LatAm Venture Bulletin November 29, 2017

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> Brazil’s two largest real estate portals have become one: Viva Real merged with Globo-owned Zap.

  • VivaReal CEO Lucas Vargas will serve as the CEO of the new entity, Grupo ZAP Viva Real, which also includes Geoimovel, Suahouse, Sub100, and DataZAP.
  • Viva Real has raised ~US$75m from investors including monashees+, KaszeK Ventures, Spark Capital, Lead Edge Capital, FJ Labs, and Valiant Capital Partners. Spark led the US$41m Series C in 2014.
  • They’re just a beast,” VivaReal co-founder Brian Requarth said about ZAP in 2014. “We wanted to cash up so we could go head to head.”
  • READ LAVCA’s Q&A with Requarth.

> Nazca Ventures’ portfolio company Groupon LatAm acquired Brazilian e-commerce platform Peixe Urbano.


> Callfort, MIT Castor Ventures Fund, FJ Labs, Rocketship, and Mercado Libre Fund made a US$15m investment in Trocafone, a Brazil-based online marketplace for used electronics.

  • 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.

> Existing investors (including FJ Labs and Lumia Capital) made a R$40m investment in Instacarro, a Brazilian platform for selling automobiles, to expand into new markets.

> Dila Capital, Promotora Social Mexico, and Social+Capital made a US$1.1m investment in Kinedu, a Mexican tech and content platform for early childhood development, with participation from previous investors Stella Maris, The Stanford-StartX Fund, and Advenio. Previous investors include NXTP Labs and 500 Startups.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos and GVAngels made an undisclosed investment in Standout, a Brazilian e-commerce integration platform working with Walmart, Magazine Luiza, and others.

> A5 Capital Partners made an undisclosed investment in Brazil's coworking network Copa.


> CORFO will invest in DevLabs Ventures’ Chile Outlier Seed Fund I, a B2B focused fund with a target of US$8m.

> Brazil-based Mindset Ventures is seeking to raise around US$25m for its second fund. The fund will focus on investing between US$200-US$1m in startups in the US and Israel.



> Seedstars and impact fund Inicia Educación invested US$300k in Edupass, a Dominican Republic-based edtech startup.

> Impact investing firm Capria announces investments in an unnamed fund manager in Latin American who is creating a US$21m fund focused on Chile.

> Reuters reports Zurich Insurance is doubling its impact investing target to US$5b.

> Advocacy group Enough ranked tech and jewelry companies on their use of conflict minerals (gold, tin, tungsten, and tantalum) that are mined in violence-torn parts of the Congo:

Apple, Google, Microsoft, and HP were at the top of the group's list as taking actions to avoid using conflict materials, while retailers like Costco, Nieman-Marcus, and Walmart were at the bottom.

> SITAWI Finanças do Bem is hiring an Analista Sênior de Relacionamento e Captação de Recursos, based in São Paulo. Apply here.

> The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Seminar on Impact Investing on December 12 in New York. Details here.



Komal Dadlani founded Lab4U in Chile in 2013 to disrupt the way science is taught in classrooms across Latin America and the world.

In this interview, Komal Dadlani talks about the US$37.8b edtech market and how she benefited from both local government funding in Chile (from Startup Chile and CORFO) and how winning WeXchange in 2016 helped better connect her with the investment community in the region and the Bay Area.

…It’s like having an emotional safety net that supports founders in that roller-coaster ride called entrepreneurship. The networks that VC funds have open many doors.

> Dadlani is speaking at next week’s WeXchange, hosted by FOMIN on Dec. 4-5 in Santiago, Chile. WeXchange is a forum that connects high growth women entrepreneurs in LatAm with investors and mentors. The 2017 edition focuses on Women Entrepreneurs Transforming the World with Technology. Access the program agenda.



> 1% of VCs in the US are Latinx (the gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina), according to the National Venture Capital Association.



> #CRYPTO Uruguay’s Central Bank (BCU) is piloting a digital version of its own currency, becoming the first country in history to do so.



> TechCrunch reports Postmates launched in Mexico City, where it will face competition from Mercadoni, Cornershop, Rappi, and others:

Postmates chose Mexico City as its first international market: “We believe Mexico City is a perfect market for Postmates to offer its on-demand delivery service,” co-founder and CTO Sean Plaice said. “It is one of the largest urban consumer markets in the world.”

> Reuters: Soros, Cohen among big name investors betting on Argentine startups.

> LiveMint: Xiaomi looking to invest $1 billion in Indian startups to create an app ecosystem around its smartphone. Xiaomi is targeting 100 startups over the next five years.

> NYTimes: She Took On Colombia’s Soda Industry. Then She Was Silenced:

Latin America has surpassed the United States as the world’s biggest soft-drink market, according to the World Health Organization, with sales of carbonated soft drinks doubling there since 2000 while they declined in the United States.

> Gizmodo: Amazon’s Last Mile:

Who delivers Amazon orders? Increasingly, it’s plainclothes contractors with few labor protections, driving their own cars, competing for shifts on the company’s own Uber-like platform. Though it’s deployed in dozens of cities and associated with one of the world’s biggest companies, government agencies and customers alike are nearly oblivious to the program’s existence.

> Quartz looks at what happened when Uber slashed its prices in Nigeria in Uber drivers in Lagos are using a fake GPS app to inflate rider fares:

The main reason he uses the app is to ensure he can meet his weekly payments to his Uber partner [the owner of the car], a situation he says many other drivers are in. Most ridesharing drivers in Nigeria do not own their cars, instead they partner with car owners and pay them a weekly fee, which has become harder to meet as a result of the base fare slash.

> NPR: Why Google Home Has Hard Time Recognizing The Smash Hit 'Despacito.'



> Brazilian early stage investors are invited to join LAVCA next week for VC in São Paulo hosted at Wayra Brasil on Dec. 5. LAVCA Members are also invited to a private dinner at Jamile following the program. Contact Claudia Rosenbloom for details.

> Join FOMIN for the Annual WeXchange, a forum that connects high growth women entrepreneurs in LatAm with investors and mentors. WeXchange 2017 is taking place on Dec. 4-5 in Santiago, Chile.

> Seedstars Latam Summit is Dec. 7-8 in Mexico City. Active investors can email for a free pass. Details here.

> Startups across LatAm are invited to join Google’s Campus Residency Program - Class #3 in São Paulo. Apply by Dec. 8.

> Wayra Argentina is hosting a Legal & Investment Boot Camp on Dec. 12 & 13, inviting global investors to share best practices applicable to the local ecosystem. Contact Julieta Vidal for more information or to attend.

> 500 Startups is accepting applications for Batch 23, which begins Q1 2018 in San Francisco. Apply for early application by Dec. 15.

> Congrats to Brazilian startups Santo Contrato, Wikinove, O2O Bots, Presumé, Ziro Modas, Atlas Project and Movidesk for joining WOW Aceleradora’s eighth cycle. Startups will receive up to R$150k.

> Congrats to Romero Rodriguez of Redpoint who was recognized by Dinheiro as a Top 20 Personalities Changing the World.

> Facebook is hiring: 



> Álvaro Rodríguez of IGNIA Partners says Mexico’s proposed Ley Fintech is an excellent initiative.

> Jaime Sotomayer of Wayra Peru talks about el modo Israelí: 5 lecciones que podemos aprender de Israel sobre innovación.

> Reshma Sohoni, co-founder of European accelerator Seedcamp: Democratizing VC through crowdfunding:

Equity crowdfunding is one of the rare ways where retail investors and VCs actually go toe-to-toe.

> #CRYPTO Wired interviews Mark Suster at Upfront Ventures in Cryptocurrency Mania Fuels Hype and Fear at Venture Firms:

People are raising obscene amounts of money for companies that are not yet at the stage where they are good stewards of that much money or would know how to deploy it. It’s being done with a get-rich-quick mentality, and it never ends well.

>  VC partners from Benchmark, Canaan, Cowboy, Forerunner, Freestyle, Lux, Sequoia, and Reach are offering office hours for female founders.

> WSJ: Silicon Valley Vs. Wall Street: Can the New Long-Term Stock Exchange Disrupt Capitalism?

> WATCH: Jeff and Mark Bezos talk about growing up in rural America, the value of self-reliance, and the moment in 1994 that Jeff decided to start Amazon: “I knew that it would always haunt me if I didn’t try.”



> VICE: CRISPR Can Now Edit Genes Using Nanoparticles Instead of Viruses.

> Y Combinator: The Future of Bike Sharing with Ofo Cofounder Yanqi Zhang:

As of today, we are in 180 cities. We are doing over 25,000,000 trips a day, and we have deployed over 10,000,000 bikes already, and we're in right now, globally, 13 countries. The goal here is that by the end of this year, we are going to go to at least 20 countries.

> WSJ: The Era of AI-Powered Cyberattacks Has Started.

> TechCrunch talks about why Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son needs more than US$100b to invest:

“I totally believe this concept,” he said, of the Singularity. “In the next 30 years this will become a reality. If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he continued, pointing out that autonomous vehicles containing a superintelligent AI would become smart robots.

“There will be many kinds. Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, two legs, four legs, 100 legs,” he added, further fleshing out his vision of a robot-infested future. […] “I truly believe it’s coming, that’s why I’m in a hurry – to aggregate the cash, to invest.”


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