fund Desenvolve SP and Baita (we incorrectly listed Embrapa and Cedro Capital as previous investors).



> BNDES announced investments in VC funds managed by A5, Axxon Group, Oria, Triaxis Capital, Trivella M3 Investimentos, Vox Capital, and Fundepar.

> #CVC Alacrity Mexico, in partnership with Wesley Clover, a Canadian investment management firm with global operations, closed its first seed fund, Canada Fund I.

> Salkantay Partners is raising a US$25m VC vehicle to invest in Peruvian startups focused on regional expansion.

> A5 Investimentos is raising a govtech fund with a US$25m target.

> Mindset Ventures is raising a third global VC fund with a US$50m target.

> #PE #IMPACT Bloomberg reports Apollo is raising a US$1b social impact fund.

> #IMPACT Impact investor Mov, part of the Pragma multi-family office, is raising a second impact fund. Fund 1 was R$80m deployed across seven companies.

> VARIV Capital is now called Cometa.



> Brazilian fintech Nubank officially launched in Mexico with a Mastercard-branded no-fee international credit card. Nubank counts over 12 million customers and says it’s the world’s largest independent digital bank.

> Why Nubank started in Brazil, according to CEO David Velez:

“I was living and working in Brazil and realized how painfully bureaucratic it was to deal with the banking system. Additionally, Brazil is one of the largest banking markets in the world, with spreads that only Malawi and Zimbabwe can beat. Fees were incredibly high, and a simple thing— such as opening a bank account — took way too long. On top of all inefficiency came the poor treatment that customers had become accustomed to: long lines in branches, call centers that were meant to confuse people instead of solving their problems and an endless list of hidden costs.”

> Colombian last-mile delivery startup Rappi is making significant investment in expanding into Mexico.

> Mexican eyewear startup Ben & Frank hired a new CFO, Matthieu Albrieux of Accion Venture Lab.

> Brazilian retailers B2W and Lojas Americanas launched Ame Digital, a cashback and merchant payments app.

> LatAmList: How Mexican app Bridgefy is connecting protesters in Hong Kong.

> #AGTECH Argentine biotech startup Bioceres received USDA approval for a variety of drought-resistant soybean called HB4. LatAmList says this is the first time a LatAm company has received USDA approval for a new seed variety.

> #AGTECH The Yield Lab LatAm welcomed five agtech startups to its second cohort:

  • Circular (Argentina)
  • Digi Rodeo (Argentina)
  • Polynatural (Chile)
  • SpaceAg (Peru)
  • TerraMagna (Brasil)

> YC hosted its S19 Demo Day, with participation from 16 Latin American startups. ALLVP Partner Federico Antoni was in attendance, and shares: "Latin America is gaining a lot of traction in YC. About half of the companies quickly oversubscribed their rounds with solid/substantial valuation caps too."

  • Alana Jobs (Colombian HRtech)
  • Apurata (Peru-based personal loans)
  • Coco (Venezuelan proptech)
  • Covela (Mexico-based insurtech)
  • Epic Aerospace (Argentine spacetech)
  • Flux QR (Mexico-based digital payments for merchants)
  • InEvent (Brazilian SaaS)
  • Kuarti (Mexican travel/proptech)
  • LAIKA (Colombian pet supplies)
  • (Ecuadorean fintech)
  • Mudafy (Argentine proptech)
  • Tranqui Finanzas (Colombian HRtech/debt consolidation)
  • (Colombian SaaS)
  • Valiu (Colombia-based remittances)
  • Vitau Medial (Mexican healthtech)
  • Zippi (lending for gig economy workers in Brazil)

> 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.



> Last issue, we noted that Brazilian fintech Creditas acquired Creditoo, a credit consignment platform for private sector employees. This transaction represents a full exit for Global Founders Capital from Creditoo.

> Brazil’s Grupo Boticário acquired Beleza na Web, a KaszeK portfolio company, for an undisclosed amount.

> Grupo Mosaico, parent company of ecommerce app Zoom, received regulatory approval to acquire Buscapé from Naspers.

> Mexican financial services provider CapitalTech acquired Konsigue, a Mexican factoring startup.



Minuto Seguros

Frubana is a Colombian B2B platform of agri-products for restaurants and small retailers in Latin America. The aim is to increase transparency and facilitate logistics between food supply producers and buyers, ultimately making it easier for farmers to sell their produce, and reducing the price of food for Latin Americans.

Founded in 2018 by Rappi veteran Fabián Gomez, Frubana has over 100 employees and recently raised US$12m in funding from monashees, Kairos, GE32 Capital, and YC.

WHY FOOD? Fabián Gomez came from a farming background in Bogota. “I understood the fun part of planting and harvesting, and the harder part of distribution and commercialization of fruits.”

Gomez met Rappi Co-Founder & CEO Simon Borrero when Rappi was just getting started, with about ten employees. “It was really fun, we learned to go from zero to one.” Gomez was in charge of expanding Rappi into new cities, and was also on the fundraising team.

Then he saw the limes 🍋: “I saw a disconnect on gross margins, between for example sourcing limes, and the price Rappi would get on them.” He stayed on with Rappi through the closing of the US$1b SoftBank round, and welcomed the Rappi co-founders as the first angel investors in Frubana.

THE PRODUCT: Frubana currently operates in four cities in Colombia, operating a sourcing and picking center to procure fresh products directly from farmers and distributors in plazas and delivering produce directly to restaurants with more consistent quality, reliability and prices. “It’s an intersection of high tech and the real world,” Gomez says, “because tech alone doesn’t take fruits from farm to restaurant. We thought it would just be an app in the beginning.”

DISRUPTION: Gomez says Frubana is helping shift the food supply industry from a push system to a pull system with data. “Push: farmers sell whatever they have to a truck driver, who goes to a plaza and sells to a tier 3 distributor, who sells up to tiers 2 and 1,” Gomez explains. “That takes about 72 hours.”

Timing is especially critical when you are dealing with perishable products. “But we have the data to know what we are going to sell next week.” As for the limes? “We’ve found that there is someone who wants every quality." Now Frubana sell them in two SKUs, the pretty ones and the less pretty but just as good ones.



> Village Capital launched Finance Forward, a global coalition with MetLife Foundation, PayPal, and others, to support 100+ early-stage fintech entrepreneurs in the US, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and India.

> TriLink Global approved Origin Funding Partners as a new investment partner for business expansion and socioeconomic development in Latin America and Africa.

> responsAbility Investments CEO Rochus Mommartz talks about the impact of the newly signed FTA between Switzerland and the South American nations of Mercosur.

> 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.



> Former Coursera CEO and head of Google Brain Andrew Ng is bringing multiple AI projects to Colombia, including edtech, startup studio AI Fund, and

> Huawei plans to invest US$800m on infrastructure in Brazil.

> OZY: Silicon Valley is going to Mexico for Talent.

> Brazil has 400+ incubators and accelerators, according to a new mapping.

> #TECHPOLICY Uber was fined ~US$610k by Colombia’s Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio.


> 📣 Are you a woman in STEM? IDB Lab and WeXchange are conducting important research on the current state of women entrepreneurs in STEM in LatAm. The report will be presented at WeXchange this year. #womenSTEMpreneur Participate here. WeXchange is taking place November 13-14 in Asuncion, Paraguay. 

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.

FINNOSUMMIT Mexico 2019 will happen Sept. 10-13 in Mexico City. Tickets here

Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech Mexico City: applications close October 13. Apply 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.

> Apply now for LAB Miami Ventures startup pitch competition (deadline Sept 9th). Selected startups will participate at The Future of Logistics Tech Summit 2019, taking place October 22 in Miami, Fl. Tickets here.

> 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.

> ChileGlobal Ventures is accepting applications for the APEC 2019 Startup Challenge. Apply by Sept 29.

> 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.

> 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



> FT says Latin America’s digital spring is a work in progress:

Digital technologies on their own won’t suffice to revitalise inclusive growth, that will take more fundamental change, but they could play a role in accelerating such change.

> Reuters: Venture capital fuels Latam 'unicorns' expansion beyond borders.

> Bloomberg: SoftBank Upends Latin American Startups with Billion-Dollar Deal Binge.

> Bloomberg: The AMLO Fear Factor: Corporate Mexico Is Too Confused to Invest.



> 🌳 Economist: Deathwatch for the Amazon:

Nowhere are the stakes higher than in the Amazon basin—and not just because it contains 40% of Earth’s rainforests and harbours 10-15% of the world’s terrestrial species…. The ecological collapse [Bolsonaro’s] policies may precipitate would be felt most acutely within his country’s borders, which encircle 80% of the basin—but would go far beyond them, too. It must be averted.

> 🌳 Bloomberg: Here’s Where the Amazon Is Burning and Why It’s Going to Get Worse:

Fires are raging across the country. Deforestation rates reached startling highs in July. An escalating trade dispute with the U.S. could force China to lean even more heavily on Brazil—already its top supplier of soy. And it all comes as Brazil’s far-right populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, has pledged to open up the 2-million-square-mile forest—including in protected indigenous areas—to more farming and mining.

> 🌳 Bloomberg: Amazon Forest Destruction Surges Under Brazil’s ‘Captain Chainsaw’: An area almost three times the size of New York City was cleared in the jungle last month alone.

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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