LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin December 23, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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This is the final edition of the LatAm Venture Bulletin in 2020. We will resume bi-weekly frequency after a brief break over the holidays.

Thank you for contributing to and supporting the exciting developments across the VC/tech ecosystem in Latin America in 2020 and we look forward to tracking activity and sharing insights about this dynamic space in 2021. Wishing you a prosperous New Year!



LAVCA’s VC/tech members represent the leading early stage and tech investors active in Latin America and around the globe. Members play a pivotal role in the growth of the venture ecosystem and industry throughout the region.

NEW: Access LAVCA's updated directory of 66 member firms investing in VC/tech in Latin America, including details on sector, stage, geo preferences, and more.

This digital directory profiles the core group of LAVCA member venture investors, corporates, and tech organizations dedicated to supporting startups and the tech ecosystem in Latin America, including members of the The Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, a group of leading global and Latin American tech companies and investors with a common goal of advancing high growth startups in Latin America.

Qualified investors can APPLY for LAVCA membership, by submitting an application here.

View LAVCA’s updated VC/Tech Member Directory and Tech Growth Coalition members.



#UNICORN Impact investment fund LGT Lightstone led a US$255m Series E in Brazilian fintech Creditas, with participation from Tarsadia Capital,, Wellington Management, and Advent International affiliate Sunley House Capital, and follow-on from SoftBank’s Vision and Latin America Funds, KaszeK Ventures, Vostok Emerging Finance, and Amadeus Capital Partners. The round values the company at a reported US$1.75b, making it Latin America’s latest unicorn.

  • SoftBank led a US$231m investment in Creditas in 2019 and Vostok Emerging Finance led the company’s US$55m Series C in 2018.
  • Repoint eventures participated in the company’s US$3m seed round in 2015. Partner Manoel Lemos: “As early investors in Creditas, we are very happy with the new round that puts them in the unicorn group. More importantly, it reinforces the strength and potential of Latin America's entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem. With their tanks refilled, Creditas is ready to achieve higher heights in its vision to transform its users' financial lives. It's been great to support Sergio [Furio] and the team in this journey and I'm sure he's only starting.”
  • View LAVCA's Unicorn Leaderboard for an updated list of known LatAm tech unicorns.

#CRYPTO KaszeK Ventures and QED Investors led a US$62m Series B in Bitso, a Mexican crypto exchange, with follow-on from Coinbase Ventures and Pantera Capital. Ripple made an undisclosed investment in Bitso in 2019. Cometa (formerly Variv Capital), Jump Capital, Monex Group, and Xochi Ventures invested previously.

  • This is the largest known blockchain-related VC investment in Latin America, according to LAVCA Data.
  • Bitso announced its expansion to Argentina in February of this year.
  • CEO Daniel Vogel on regional asset managers adopting crypto: “Their clients are demanding exposure to this asset class and we've reached the point where Bitcoin is impossible to ignore. As the only player in the region with a crypto custody license, we're here to help all the asset managers help their clients allocate crypto in their portfolio.”
  • Rafael de Haro of Cometa: “As one of the first investors in Bitso, Cometa trusted that Ben, Daniel, and Pablo would be key players in the development of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Mexico. The current funding round adds further confidence in Bitso’s evolution; it is a sign of the optimism from both top tier regional and international investors in the adoption of these technologies. At Cometa, we are convinced that these milestones reached by Bitso are paving the way for a profound change that will revolutionize the region’s financial system.”

#IMPACT #DEBT IDB Invest and Blue Like an Orange invested US$50m in mezzanine financing in Selina, a Panamanian travel hospitality network with community vacation properties across Central America. IDB Invest will contribute US$35m and Blue Like an Orange the remaining US$15m.

  • Colony Capital led a US$95m round in 2018.
  • American multinational Access Industries led a US$100m investment in Selina in 2019 at a reported post-money valuation of US$850m.
  • Blue Like an Orange reached a final close for its US$200m Latin America fund in June 2020.

Temasek invested US$20m in Conductor, a Brazilian payments processor and card issuance provider for fintechs, bringing the company’s latest round of funding to US$170m after Viking Global Investors led a US$150m round in October 2020.

  • #READ LAVCA’s interview with Chief Strategy Officer Marcelo Jacques.

> Blockchange Ventures and UK-based VC Pomp led a US$5.25m round in Valiu, a Colombian fintech focused on remittances and dollar-based accounts for international transfers in Colombia and Venezuela, with participation from Castle Island, Y Combinator, IDEO Colab, and Mercy Corps.

> Israel-based VC Hetz Ventures led a US$3.55m round in Mozper, a Mexico-based financial education platform for children, with participation from F-Prime Capital, Foundation Capital, and Secocha Ventures, and follow-on from DUX Capital and John Farrell.

  • DUX Capital led a US$770k round in April 2020.
  • Mozper was part of YC’s S20 batch.
  • CEO Gabriel Roizner: “The move from cash to online not only in adults' purchases but also in children's spending habits, has created a demand for more tailored mobile-financial products. Financial education is even more relevant and urgent than before, not only because people need to be smarter about how to use online banking responsibly, but also because this is a time when people's finances are being challenged by unforeseen events.”

> #INSURTECH #HEALTHTECH Mountain Nazca and Spain-based VC Alma Mundi Ventures led a US$3m round in Asistensi, a Spanish healthtech providing insurance and telemedicine services to families of migrant workers staying in their home countries, to accelerate its expansion through Latin America.

> Jaguar Ventures, Investo, and Liquid2 Ventures invested US$2.3m in Justo (not to be confused with Mexican grocery delivery Jüsto), a Chilean e-commerce sales management platform.

Valor Capital Group led a US$2.2m round in Dolado, a Brazilian inventory and digital sales management platform for SMEs in city peripheries, with participation from Global Founders Capital, Norte Capital, Provence Capital, and partners from Lightspeed Ventures and Expanding Capital.

#CVC Bradesco’s Inovabra Ventures invested US$1m in 4intelligenge, a Brazilian machine learning and data processing automation platform for businesses.

> Iporanga Ventures led a R$3.6m round in Floki, a Brazilian supplier management platform for restaurants, with participation from founders of Viva Real, olist, Guiabolso, and Apontador.

> Hygia Bank, a Brazilian savings platform for healthcare-related expenses, raised a R$3m seed round from undisclosed investors.

> #INSURTECH G2 Momentum Capital made an undisclosed investment in Berrysafe, a Mexican insurance marketplace connecting consumers with independent insurance providers.

#ANGEL Byou, a Brazilian platform for hiring on-demand developers, raised R$120k from angels.



> Volpe Capital, a VC fund founded by former SoftBank Managing Partner Andre Maciel, reached a US$50m first close with BTG Pactual as a second anchor investor.

  • Volpe Capital plans to invest in up to 20 early stage companies raising their Series A, with a primary focus on the Brazilian market.
  • Marcelo Claure, Paulo Passoni, and Shu Nyattta of SoftBank have also invested in the fund. 

> Tridon Participações, the family office of Shunji Nishimura, made an undisclosed investment in KPTL’s Agro Fund V.

  • Nishimura is the founder of Brazilian agribusiness giant Jacto.
  • KPTL invested in Agrotools out of the fund in April 2020. 




                                      Heru's Co-Founders Mateo Jaramillo and Stiven Rodríguez

A recent study conducted by Flourish Ventures, MEI Facil, and 60 Decibels shed light on the current lives of gig workers across Latin America, finding that seven out of ten microentrepreneurs are currently earning less than US$200/month in Brazil, which is only 4% higher than the minimum wage, and almost 90% of the 1,600 professionals surveyed had a drop in income as a direct result of the C19 pandemic.

The gig economy continues to be under scrutiny while governments and the private sector aim to accommodate the role of these professionals within society.

Heru, a Mexico-based personal finance and fiscal management platform for gig workers, recently raised a US$1.7m round led by Mountain Nazca, with participation from Flourish Ventures, Magma Partners, Y Combinator, and Xtraordinary Venture Partners.

LAVCA interviewed Co-Founders Stiven Rodríguez and Mateo Jaramillo to further understand the current status of the local gig economy and the vision of the company for independent workers.

LAVCA: Why do you consider it a pressing need to serve this segment of the employed population?

Mateo: Independent workers do not have access to services or products made to fit their needs or working conditions, or if they do, they are too expensive. Most of the gig workers in Latin America live in the outskirts of major cities and commute every day for work. They spend most of their time on the street without access to a place where they can feel safe and are often rejected by the general public.

Heru aims to be the one-stop shop for gig workers in Latin America. We want to bridge the gap between the perks from formal employees and independent workers, which currently includes access to pension funds, car and health insurance, as well as a healthy environment to take care of professionals and ensure they succeed at their jobs.

Through our market research, we discovered that the biggest initial need for these gig workers was their lack of representation of an entity who could speak on their behalf and represent them. Gig workers want to have a voice and they need to have a sense of belonging. This is why we are so focused on building our community and investing in creating trust with these professionals, so they can feel Heru is there for them whenever they need us.

Our first product was Heru Casa, a food truck that we drove across Mexico City, providing delivery workers with access to Wi-Fi, clean water, and basic services, which enabled us to begin building a relationship and build trust. We currently have four of these Heru Casas across CDMX.

READ the full interview including how Heru aims to establish partnerships with key ecosystem players to expand its product suite.



> #M&A Full steam ahead ➡️ Mexican regulator COFECE approved Uber’s majority stake acquisition of on-demand delivery platform Cornershop.

  • Uber first announced its intent to acquire Cornershop in October 2019, after COFECE rejected Walmart’s US$225m acquisition of the delivery platform.
  • COFECE was appointed to review Uber’s proposal in May of this year while the deal was set to expire in July.
  • Cornershop is expected to continue operating independently after the transaction closes in the coming days.
  • Cornershop investors include ALLVP, Accel Partners, Creandum, Grupo Bimbo Family Office, Endeavor Catalyst, Jackson Square Ventures, and others.
  • Federico Antoni of ALLVP: “The Uber-Cornershop partnership demonstrates what is possible in Latin American tech today. Oskar, Dani, and Chaq have not only built a massive regional tech company but, as Cornershop expands in the US, they have a real chance to show the world it is possible to win the biggest and most competitive consumer market from Latin America. From our initial check before the first grocery delivery to Uber's round, ALLVP has led or joined every financing round since inception. These investments are en route to deliver 5x ALLVP 2 total fund from this single company, giving further evidence of the Latin American venture capital potential.”

> #EXIT DGF Investimentos and Redpoint eventures exited Gesto Saúde, a Brazilian big data startup for healthcare plans, through a sale to Dasa, the region’s largest medical diagnostics company.

> Facebook selected 15 Latin American startups to participate in its commerce-focused accelerator.

> Check out LAVCA’s 2020 directory of 126 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA (as of end-2019), our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.



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> #POLICY The Colombian Ministry of Commerce approved Ley de Emprendimiento, Colombia’s new policy framework for innovation and entrepreneurship.

  • The framework includes a set of simplified guidelines for incorporating new ventures, new access to public funding and tender offers for SMEs, and guidelines for access to new forms of financing and financial instruments.

> Microsoft launched Transforma Chile #Reactivación Digital, an investment to strengthen Chile’s cloud infrastructure and data centers, and established a local advisory council to engage local authorities on best practices and recommendations to foster economic development.

  • This is the biggest investment committed by Microsoft to Chile in 28 years, according to the company.
  • Microsoft also partnered with Fundacion Chile and CORFO to provide digital training to 180k+ Chileans by 2025.

> Visa launched VisaNet, its local network payment processing system, in Chile.

  • VisaNet will enable the execution of peer-to-peer transactions and contactless payments solely relying on Visa’s local infrastructure.

> FT examines how a Uruguayan software developer launched a #C19 monitoring app in How to launch a coronavirus app in just one week.

> BlackRock: Empresas mexicanas tienen menos de 9% de mujeres en Consejos.

> Crunchbase: Global VC Funding to Female Founders Dropped Dramatically This Year.

  • “In March, when COVID first hit, every VC told their portfolio companies to assume they would not be able to raise till 2021, and to put plans together to stretch their capital accordingly. Many companies made deep cuts and some changed their strategy from growth to ‘get profitable.’ It may well be that women made deeper cuts initially, and as a result did not meet KPIs they needed for their next raise.”

> Stanford GSB: How Much is Your Slice of that Unicorn Really Worth?




Thank you to our investor community for submitting nominations for LAVCA’s 2020 Top Women Investors in LatAm Tech, and Emerging Women Investors in LatAm Tech.

Congratulations to the additional selected candidates:

  • Eva Goldstein, Director of Finance and Investments at Endeavor Catalyst
  • Anisha Mudaliar, Principal at Endeavor Catalyst
  • Maria Angelica Enriquez, Finance Associate at Endeavor Catalyst
  • Ana Maury Aguilar, Senior Investment Analyst at AC Ventures
  • Nicole Zaragoza, Associate at ALLVP
  • Anne-Charlotte Paratre, Analyst at ALLVP

👀 VIEW LAVCA’s 2020 list of 103 Top Women Investing in Latin American Tech.
👀 VIEW LAVCA’s 2020 list of 97 Emerging Women Investors in Latin American Tech.

ℹ️ More profiles of leading female founders and investors available at LAVCA.ORG/WOMEN



> Anderson Thees of Redpoint eventures shares his view on Brazil’s Marco Legal das Startups.

> Livia Brando of Wayra Brasil shares her views on the importance of early stage tech investments in the telecommunications sector.

> Chilean family offices Ideas VC, LGB Inversiones, and El Coigue Inversiones share their increased interest in participating in venture capital as an asset class and financing impact investing initiatives. 

> Jorge Rocha of Galicia Investimentos has been appointed as the new head of Gávea Angels.

  • Gávea Angels has backed startups including Tevec, BitCapital (recently acquired by Lojas Americanas),, Folha Certa, and GeekHunter.

> Endeavor launched Endeavor Global Ambassadors, a council of leading executives and investors who will support the firm’s mentoring and investment selection process on an annual basis. 

  • Congratulations to Anderson Thees (Redpoint eventures), Francisco Alvarez-Demalde (Riverwood Capital), Martin Escobari (General Atlantic), and Scott Sobel (Valor Capital Group) for being selected as part of the first cohort.
  • Endeavor Catalyst, the global co-investment fund of Endeavor, also announced that Anisha Mudaliar joined their team as Principal leading new investments. Based in San Francisco, Anisha spent the past three years building out Endeavor’s Access to Capital support programs for entrepreneurs. Anisha was selected as part of LAVCA’s 2020 Emerging Women in LatAm Tech

> VC investment in Latin America has grown dramatically since 2017, with Brazil leading the way. Listen to a discussion with VCs Scott Sobel (Valor Capital Group), Patrick Picciotto (Canary), and Paulo Passani (SoftBank) on why it's a good time to invest in Brazilian tech. The discussion aired on Dec. 10 during the Milken Asia Summit in Singapore and can be viewed on demand. Watch here.

> #GPEC IFC and EMPEA are hosting the 22nd annual Global Private Equity Conference (GPEC) as a highly interactive virtual gathering to connect global LPs and GPs on 17-20 May 2021. Registration for the program will open in early 2021.

> Capria Ventures is looking for an Investment Fellow to expand its team. Candidates with 3+ years of professional experience, a rigorous analytical background, and strong interest in emerging markets are welcome to apply.

> BayBrazil is looking for mentors to support the selection and growth of three startups focused on promoting education, health, and diversity as part of its Social Impact Initiative. Applications are now open.

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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