LatAm Venture Bulletin November 15, 2017

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LatAm Venture Bulletin




2017 VC Deal Activity & Highlights

Female investors in early-stage tech are underrepresented in Latin America as they are globally. And only 10% of global VC dollars have gone to startups with at least one female founder since 2012.

In an effort to raise the visibility of female investors in early-stage technology in Latin America, LAVCA has published an updated list of the Top Women Investing in Latin American Tech. The second edition features eight new nominations:

    Daniela Calleja, Managing Partner, Redwood Ventures
    Ashley Carroll, Partner, Social Capital
    Pricsila Castro, Co-founder & Partner, Brain Ventures
    Laura Gonzalez-Estéfani, Founder & Managing Partner, The Venture City
    Debbie Jaffe, Managing Director, Endeavor Peru
    Kim Machlup, Partner, MOV Investimentos
    Julia Profeta, Partner, Vox Capital
    Elsa Treviño, Managing Partner, Toro Ventures

Criteria: The list includes 43 senior-level female investment professionals who are deploying capital in early-stage tech deals or committing capital to VC funds, as well as female angels investing over US$50k across multiple deals. All investors were nominated by their peers and vetted for inclusion by LAVCA, and have been active in the last five years.

Engage: Access information about the 2017 WeXchange (Dec. 4-5 in Santiago, Chile), a forum hosted by FOMIN that connects high growth women entrepreneurs in LatAm with investors and mentors. Registration is free for qualified individuals. Fill out the this form to see if you qualify to attend.



> Miami-based The Venture City launched a US$100m fund to invest in startups globally, including Latin America. Initial investments in Latin America include Hogaru, Emprego Ligado, and 1DOC3. The Venture City, a new LAVCA member, is run by Laura González-Estéfani, formerly at Facebook, and Clara Bullrich, formerly of Guggenheim Partners.

> Angel Ventures Peru launched its first seed fund with US$1m in commitments. Managing Partner Greg Mitchell is looking to invest US$50k-$100k in 10-15 Peruvian startups.

> The government of Argentina will invest up to US$12m each, in three of the eleven VC funds that will present at Foro Argentino de Inversores, and in thirteen accelerators.

    VC funds in the running include Axon Partners, Rise Capital, Jaguar Ventures, Angel Ventures Mexico, Cygnus, and NXTP Labs.

    The funds will be selected by a jury that includes LAVCA members Hernan Kazah (KaszeK Ventures) and Eric Acher (monashees+) and LAVCA Senior Advisor Juan Savino (Alment Capital Partners).

Our Nov. 1 issue said DGF is on its fourth fund -- it’s actually its fifth.

Our Nov. 1 issue said that 01Labs is a new Peruvian VC fund led by Alejandro Ponce that is investing in Israel and Silicon Valley startups. 01Labs is a company builder in Latin America, and 01Ventures is the VC fund investing in Silicon Valley and Israel; both are led by Alejandro Ponce.


> Goldman Sachs led a US$20m Series C investment in Brazilian trucking startup CargoX, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Soros, and existing investors Valor Capital, Agility Logistics, and Uber co-founder Oscar Salazar.

    In 2016, Goldman Sachs also led the company’s US$10m Series B. CargoX closed R$48m in revenue in 2016, and is planning to introduce automated trucks by 2020.

    READ The BRIEF’s interview with founder Federico Vegas about CargoX’s “bad ass team.”

> DILA Capital and Mountain Nazca led a MXN$50m investment in Creze, a Mexican startup providing financial services to SMBs (PYMES).

> Fondo Alerce made a US$350k investment in Biotics Solutions, a Chilean biotech startup manufacturing a portable detector for toxic compounds of animal origin.

> Domo Invest made an undisclosed investment in Noverde, an online lending platform focused on low-income Brazilians. This is Domo Invest’s first investment since launching a R$100m fund this year to invest in B2C startups in Brazil.



> Accion Venture Lab and Canary Ventures made an undisclosed seed investment in SmartMEI, a fintech startup servicing micro-entrepreneurs in Brazil. Matthieu Albrieux at Accion says micro-entrepreneurs are largely unserved by established financial institutions, “even though they account for a fifth of [Brazil’s] GDP and over half of all private employment.”

> Bamboo Capital Partners, an impact investment private equity firm, made a strategic investment in Persistent Energy Capital, an investor in off-grid energy in emerging and frontier markets.

> Fundación Impacta and Chilean Ministerio de Economía partnered to launch Chile’s first Social Impact Bond (CIS):

    Este tipo de inversión está generando alto interés en nuestro país y se calcula que hoy lo tienen en la mira seis de cada 10 family offices, además de fondos de capital de riesgo, filántropos estratégicos y actores de la banca, entre otros.

> reports on three projects from Latin America that receive the UN ‘Momentum for Change’ Climate Solutions Award this month:

From Ecuador, the winner is the project Sustainable Agriculture with Gender Inclusion and Participation in Quito. Colombia and Honduras will be jointly awarded for a project that uses Information and Communications Technology tools and applications to help farmers in both countries make climate-smart decisions.

> Private Equity International’s Nov. 2017 issue is focused on impact:

> This session at SOCAP talks about alternative investment vehicles for impact: Looking Beyond Venture Capital: Understanding the Need for Alternative Deal Structures.

> ANDE is hosting an Investment Manager Training course November 27-December 1 in Washington, DC. The course is unique in its focus on impact investing. Details here; LAVCA members receive a 10% discount by emailing

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

> Mercy Corps is hiring a Head of Venture Growth to lead post investment support for their Social Venture Fund portfolio companies in LatAm, East Africa and Southeast Asia. To be based in London or East Africa. Details here.



Mariana Costa, co-founder of Laboratoria, and Mariel Reyes, co-founder of {reprograma}, talk with LAVCA about why they are focused on teaching low-income and unemployed women in Latin America how to code. #CHANGETHERATIO

> Laboratoria is an organization to teach low-income women in Latin America programming and web development skills. More than 400 female developers Peru, Chile, and Mexico have passed through Laboratoria’s program since 2014; 75% have found jobs, with a 3X average increase in their starting salary. In this interview with co-founder and CEO Mariana Costa, we learn about Laboratoria’s mission to close the coding gender gap and graduate the best tech talent in Latin America:

Las mujeres son menos del 6% de los developers aquí, e igual en América Latina, y hay una necesidad inminente de cambiar eso. La tecnología la usamos hombres por mujeres, y mujeres por igual. No tiene ningún sentido que sean solo hombres los que la crean. ¿Dónde van a estar los empleos del futuro? Si no ponemos a más mujeres ahí hoy en día, vamos a quedar más desplazadas de los empleos del futuro.

> Mariel Reyes, Carla de Bona, and Fernanda Lemos de Faria co-founded {reprograma} in 2016 to teach unemployed Brazilian women how to code. {reprograma} has graduated 88 junior front-end engineers in 18 months, with a 97% completion rate and 63% job placement rate. In this interview with founder & CEO Mariel Reyes, we learn about how she bootstrapped the organization and forged a partnership with Facebook on her mission to help women become indispensable to Brazil’s technology sector:

There is a significant gender gap in Brazil's technology sector (and the world). The top computer science universities in Brazil are graduating 5% or less women each year, and according to the Brazilian Ministry of Education, only 15% of students studying computer science are women.

They say the future is being written in lines of code, and by not having 50% of the population contribute to the development of technology, I think we are missing out on solutions that could be created to solve business, social and environmental problems. By joining the technology sector, women can also contribute to developing solutions that address society's problems as a whole.



> North American investors contributed about 10% of capital invested in European VC funds – double the average for the previous five years – according to the World Economic Forum: Europe's venture capitalists are closing the gap with Silicon Valley.

Emy Bernard, Healthcare Senior Analyst at ALLVP, mapped out 100 Mexican startups (co-)founded by women entrepreneurs. 34% operate in the consumer internet sector, closely followed by healthcare (25%) and fintech (22%). 

> Less than 10% of global VC dollars have gone to startups with at least one female founder since 2012. Crunchbase has the latest numbers on gender diversity in global VC.

> Less than 6% of developers in Latin America are women, according to Laboratoria CEO Mariana Costa in an interview with LAVCA.

> 67% of purchases in Latin America are made by women, according to Bricksave’s How Women are Challenging the Culture of Investment in Latam: “They might be in a better position to understand the markets they invest in.”

> There are 1.37 BILLION Daily Active Users on Facebook, according to Facebook’s Q3 2017 earnings, and up 16% year-over-year. 2.07 billion people access the platform on a monthly basis. And 88% of Facebook’s ad revenue is mobile.



> Reuters and WSJ report on PLC 28/2017, a Brazilian Senate bill proposing new regulations on marketplaces and transport apps:

> El Economista reports on new tax benefits for Argentine entrepreneurs:

    Los que inviertan en emprendimientos podrán deducir entre el 75% y 85% en la determinación del Impuesto a las Ganancias, resolvió el Ministerio de Producción, en el marco de las medidas para impulsar a los emprendedores argentinos.

> Clarin reports Argentina has seen 500 new companies created since Ley del Emprendedor enabled one-day company formation earlier this year.

> Law firm Baptista Luz shares the status of several regulatory issues in Brazilian fintech, including crowdfunding, online lending and blockchain, and crypto-asset public sales (ICOs).



> Softbank intends to make a US$1b investment in Uber, and is collaborating to buy up to US$9b in Uber shares from employees and other shareholders. TechCrunch says the deal will likely bring Softbank’s ownership in Uber to 14% or greater. In Latin America, Uber competitor 99 is also backed by Softbank. It’s complicated

> #CRYPTO Frontera highlights blockchain startups Bitso, Ripio, and Abra in What Are The Biggest Blockchain And Digital Currency Initiatives In Latin America Right Now?

> Gizmodo: How Facebook Figures Out Everyone You've Ever Met.

> Wharton Social Impact Initiative published a list of private equity, venture capital, and debt funds explicitly investing with a gender lens.

> World Economic Forum: The gender gap got a little worse this year, according to their 2017 Global Gender Gap Report.

> Forbes checks in with some of the first graduates of Girls Who Code, an organization that has taught fundamental computer skills to 40,000 girls in the past five years.

> Torre: The Latin American software engineering gender gap is worse than Silicon Valley’s.

> NYTimes: Careers for Women in Technology Companies Are a Global Challenge.



> Brazilian accelerator ACE held its first Demo Day at Google Launchpad San Francisco yesterday. Congrats to b.pass, Brazil By Bus, Cuponeria, Flapper,, INTI, Job for Model, Logcomex, Nuper, OHUB, Poppin, and Social Wave for a great set of pitches.

> El Foro IDEA is bringing together innovators from tech and digital media on Nov. 16-17 in Quito, Ecuador. Charlas inspiradoras, paneles de expert@s, oportunidades de negocio, laboratorio de ideas, salón de juegos, espacios de networking, pitch sessions y, además, la entrega de los Premios IDEA, (US$10k-US$15k). Details here.

> Red Innova is taking place on Nov. 15 in Buenos Aires. Speakers and tickets here.

> The Chilean Association of Venture Capital invites investors to participate in Workshop Venture Capital from Chile to Abroad, at SVB in New York City on Nov. 20. RSVP to Joel Vainstein.

> Capria is seeking 3-5 investment managers based in and investing in emerging markets that can deliver superior financial returns with scalable impact. Apply for its fifth investment cycle by Nov. 27. Details here.

> Co-organized by the National Ministry of Production and the Argentine Association of Private Equity, Venture Capital, and Seed Capital (ARCAP), global and Argentine investors will gather in Buenos Aires on November 29 for the Argentina Investment Forum.

> South Summit, a joint initiative between Spain Startup and IE University that connects top innovators from Europe with Latin America in order to promote new business opportunities, is hosting the South Summit Pacific Alliance Nov. 30 - Dec. 1. Details here.

> 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.

> LAVCA VC in São Paulo: Brazilian fund managers are invited to the bi-annual discussion on December 5th at Wayra Brazil. Details here.

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

> Facebook is hiring: 

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



> Anu Duggal at Female Founders Club talks about funding women:

By capitalizing on the systemic blindness towards female entrepreneurs, we are both creating a powerful ecosystem for these women to succeed, while also addressing one of the biggest market discontinuities — and one of the biggest opportunities — of our time.

Let’s start with the numbers. Only 7% of venture capitalists are female…. Last year, US$58B of venture funding went to male entrepreneurs, compared to US$1.5B to female entrepreneurs. However, the reality is that not only do women overwhelmingly dominate consumption, but they also are uniquely positioned to build businesses that capitalize on their own insights as customers.

> Forbes has a list of Top Women Investors In VC In 2017. has a list of 12 Latinas investing in women. See LAVCA's Top Women Investing in Latin American Tech.

> Forbes reports that New York VCs First Round Capital and Union Square Ventures have hired their first female General Partners: birchbox co-founder Hayley Barna joins First Round, and Rebecca Kaden, formerly at Maveron, Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz's VC firm, joins USV.

> WSJ profiles Rivet Ventures, a US$15m seed fund focusing on startups that address female consumers and markets.

> Jeremy Liew at Lightspeed Venture Partners was Snapchat’s first investor, investing US$485K in 2012 — an investment that returned more than US$1b when the company went public this year. What he looks for in an investment:

    We’re usually looking for some indication that companies can become part of popular culture in the future. We're looking for some signal that the company is not niche, and it will expand beyond what everyone will be doing in the future.

    One of the ways we do that is we look for services that attract a lot of young female users initially. It's a service that could make sense for a whole lot of people, but for whatever reason, the initial user base is young and female. We think that young women are the early adopters of popular culture. They're kind of hit-makers for the rest of society.


> #CRYPTO El Economista: El "blockchain" será la infraestructura principal del 60 % de bancos en 2020.

> Portugal shows us what accessing the internet looks like without net neutrality.

> Gizmodo: The Future of Online Dating Is Unsexy and Brutally Effective:

When one journalist from The Guardian asked Tinder for all the information it had on her, the company sent her a report 800 pages long. Sound creepy? Maybe. But when I worked as an engineer and data scientist at OkCupid, massive streams of data like these made me drool.

> LATimes: Facebook says to shield you from revenge porn, it needs your naked photos. Axios says this isn’t actually as crazy as it sounds...

> Wired: Love in the Time of Robots. Are we ready for intimacy with androids?

> Cisco's Executive Chairman John Chambers says we'll all be eating crickets in 20 years:

The primary source of protein you will be having within your life, definitely within 20 years and maybe within 15, will be insects.


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