LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin July 22, 2020

Web Version

LatAm Venture Bulletin

📧 Did someone forward you this email? Sign up here.



> VC/tech investors, corporates, and invited VC-backed startup founders and CEOs are invited to LAVCA's annual investor meeting scheduled for September 14-17.

 The 2020 LAVCA Week agenda will be organized around a series of virtual meetings and content for private capital investors from Latin America and around the globe. Details and registration here.

> Program Highlights:

🔥 Fireside Chat with David Velez, CEO, Nubank

🌎 The Global VC Context with Virginia Tan, Founding Partner,
Teja Ventures, and Kuo-Yi Kim, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Monk's Hill Ventures

💻 Building Infrastructure to Expand Access to Technology with Carlos Kokron, Managing Director of North America, Qualcomm Ventures, Kevin Salvadori, Director of Network Investments, Facebook, and Brian Finerty, CIO, Equity International 

💸 Fintech Disrupting Traditional Banking with Martin Escobari, Co-President and Managing Director of Latin America, General Atlantic, Osvaldo Gimenez, CEO, MercadoPago, and Neal Kapur, Senior Director, Visa Ventures



> 🦄 Salesforce Ventures led a US$120m Series F in Auth0, an identity verification solution founded by Argentines Eugenio Pace and Matías Woloski, with participation from DTCP, and follow-on from Bessemer Venture Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Meritech Capital, World Innovation Lab, Trinity Ventures, Telstra Ventures, and K9 Ventures. Sapphire Ventures led the US$103m Series E in 2019.

> QED Investors led a US$22.5m Series B in Brazilian digital brokerage Warren, with participation from Mercado Libre’s MELI Fund, WPA, and Quartz, and follow-on from KaszeK Ventures, Chromo Invest, and Ribbit Capital. Ribbit Capital led a R$25m round in 2019.

  • Warren increased its AUM 5x from R$500m to R$2.5b in the last ten months, according to CEO Tito Gusmão. Gusmão shares his view on the biggest challenges to make investing a habit in Brazil: “It’s a combination of lack of financial education and ‘lack of necessity’. We used to be a country with interest rates as high as 14% only four or five years ago, and it was possible to leave money invested in subpar products offered by banks. Now, with interest rates lower than 2%, Brazilians have to find better products to invest their money, and these products can’t be found in these traditional institutions.”

> #PE Florida-based Cambridge Capital led a US$22.5m Series B in Liftit, a B2B Colombian logistics marketplace for independent truck drivers, with participation from H20 Capital, AC Ventures, 10x Capital, Banyan Tree Ventures, and alpha4 Ventures, among others, and follow-on from monashees, Jaguar Ventures, NXTP, and IFC.

  • CEO Brian York shares his experience as LiftIt consolidates its regional expansion: “Finding talent has been tough. Most of the hires we make today come from a supply chain background with direct exposure to trucking. Also, most of the people we talked to, including some of our investors, advised against expanding so quickly to five countries and eighteen cities, but it ended up being one of the best decisions we've made, since it has helped us attract more customers, given that some of our clients have operations in more than one country.”

#IMPACT Grupo Prisma, Albatross Capital, and Katapult Impact invested US$8.5m in Burn to Give, a socially responsible Chilean insurtech focused on providing life insurance to underprivileged families and incentivizing policyholders’ wellbeing with subsidized coverage.


> Soma Capital, InQlab, and Palm Drive Capital invested US$5m in LAIKA, a Colombian e-commerce platform for pet goods and services, to strengthen its operations in Colombia and expand to the Mexican market.

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

> #CLEANTECH Valor Capital invested US$4m in Solfacil, a Brazilian solar energy financing platform.

> Canary invested US$980k in Mobees, a Brazilian adtech startup for rideshare services.

> Canary and Norte Ventures led a R$5m round in Rapicare, a Brazilian medical supply SaaS startup for healthcare businesses.

> Uncork Capital and Bling Capital led a US$2.2m seed round in MonkeyLearn, a Uruguayan no-code data analytics platform.

> #GOVTECH MDIF and Luminate invested R$3m in, a citizen-to-government engagement platform, with participation from EDP Ventures. MDIF and Flourish Ventures invested R$4m in 2017.

> #CVC Globant Ventures made undisclosed investments in Argentine startups Woocar, a driver safety platform, and in Drixit, a provider of safety compliance monitoring services for manufacturing plants.

> #CVC Kamay Ventures, an Argentinian fund backed by corporates including Coca-Cola Argentina and Arcor SAIC, invested US$250k in Arqlite, an Argentine provider of construction materials made out of recycled plastic.

> #EU Speedinvest, Kima Ventures, Seedrocket4founders, and ArkFund invested US$800k in Finnu, a Spanish fintech allowing Latin American consumers access to credit by using their phones as collateral.

#ROBOTS Shenzhen-based Hax Accelerator invested US$100k in Tumi Robotics, a Peruvian robotics startup focused on providing inspection services for the mining industry.

> G2 Momentum Capital made an undisclosed investment in Envioclick, a Mexican logistics automatization platform. 

#AGTECH Agriconnect Global Ventures (AgroVen), a Brazilian agtech infrastructure provider, made an undisclosed seed investment in AgroBee, a Brazilian platform providing customized pollination services to crop producers and beekeepers.

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



> Loft acquired Uotel, a Brazilian proptech focused on apartment leases, expanding its product offering into the rental market.

> One7, a Brazilian provider of financial services for enterprises, acquired Rapidoo, an online factoring platform backed by Canary and Global Founders Capital, and destined R$50m to expand Rapidoo’s credit origination facilities.

> Neon Pagamentos acquired Magliano, a securities broker in Brazil, to expand its investment platform with financial products for the Brazilian middle class. Neon Pagamentos is backed by General Atlantic and Banco Votorantim.

> J.P. Morgan acquired a minority stake in FitBank, a Brazilian fintech focused on payment settlements. This is J.P. Morgan’s first known strategic investment in the payments industry in Latin America.



> SVB launched a US$30m Latin America Growth Lending Fund in partnership with Partners for Growth and IBD Invest. The fund will provide structured debt to late-stage companies across Latin America and the Caribbean in sectors including software, technology, life sciences, healthcare, and fintech.

  • Managing Director Andy Tsao: “...creative debt financing for high growth technology companies is still very nascent and largely unavailable [in the region]. SVB and PFG represent more than 50 years of lending to technology companies and helped to pioneer the venture debt industry in the US, while IDB represents one of the largest lenders to the region. We are delighted to partner to provide a potential credit solution for our clients, friends, and partners in Latin America.”
  • Director Julia Figueiredo: “After 8 years working with technology companies and venture capital funds in Latin America, we are now able to offer structured debt to the region's technology and life science companies… we aim to increase the probability of success for talented founders that are changing the landscape in the region.”
  • SVB is a member of the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, supporting high-growth startups in the region.

> #IPO The Argentine Securities and Exchange Commission (CNV) authorized the public offering of CITES I, an investment fund from Sunchales Sancor Insurance Group, for US$24m.

IFC invested US$10m in Mountain Nazca’s Fund II.

Polymath Ventures launched Polymath+, their new partnership division with corporates focused on launching new digital platforms.




Worky, a Mexican HR automation platform is currently expanding its services to cater to businesses with 200+ employees, including Kavak and La Haus. The company just raised a US$3m round from QED Investors and LEAP Global Partners. LAVCA interviewed Worky Co-Founder and CEO Maya Dadoo to learn more about the company’s story and expansion plans.

LAVCA: What made you and co-founders Oscar Castillo and Carlos Marina launch Worky back in 2017?

Maya Dadoo: Carlos Marina and I met through our early investors and decided to start researching the Mexican employment market together. We realized an astounding fact: there are 20 million Mexicans working in SMEs, and 60% of them rotate jobs every year. This significantly harms Mexico’s labor and economic productivity. As we researched further, we became aware that this rotation rate is due to three factors: HR is not strategic, information isn’t flowing correctly within the organization, and employees are seeking benefits that SMEs can’t provide given their purchase power and size.

Carlos and I saw the opportunity to create Worky, an all-in-one HR software and payroll processing system for Mexican businesses. Oscar Castillo joined as co-founder and CTO in 2019. Oscar was co-founder and CTO in Dada Room, Latin America’s biggest roommate share platform. By scaling Dada, Oscar became aware of the opportunity to develop and professionalize talent with data, structure, and incentives.

READ about Worky's vision to expand the company's customer base and product offering.



> #POLICY Nubank issued a proposal for Open Banking self-regulation to the Brazilian Central Bank, covering issues including ensuring security, data ownership and control by users, and suggestions to increase operational efficiency within institutions in the financial system.

> #POLICY Brazilian fintech Gorila announced its first Open Banking partnership with Genial Investimentos, enabling Genial clients to automatically update their portfolios through Gorila’s integrated platform.

 Rappi partnered with Lady Driver, a Brazilian ride-share transport app for women, to enable Rappi users to request a ride from a female driver.

> Rappi launched Rappiapuestas, a partnership with the main gambling operators in Colombia authorized by Coljuegos, the regulatory entity responsible for the gambling industry in the country. Rappi users will now be able to gamble and place sports bets within the platform.

> Riverwood-backed VTEX is the fastest growing e-commerce platform in the world, according to the most recent IDC Worldwide Digital Commerce Market Share report.

 #PROPTECH Alejandro Gómez and Martin Delgado of Colombian proptech Aptuno share the story behind the company and the vision to grow in the Colombian rentals market. Aptuno recently raised a US$680k pre-seed round from Magma Partners. 

> Bloomberg: Delivery Hero Says It's Open to a Deal with Rappi or Glovo.

> Didi-backed 99 announced the expansion of 99Entrega to an additional 11 cities in Brazil. 99Entrega provides a way to send personal objects to acquaintances and family members during the C19 pandemic.

> Colombian last-mile delivery startup Tu Orden announced its intention to add 1,000 couriers to its payroll, in an attempt to improve working conditions for its delivery partners.

> Hugo, a San Salvador-based last-mile delivery platform serving Central America, launched HugoMarket, an online grocery store, along with a drone pilot program to improve its logistics operations. Hugo raised an undisclosed Series A from unnamed investors earlier this year and launched Hugo Ventures, a seed fund focused on Central America and the Caribbean.

> Mexican online payments platform UnDosTres partnered with PayPal and UNICEF to extend the coverage of its payment infrastructure to charitable initiatives serving underprivileged communities. UnDosTres is backed by IGNIA and Dalus Capital.

> 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.



> SIGN UP for a bi-weekly newsletter covering cross-border tech transactions and innovations with cross-border applications in a rapidly changing world. Geographies include Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and other emerging venture+tech markets. View the latest issue and sign up here.



> Banco Inter, a publicly-traded Brazilian digital bank, announced it has reached six million users, with new user acquisition accelerating during the C19 crisis.

 Mastercard and Visa submitted a proposal to the Central Bank of Brazil aimed to provide further evidence that WhatsApp Pay will not hinder competitiveness in the Brazilian fintech landscape.

  • The Central Bank suspended WhatsApp’s rollout of its payment services with the aim “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.”

> Brazilian publicly-traded payments processor Cielo has been approved by the Central Bank to issue prepaid cards and provide digital wallet services.

 Brazil’s Vice President Hamilton Mourao and the President of the Central Bank Roberto Campos hosted a meeting with representatives of the 29 international funds who announced they would be divesting US$5b+ in assets in the country unless the government addressed the country’s current deforestation challenges.

> Mexico's COFECE launched the Dirección General de Mercados Digitales, aimed at overseeing the activity of digitally-enabled platforms and markets in the country and its implications on economic competitiveness.

  • COFECE was granted jurisdiction to review Uber's acquisition of Cornershop's Mexican subsidiary in May, but a timetable for a resolution has not been disclosed. Cornershop's deal with Uber is set to expire in July.

> #CHANGETHERATIO Global impact investor SEAF launched a Gender Equality Scorecard Manual to assess women’s economic empowerment and gender equality within growth-oriented SMEs.

  • The manual provides an overall rating score for a company based on six gender equality performance vectors: pay equity, women’s workforce participation, gender diverse leadership and governance, benefits and professional development, safe and healthy workplace environment, and women-powered value chains.

> #EXPORTS The Inter-American Development Bank's Institute for the Integration of Latin America and the Caribbean (INTAL) published Encuesta a firmas exportadoras de América Latina, findings from a survey of 532 micro, small, medium and large companies from 25 countries in the region. Key findings:

  • Mismatch between supply and demand of state aid: most companies (64%) haven’t received support from the public sector to sustain its external sales since the end of the pandemic.
  • 77% of companies decreased their intraregional exports and exports to the rest of the world since the start of the pandemic.
  • In the face of the crisis, most companies surveyed sought to reconfigure rather than reduce labor and non-labor costs. Among the main measures adopted were the opening of new markets (17%), the use of alternative sales channels such as e-commerce (15%) and the diversification of production (14%).
    In the face of the crisis, most companies surveyed sought to reconfigure rather than reduce labor and non-labor costs. Among the main measures adopted were the opening of new markets (17%), the use of alternative sales channels such as e-commerce (15%) and the diversification of production (14%).

 UDD Venture, Universidad del Desarrollo’s accelerator program in Chile, will expand its coverage from university initiatives to SMEs.

 The CEO of Brazilian and Emirates consultancy DIMA Luana Ozemela shares her view on the current state of racial equality and inclusion in the private capital markets in Brazil.

> NYT examines the impact of the C19 crisis on the accelerating socioeconomic inequality in Colombia.


> SVB and EMPEA will host a panel with Yar-Ping Soo of Adams Street Partners, Sandeep Naik of General Atlantic, and Eric Acher of Monashees to discuss their perspectives on the 2020 global VC landscape on August 5. Registration is now open.

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

> Congratulations to TheVentureCity’s newest cohort: Meetfox, Coachbetter, Kronte, eCustoms, Trakto, and

> BayBrazil will host a discussion with Antoine Colaco of Valor Capital on the future of logistics on July 23.

> Wayra, Corporate Venturing Latam, and CORFO will host a panel with Abi Boragine of Wayra Chile and Edwin Casallas of Wayra Colombia to discuss the process and challenges of integrating startup technology offerings within a large organization on July 23. Register.

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

> Instituto Tecnológico 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.

> The Development Bank of Jamaica announced the launch of a twelve-month mentorship program for high-growth startups through its Jamaica Venture Capital Programme (JVCAPITAL), in collaboration with IDB Lab. Twelve startups have been selected to participate in their next cohort.

AMEXCAP will host Cumbre AMEXCAP on August 12 and 13. Speakers include Maria Ariza of BIVA, Agustina Palmai of Mercado Libre, and Martin Escobari of General AtlanticRegistration is now open to investors. LAVCA Members and women investors please contact Catalina Santos to receive a discounted rate.

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

Embrapa, Venture Hub, and Bayer’s agricultural division launched an acceleration program for agtech startups in Brazil. Applications close September 1.

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

Congratulations to Miriam Rivera of Ulu for being included in Latino Leaders’ Top 100 Most Influential Latinas 2020 list.

> 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.


The LatAm Venture Bulletin is the VC/tech newsletter and content platform of
The Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America.

Have news we should include? Please email

Cvent - Web-based Software Solutions