LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin July 8, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> #PE TreeCorp Investimentos invested R$100m in Zee.Dog, a Brazilian marketplace for pet goods. Zee.Dog has plans to launch in the US as its first international market of expansion in the coming months.  

  • Rival pet marketplace Petlove raised a US$48m round led by SoftBank earlier this year.

> #DEBT Accial Capital led a US$21m debt round in ePesos, a Mexican fintech providing payroll advances. ePesos raised a US$6m Series A in 2017 from Santander InnoVentures, with participation from Fiinlab, Pomona Impact, Sorenson Capital, and VilCap Investments.

  • CFO Ariel Olaiz shares his view on ePesos’ advantage over traditional players: “Their cost structure is not set up to serve underbanked users… This is also not a priority for them. At ePesos… our business model and our use of technology has allowed us to offer products to employees from all income ranges, including workers at the Base of the Pyramid.”

> Canary, KaszeK Ventures, and MAYA Capital invested US$16m in Alice, a Brazilian healthcare provider. Alice was founded by Andre Florence and Matheus Moraes, alums of Brazilian rideshare 99 (acquired by Didi in 2017), and Guilherme Azevedo, co-founder of Brazilian healthtech Dr. Consulta.

> Mountain Nazca and Foundation Capital led a US$12m follow-on investment in Jüsto, a Mexico-based grocery delivery startup founded by Cabify alum Ricardo Weder, with participation from #CVC FEMSA Ventures, H20 Capital, SV Latam, and S7V. Quiet Capital, Vas Ventures, and 500 Startups invested previously.

  • Beyond delivering groceries, CEO Ricardo Weder says Jüsto has its own fulfillment centers operated by its own tech to prepare and deliver orders, and sources food directly from Consumer Packaged Goods and local producers, “but we also have an important percentage of our catalogue sourced directly from SMBs and small farmers.”
  • Jüsto says revenue is growing 65% month-over-month and plans to expand in Mexico and launch operations in Colombia.

 General Atlantic and e.Bricks Ventures led a R$40m Series B in Conexa Saúde, a Brazilian telemedicine marketplace, with participation from Luiz Fraga of Gávea Investimentos. e.Bricks led the seed round in February.

  • Conexa has 1m+ active patients and ~6,000 doctors on the platform. Usage jumped from 20,000 consults per month to 5,000 consults per day in recent days, according to Co-Founders Guilherme Weigert and Fernando Domingues: “The C19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated both the patient adoption of digital medical appointments, and the regulatory framework of telemedicine... to allow for wider use for most medical appointments.”


> Movile made an undisclosed investment in Mensajeros Urbanos, a Colombian delivery startup focused on convenience stores and pharmacies.

  • Movile CEO Patrick Hruby tells Forbes that “the moment of absurd uncertainty” that prompted preserving cash and reducing the pace of investment has passed and that now it’s time to move from protecting the portfolio to assessing new opportunities.

> #CVC Chilean insurance conglomerate HDI Seguros made a R$27m follow-on investment in Zoox, a Brazilian internet provider for hotels and public spaces, following an undisclosed investment in 2018.

> Aeroespacial, a Fundo de Investimento em Participações (FIP), invested R$20m in Kryptus, a Brazilian data security startup focused on cryptography solutions for the civilian and military markets. Aerospacial is an initiative from BNDES, FINEP, and the Agência de Desenvolvimento Paulista.

> #CVC Embraer invested an undisclosed amount in Tempest Security Intelligence, a Brazilian cybersecurity company focused on the aerospace, aeronautics, and defense industries. Tempest is backed by the Fundo de Investimento em Participações (FIP) Aeroespacial.

> Karün, a Chilean recycled eyewear manufacturer, raised US$4m from undisclosed investors. Swedish impact investor Blue AB and Luna, the philanthropic organization of Lucy Ana Walton, invested previously.

> QED Investors and LEAP Global Partners invested US$3m in Worky, a Mexican HRtech automatization platform. Worky’s startup clients include Kavak and La Haus; they are expanding their focus to businesses with 200+ employees, according to TechCrunch.

  • Co-Founder and CEO Maya Dadoo shares: “Our first version of Worky was helpful for companies that had ~20 employees… we realized that SMEs that have over 200 employees still manage their HR functions in Excel, even with pen and paper. Every churned employee represents at least 6 months' wage. As these companies realize the effect that faulty HR management has on their bottom line, they seek to digitalize.”

> #CVC Banco BV led a R$15m Series A in Carflix, a Brazilian used car marketplace focused on regional transactions.

> Apex Partners led a R$8m round in Spark, a Brazilian influencer marketing platform. The round comes after founders Raphael Pinho, Marcus Buaiz, and Rafael Coca repurchased their shares from Colombian marketing group Fluvip, which had initially acquired a stake in 2016.

ACE led a R$1.3m investment in Deskfy, a marketing startup focused on brand management, with participation from Diego Gomes of Rock Content.

> Global Founders Capital, ONEVC, and Flourish Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Swap, a Brazilian fintech services provider for enterprises, with participation from angels Brad Flora (YC) and Patrick Sigrist (iFood).

  • Founder Ury Rappaport shares: “Our issuing platform is unique in the Brazilian market because it has a direct connection with the card network and its own card processor. This changes the game for startups, reducing setup costs and velocity to go live. Clients can have multiple balances per card, customize authorization parameters, and create spending restrictions, such as merchants whitelists and velocity controls, depending on use cases.”

#ANGEL GVAngels and BR Angels invested R$2m in Chiligum, a Brazilian adtech focused on video production automation.

G2 Momentum Capital made an undisclosed investment in Finerio Connect, a Mexican fintech offering businesses an API for enterprise account management.

Platform Capital made an undisclosed investment in SafeRoom, a US-based secure enterprise messaging platform for employee communication serving the Mexican market.

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$4.6b in 2019, according to LAVCA data



> #IPO Pague Menos, a Brazilian drugstore chain backed by General Atlantic, filed to go public on São Paulo’s Brasil Bolsa Balcão.

> General Atlantic to exit XP via secondary share offering of US$1b.

> #M&A XP acquired a majority stake in Antecipa, a Brazilian fintech focused on predicting receivables, for an undisclosed amount.

> #M&A Brazilian electrical equipment manufacturer WEG acquired 51% of Mvisia, a Brazilian computer vision technology developer, for an undisclosed amount.



IDB Lab announced an undisclosed investment in 500 Startups’ Luchadores III, which intends to support up to 130 seed stage Latin American startups.

IDB Lab also announced an undisclosed investment in DILA Capital’s DILA IV Fund, which will focus beyond Mexico to markets including Central America, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

#CVC Chilean energy company Copec launched Wind Ventures, a new CVC fund focused on the energy, retail, and mobility sectors in Latin America. The fund will seek participation in Series A, B, and C rounds, and its check size will range from US$1m to US$10m.

Ecuador’s Ministerio de Producción, Comercio Exterior, Inversiones, y Pesca is launching a US$10m fund to provide seed and growth capital for SMEs. Applications are open until the end of the year.

Bzplan and FIR Capital are launching Invisto, a new VC fund with a R$100m target.




Brazil-based international money transfer platform Remessa Online raised US$20m from KaszeK Ventures, Brazil-based growth fund Bewater Ventures, and Kevin Efrusy of Accel Partners in June 2020.

Remessa Online was initially focused on international money transfer for individuals. After validating their infrastructure and integrating a compliance system, their focus shifted to serving small businesses. Co-Founder Alexandre Liuzzi shares revenue has grown 2x this year despite the challenging scenario, after growing 3x annually from 2016-2019.

READ why Remessa pivoted to a B2B focus, and Liuzzi's take on the C19 effect on business.



> Rappi partnered with Mexican bank Banorte to launch a financial services firm.

  • Banorte will be investing MX$4b within the next 18 months and aims to utilize Rappi’s user base as its main distribution channel.

> Rappi Co-Founder Sebastian Mejia and SoftBank Managing Partner Ralf Wenzel launched IMPACTO, a non-profit focused on funding initiatives to fight C19 across the region. IMPACTO partnered with Frubana in Colombia and is currently looking at opportunities in Brazil.

> iFood launched operations in Bogota with 500 restaurant partners, focused on last-mile deliveries in the city.

> Cora, a Brazilian fintech lending to SMEs, was granted a banking license by the Brazilian Central Bank, which now enables them to receive interbank transfers, issue credit and debit cards, and ensure deposit withdrawals. Cora is backed by KaszeK Ventures and Ribbit Capital. 

>, a customer intelligence platform for media and e-commerce enterprises, recently raised a US$2.3m seed round from Redpoint eventures. CEO Paulo Martins, an early employee at Hulu, reviews the company’s growth and the impact of the C19 crisis on Arena’s business: 

“We've been growing by 150% y-o-y, and this has been done all organically without the sales and marketing team that we’ll be adding on with the new investment. As of today, we are processing more than 20 billion user interactions per month. We also had a significant drop in SMBs during the last three months, but we more than made up for that with an overwhelming number of inbound inquiries from enterprise customers."

> Boletia, a Mexican event promotion and ticketing platform backed by LIV Capital, launched a platform for hosting online and livestreams events.

> QuintoAndar partnered with Aliança Empreendedora to provide management education courses and mentoring opportunities to the 2,000+ small business owners that have signed up to the company’s Classificados de Vizinhança platform.

> Drivers of Uber, Rappi, and iFood organized a strike in São Paulo to demand better working conditions amidst the increased demand faced by the last-mile delivery platforms during the C19 crisis.

> 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.



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> Brazil’s Central Bank suspended WhatsApp’s rollout of its payment services in the country a week after it was announced.

  • WhatsApp’s prospective local payment partners include Banco do Brasil, Nubank, and Sicredi.
  • The Central Bank stated that the suspension aims to “preserve an adequate competitive environment in the mobile payments space and to ensure functioning of a payment system that’s interchangeable, fast, secure, transparent, open, and cheap.”
  • The decision to block the partnership between WhatsApp and Cielo has also been reconsidered by the Administrative Council for Economic Defense, but is still being blocked by the Central Bank.

> Mercado Libre announced the opening of its third distribution center in Brazil. Mercado Libre previously announced its plan to move forward with its R$4b 2020 investment in the country despite the current C19 crisis.

 Uber launched grocery delivery services in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. Uber just announced the US$2.65b all-stock acquisition of Postmates, and Uber’s acquisition of local player Cornershop is still pending approval from Mexican regulatory authorities.

 FT: Google agreed to pay publishers for news in Australia, Brazil, and Germany, “the latest in a wave of deals that are gradually transforming the way large tech platforms do business with media groups.”

Coca-Cola will reduce social media spending in Brazil, according to Valor, as the boycott of major American brands of Facebook and other social media platforms arrives in Latin America.

> Atomic88-Alibaba Business School partnered with Mexican corporate GINgroup to train and certify 200 people in Alibaba’s Global eCommerce Talent (GET) program.

  • This is the first step of Alibaba’s venture into Mexican e-commerce, where the company has announced its plans to train up to 1,000 college students in the near future.


> #C19 A group of Brazilian executives raised R$130m in donations to launch Estímulo 2020, a C19 fund to issue loans for small businesses.

 FT: Authorities across Latin America are investigating the alleged misuse of C19 relief funds.

> President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for C19. 



 > Flourish Ventures published The Digital Hustle: Gig Worker Financial Lives Under Pressure, a report that examines the lives of gig workers in Brazil and how they are weathering the current C19 crisis.

  • Among the insights: Seven out of ten microentrepreneurs are earning less than US$200 per month, or R$1,088, which is only R$43 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.
  • Flourish Ventures will be following closely a select group of Brazilian participants of the gig economy for the next six months and publishing the results in real time to get a better understanding of the financial products that play a key role in improving the livelihood of these individuals.


> KaszeK Ventures, Valor Capital, Marin Ventures, and Renegade Partners share their view on the impact of the current C19 pandemic on the Brazilian startup ecosystem during the Brazil at Silicon Valley conference.

> KaszeK Ventures, Valor Capital, and Canary discuss their current investing pace in Brazil.

> Alexandre Villela of Qualcomm Ventures shares his view on the current opportunities for CVC in Brazil, and his vision for the industry after C19.

> Lorena Suárez of financial holding company Grupo Supervielle shares her view on some of the attractive sectors for investors to deploy capital in the region during a virtual event with the news outlet Cronista hosted by ARCAP.

> Vinci Partners, CCR, and Equatorial acknowledge new opportunities in Brazil’s sanitation sector after the Senate approved a package to modernize the sanitation infrastructure system across the country.

> READ LAVCA’s interview with Vinci’s CEO Alessando Horta. When asked about the current environment for private capital investment in Brazil Horta said, “While our investment thesis remains intact, we are leveraging this environment to negotiate better investment structures and valuations.”

> Peter Specht of European-based VC firm Creandum examines the current fundraising opportunity for companies according to the impact that the C19 crisis has had in their business model.


> SVB announced its official sponsorship of Latinas in Tech, a non-profit that connects Latina women working in technology.

> Sofia Garrido of General Atlantic was included in Forbes Mexico's list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico. 

> Congratulations to the companies selected to participate in Google for Startups’ 2020 summer cohort: Canasta Rosa, Cliengo, Collective Academy, ePayco, Listopro, Maestrik, moons, Mudafy, Oliver Pets, Producteca, Rebanking, and Smart Lending.

> TheVentureCity welcomes 11 startups to its Growth Program: AdLaunch, Dixper, FixMe, Fuell, Peoople, Squadra, Tonicapp, Uniwhere, uSizy, WeFish, and Woom.

> Congratulations to Catalyst Fund’s newest cohort, including Mexican insurtech Mango Life and Mexican fintech Graviti.

  • Each company received US$98k in grant capital as part of the acceleration program.

> PionerasDev, a Colombian non-profit promoting women’s participation in programming environments, won a US$50k grant from IBM’s Open Source Community Grant Program. This is the first time a Latin American organization has won the grant.

> The World Economic Forum published its latest cohort of Technology Pioneers. Congrats to Brazilian companies Descomplica and CargoX for being included.

> Wayra will host a webinar with FCP Innovacion SP, Empresas Públicas de Medellín’s corporate venture fund, and international energy company Enel, to discuss open innovation in the energy sector on July 9. Registration is now open.

AC Ventures will host a virtual discussion on dark, cloud, ghost, and virtual kitchens on July 15. The panel includes Michael Nicklas of Valor, John Miller of CALI Group, and Sami Bejjani of Kitopi.

ProColombia will host the fourth edition of the ProColombia Pitch Session on July 15. Investors can register here.

 ChileGlobal Angels, the angel network of ChileGlobal Ventures, is accepting applications for its fourth Pitch Day, hosted virtually on August 13. Applications close July 19. The fund has also partnered with Parque Arauco and opened applications for its retail innovation competition until the same date.

Expande Minería, Fundación Chile’s mining open innovation platform, and ACVC will host an Industrial Tech Demo Day on July 21. Registration is now open to investors.

Pablo Cervantes and Pablo Coballasi of PC Capital will host a virtual discussion on strategies to obtain post-C19 liquidity on July 22. Registration is now open. 

Europe-based Rockstart is accepting applications for its accelerator program. Applications close July 25.

Instituto Tecnologico de Buenos Aires and MIT Sloan Latin America Office will host the second edition of 100K LATAM, a regional competition to promote the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. The event this year intends to award more than US$100k in prizes. Applications close August 1.

AMEXCAP will host Cumbre AMEXCAP on August 12 and 13. Registration is now open to investors. Women investors please contact Catalina Santos to receive a discounted rate.

Endeavor has opened applications for its scale-up program for companies in the healthtech and construction sectors. Applications close August 28.

BR Angels partnered with the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES) to support its internship program for startups.

> New Ventures and IKEA Social Entrepreneurship are launching an accelerator program to support entrepreneurs focused on improving the quality of life of Mexican marginalized communities. Interested founders can pre-register here.

> 500 Startups launched an ESG investment process for its Global Flagship Fund. 



> NYT looks at what happened when a man was wrongly accused by an algorithm: "One detective, seeming chagrined, said to his partner: 'I guess the computer got it wrong'."

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