LatAm Venture Bulletin

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LatAm Venture Bulletin


womens list
> Female investors in early-stage tech are underrepresented in Latin America as they are globally. Among entrepreneurs, only 17% of venture-backed startups have a female co-founder, and they capture disproportionately less VC funding.

NEW LISTS: In an effort to raise the visibility of female tech investors in Latin America, and with the support of IDB LAB and IDB Invest, LAVCA has published:

> WISE, Women in STEM Entrepreneurship, is a collaboration of the IDB LAB and IAE Business School to offer mentoring, connections to investors, and international exchange with relevant startup ecosystems for women starting or running high-impact scientific and technology-based startups. The program launched in Argentina in May, Peru in November, and plans to launch in Colombia and Ecuador in February 2019.

LAVCA interviewed Susana Garcia-Robles—Chief Financial Operations and Gender Coordinator for IDB LAB, WISE Executive Director Adriana Cortes, and Silvia Carbonell—Director of Entrepreneurship Center, IAE Business School, to learn about the program’s goals to train over 1,500 STEM entrepreneurs in the region over the next few years. READ it here.

I see the end of the gender divide and the rise of a gender dividend”
– Susana Garcia-Robles

> Also READ LAVCA’s interviews with CEOs Mariana Costa of Laboratoria and Mariel Reyes of {reprograma}, on their ambitions to train Latin American women to code. #CHANGETHERATIO

LAVCA’s gender diversity content is made possible with support from IDB LAB and IDB Invest, Members of the IDB Group.



LAVCA data
  > Latin America’s Record Start to 2018: The first half of
 2018 was a
record-breaking semester for startup
 investment in Latin America. Investment grew for every major
 market in the region, with Brazilian and Mexican startups
 capturing the most dollars.

  Fintech, marketplaces, and notably agtech were top sectors of investment in 1H2018. Startups raised an unprecedented number of US$100m+ financing rounds, with participation from notable global players, generating a new class of 🦄 unicorns.
> View top-level trends from 1H2018, including a list of new unicorns and highlighted transactions.

> For 18-month VC/tech investment trends (2017- 1H2018), download LAVCA’s new Startup Heatmap presentation and infographic, which we presented with Facebook at an investor cocktail the night before the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in São Paulo.


> Naspers, Innova Capital, and parent company Movile invested US$500m in Brazil's iFood.

  • This is the largest known investment round in a Latin American startup to date.
  • Current investors Naspers and Innova contributed US$400m, while Movile is providing the additional US$100m. Movile's contribution is coming from a US$124m investment announced by the same shareholders in July.

> UBits, a Colombian edtech platform for corporate training, raised US$2m led by Spectrum 28 Capital, a San Francisco VC firm. UBits participated in Y Combinator in Spring 2018. The founders say they plan to expand to Mexico next.

> Vostok New Ventures invested US$2m in Agente Imóvel, a Brazilian real estate advertising and data analysis platform.

> Brazilian IT company Accesstage invested R$2m IN10, a Brazil-based data analysis and business intelligence company.

  • Accesstage also recently invested in Negocie Online, a Brazilian consumer debt negotiation platform operating primarily on WhatsApp and Messenger, and Moneto, a Brazilian payment processing app for business owners.

> Omni made an undisclosed investment in Ergoncredit, a Brazilian fintech providing credit for small businesses.

> Eqseed raised R$2.5m on its own crowdfunding platform, from 160 Brazilian investors, in exchange for a total of 12% of the platform’s equity. Average ticket was R$16k, and over half the contributors were qualified investors, according to Eqseed.

> #DEBT Arc Labs made a US$20m debt investment in PayJoy, a Mexican fintech serving the underbanked. Arc Labs previously made a US$10m debt investment in Creze, a Mexican startup providing financial services to small businesses backed by DILA Capital and Mountain Nazca.



> ♀️ IDB Invest and OPIC partnered to launch Fund Mujer, the first gender-focused fund for Latin America and the Caribbean, to invest in female entrepreneurs, companies with a significant share of women leaders, and firms that generate jobs or consumer products for women. The fund has a US$200m target and is expected to be comprised of 70% equity / 30% debt.

> monashees closed its seventh VC fund, a US$150m vehicle, with participation from international endowments, foundations, family offices, funds, and entrepreneurs, including Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger.

  • monashees has raised ~US$430m to date with 55 active portfolio companies, including Loggi, Rappi, Yellow, Grin, Mandaê, Neon, and others.
  • Read more in The Information: Brazilian VC Fundraising Shows Global Shift.

> ALLVP had a first close of US$73m for its third fund, which has a target of US$100m.

  • ALLVP plans to back companies serving the large, underserved and growing middle class in Mexico as well as Colombia, Chile, and Argentina, in sectors including healthcare, fintech, and smart cities.
  • ALLVP Partner Fernando Lelo de Larrea shares:

“We are humbled by the continued support of our international base of investors that includes entrepreneurs, family offices, corporates and institutional investors now joined by leading Mexican pension funds. Our focus on performance and mission to back outstanding entrepreneurs in Latin America would not be possible without them."

> The Korea Venture Investment Corporation (KVIC) made an undisclosed investment in Angel Ventures' Pacific Alliance Fund II.



> Elevar Equity led a US$5.25m investment in Uruguayan digital banking platform Bankingly, with participation from The Rise Fund and Endeavor Catalyst.

 Nilus is a food waste app in Argentina dedicated to rescuing edible food and re-distributing it: You make a donation, and a driver delivers the food. Argentina alone wastes ~14b kilos of food per year.
  • Nilus won the Google Impact Challenge in Argentina last year and is being incubated at the Harvard Innovation Labs.
  • Co-founder Ady Beitler (who has a full-time job with the IDB) says they have delivered over 500,000 plates of food so far, and plans to expand nationally.

> Capria Network announced a first close of its second fund addressing the US$1t global “missing middle” investment opportunity. Vulcan Capital, Ford Foundation, and Omidyar Network invested in Capria’s US$100m second fund.

> #PE ♀️ ILPA published new resources to support the advancement of diversity and inclusion within the PE industry.

> PEI shares notes on the GIIN impact investing conference in Paris. Key issues: Who gets to claim the “impact” label? How to tie compensation to impact metrics? And where is the data?

  • GIIN also published the opening and closing remarks from CEO Amit Bouri, available here.

> Impact investing firm Capria is seeking to invest in 3-5 investment managers in emerging markets with capital support and access to its network. Apply by Nov. 23.


> Grupo Carrefour Brasil acquired E-Mídia, a digital content platform that includes websites Cyber Cook, Vila Mulher, and Mais Equilíbrio, as Carrefour moves to an omnichannel retail strategy.

> Brazilian ecommerce software company VTEX acquired INDEVA, a retail software startup, for an undisclosed amount.

> Open Education acquired an undisclosed Chilean edtech startup for an undisclosed amount.



> Amazon launched Amazon Music, Alexa, and Echo in Mexico.

> ♀️ Spotify’s Mia Nygren, Managing Director for Latin America, told Billboard Latin America is outpacing the growth of all other regions in the world. About 20% of Spotify’s 180m global users are in Latin America.

> ♀️ Mia is the newest all-women co-working space to open in Mexico City, after Co-Madre and Spacioss.

> Economía y Negocios reports that Chilean VC funds are becoming less dependent on Corfo for funding.

> Valor looks at corporate activity with startups in Brazil.

> IDB Invest and Finnovista published a new report on the Latin American fintech landscape.

> Endeavor Mexico published an overview of the tech scene in Monterrey.

> Google launched AI for Good to organize its efforts around AI with positive social impact. Organizations working on AI for good can apply for grants and other support through here.



> #GOODNEWS A presidential decree in Brazil will ease foreign investment into credit-related fintechs. Previously, financial services companies with foreign capital could only operate in Brazil by presidential decree. Now, for companies with foreign capital that are working on credit and lending, a presidential decree is no longer needed.



> Mexican consumer lending platform Kueski launched Kueski Pay, a payments solution for consumers to buy airline tickets on and pay within 90 days.

“We estimate the market value for lending alone (single payment and installments products) to be US$8.3b. If we were to add the value of the rest of the products of the consumer credit ecosystem, i.e. credit, debit and pre-paid cards and purchase finance, we’ll be talking of a US$46.4b opportunity."

> WSJ interviews Grin CEO Sergio Romo in More Venture-Capital Money Is Going Into Fewer Startup Deals: “We knew if we wanted to be competitive in the space and move fast, we needed to raise a big round.”

  • Grin, a Mexican e-scooter startup, raised a US$45.7m Series A this year from Lukasz Gadowski—Founder of Delivery Hero, Shasta Ventures, DCM, SV Angel, Trinity Ventures, monashees, Base10 Partners, Y Combinator, 500 Startups, and Liquid2 Ventures. Grin also merged with Ride in Brazil.
  • Romo says the objective is to become the leading player in Latin America, “Not only in terms of customer base and footprint, but in terms of innovation.”

> Cabify plans to invest in e-scooter startup Movo.

> iupana reports Nubank signed up over 1.5m clients to its new NuConta checking account product in just six months.

> Check out LAVCA’s list of 258 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA. Sort by geo, sector, and stage of investment.



Last year LAVCA interviewed Vera Makarov, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Apli, a Mexican startup connecting workers to flexible job opportunities. We caught up a year later in Mexico City to discuss how Apli is innovating the traditional recruiting process for short-term service and retail jobs in Mexico.

Makarov says the product has expanded significantly in the past year to offer mass recruiting for full-time jobs in addition to on-demand recruitment for short-term projects. Apli has run pilots with corporate clients like Bancomer and Cinepolis, including staffing a new Cinepolis theater launch for a project that reached 500,000 people across social media, and filtered 3,000 potential candidates to 100 hires in about 10 days. About ⅓ of job placements are in restaurants and hospitality, ⅓ in admin positions, and about ⅓ in retail and logistics, including startup clients like Rappi, EasyTaxi, Cabify, and EnviaFlores.

Post-placement, Apli chatbots measure indicators like employee satisfaction and turnover rates that they can feed back into the model as well as use to inform clients about how to promote better retention -- for example, offering employees particular benefits or salary growth.

Only about 5% of candidates they reach end up getting hired, so Apli cycles the other candidates into the on-demand job platform, which is currently operating in Guadalajara and Monterrey, and pays workers an average of 4x minimum wage. Makarov says international expansion to the US would be a no-brainer, using existing corporate clients as a roadmap.

Apli has raised US$1.5m to date from ALLVP, IGNIA, Soldiers Fields Angels, and Social Capital.


📋 LAVCA, with the support of Facebook, is conducting the first-ever survey of Latin American startupsWe want to tell the world how many jobs startups in the region are creating, what the gender diversity is among startup founders, challenges for startup growth, and the impact startups are making in their market, sector, and community. Results will be shared globally to help put Latin American tech innovation on the map 🗺️.

All qualifying respondents will receive access to LAVCA’s Fund Manager Directory, with the contact details of 200+ VC and PE firms investing in Latin America (US$795 value).

✔️PARTICIPATE IN THE SURVEY. This survey is multiple choice and should take a startup CEO or founder no more than 12-15 minutes to complete. 


> ♀️ #HEALTHTECH Congrats to Unima co-founder and CPO Laura Mendoza for winning the WeXchange pitch competition organized by Angel Ventures in Lima last week. Unima is a Mexican healthtech with seed investment from FJ Labs and Y Combinator.

> ♀️ And congrats to the IDB LAB for another successful WeXchange last week in Lima, Peru. Hosted at the Universidad del Pacífico, the program brought together female entrepreneurs and investors for two days of discussion and mentoring. #womenSTEMpreneurs

> #AGTECH Congrats to Brazilian agtech Olha Do Dono for winning the TechCrunch Startup Battlefield in São Paulo. ♀️ Unima was the runner-up.

> 🍸 LAVCA is hosting cocktails with Apex-Brasil and the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco. Investors can join us Nov. 29 at 6:30pm at the St. Francis Yacht Club. RSVP here. (Investor only event)

> Foro de Capital para la Innovación - Región Litoral Centro is on Nov. 29 in Santa Fe, Argentina. Details here.

> Facebook’s innovation center Estação Hack, in partnership with impact accelerator Artemisia, comes to Florianópolis on Nov. 30. Details here.

> Google is accepting applications for its Residency program at Google for Startups in São Paulo. Focus: startups working on conversational tech for virtual assistance. Apply here.

> Redpoint eventures named Flavio Pripas as its new Corporate Venture Officer. Pripas previously designed and led CUBO, an entrepreneurial hub in Brazil co-founded by Itaú and Redpoint eventures.

> Colombia Fintech named Erick Rincón Cárdenas as its new President.



> ♀️ All Raise, the organization founded by leading women in VC in the US, launched a mentorship/networking program to match principal-level women and underrepresented men with top GPs in Silicon Valley.

> ♀️ Term Sheet interviews Upfront Ventures partner Kara Nortman about why an organization like All Raise is necessary in today’s VC industry:

“An organization of this type has been necessary for a long time, but the key is that it is also now possible because women and men feel empowered to dedicate both the time and money to changing the gender ratio as a core part of our jobs … While the mission drives us, the opportunity around the economic impact is being fully understood by men and women for the first time. Firms who want to compete and thrive in the next decade cannot afford not to care."

> ♀️ Angels News says the equity gap is real: Women make up 33% of the combined founder and employee workforce at early-stage startups, but hold just 9% of the equity value. The other 91% belongs to men.

> ♀️ For the second year in a row, female-founded startups in the US captured just 2.2% of US VC investment.

> ♀️ Business Insider: 22 female angel investors every startup founder should know.



> IDB LAB launched LAC-Chain, a global alliance in support of blockchain adoption in social impact projects in the region:

“La tecnología Blockchain tiene un potencial extraordinario para dar acceso a servicios financieros y no financieros, dotar de identidad digital y asegurar la propiedad de sus propios datos a poblaciones vulnerables y excluidas del sistema formal,” explicó IDB Lab CEO Irene Arias.

> Saudi Arabian fund Pecunio Venture Capital invested US$3m in Woonkly, an advertising startup based in Jalisco that created a ‘woonk’ token.

> The C20 crypto/blockchain conference is Nov 16-17 in Buenos Aires. Speakers include Ripio CEO Sebastián Serrano, who spoke at LAVCA’s Venture Investors Annual Meeting in NY; RSK CEO Diego Gutiérrez Zaldívar; CEOs of Bitex, Buda, and others. Details here.

> Ripio was named to the 2018 Fintech 100 list of leading global fintech innovators, produced by H2 Ventures and KPMG.


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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