LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin September 30, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> LAVCA has released 1H2020 data, with insights on fundraising, investment, and exits for private capital investment in Latin America. Despite the difficulties introduced by COVID-19, Latin America private capital fundraising increased by 30% in 1H2020, compared with 1H2019. Private capital investment totals declined to US$3.6b year-over-year; however, exits in Latin America accelerated to US$5.1b, the best first-half total since 2011.

VC investment in Latin America for 1H2020 is down by deals compared to 1H2019 (170 versus 204 transactions), and dollars (US$1.2b versus US$2.5b). However, removing SoftBank’s anomalous investments through its US$5b LatAm fund, 1H2020 was a record semester by deals and dollars for LatAm VC.

LAVCA members have complimentary access to DOWNLOAD LAVCA's 2020 Mid-Year Data.




> Building on the success of VC training programs in New York, Silicon Valley, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Medellin, LAVCA is partnering with PECAP to host a virtual training for first-and second-time fund managers and early stage investors in Latin America on October 27-28, 2020.

The training is designed for VC fund managers, new corporate ventures, family offices, heads of accelerators, and select angel investors active in the region.

A special thanks to COFIDE, IDB, Cooperación Suiza-SECO, and Latin American Tech Growth Coalition partners including AWS, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Visa for their support to deliver practical training to Latin America’s emerging cohort of tech investors.

Contact LAVCA Manager of VC Carlos Ramos de la Vega at to see if you qualify to attend. REGISTER HERE.



EDITOR’S Note: This is the first time two companies join the unicorns club in the same month: Brazilian VTEX and Uruguayan dLocal. View LAVCA’s Unicorn Leaderboard for an updated list of known LatAm tech unicorns.

#UNICORN Rappi raised US$300m from T. Rowe Price Associates and other undisclosed parties.

  • The company is currently valued at US$3.5b, according to Reuters.
  • Previous investors in Rappi include Redpoint eventures, monashees, Endeavor Catalyst, SoftBank, Andreesen Horowitz, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, and Y Combinator.
  • Rappi recently partnered with Mexican bank Banorte to launch a financial services firm.

> #UNICORN Tiger Global and Lone Pine Capital led a R$1.25b Series D in Brazilian ecommerce SaaS platform VTEX, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst, and follow-on from SoftBank and Japanese VC fund Constellation Asset Management, at a reported valuation of US$1.7b, making VTEX the newest Brazilian unicorn.

  • SoftBank led a US$140m investment in VTEX in 2019, with participation from Gavea Investimentos and Constellation Asset Management, after Riverwood Capital acquired Nasper’s stake in the company in 2015.
  • VTEX was selected as the fastest growing e-commerce platform in the world in July, according to a new IDC report.
  • VTEX will be launching a new software development hub in Mexico in November.

> #UNICORN General Atlantic led a US$200m investment in dLocal, a Uruguay-based cross-border payment platform, with participation from Addition, at a reported valuation of US$1.2b, making dLocal the first known Uruguayan unicorn.

  • Addition is a new VC fund founded by former Head of Private Equity at Tiger Global Lee Fixel. dLocal also received an undisclosed investment from General Atlantic in 2019, according to LAVCA Data.
  • Luiz Ribeiro, Principal of General Atlantic, will join dLocal’s Board as part of the transaction.
  • CEO Sebastián Kanovich: “We think there is huge potential in Africa as well as the few holes left in Latin America.”

> General Atlantic and SoftBank’s Latin America Fund led a US$108m Series B in Acesso Digital, a Brazilian digital identity and facial recognition company.

  • This is the largest Series B round to date in a SaaS company in Latin America, according to LAVCA Data.
  • Acesso Digital acquired computer vision startup Meerkat in August.
  • Igah Ventures (formerly e.Bricks Ventures) led a R$40m round in Acesso Digital in January in the company’s first disclosed financing.
  • Igah Ventures on the impact of C19 in Acesso Digital’s core business: “... the company has doubled its monthly revenues between December 2019 and July 2020.”

> #FOODTECH L Catterton and Future Positive, the investment firm of Fred Blackford and Biz Stone, led a US$85m Series C in Chilean foodtech NotCo, with participation from General Catalyst, and follow-on from KaszeK Ventures, The Craftory, Bezos Expeditions, Endeavor Catalyst, IndieBio, Humbolt Capital, and MAYA Capital.

  • The Craftory led NotCo’s US$30m Series A in 2019, with participation from Bezos Expeditions, MAYA Capital, and KaszeK Ventures, in The Craftory and Bezos’ inaugural investment in a Latin American startup.
  • NotCo launched an ecommerce site in Sao Paulo as its first digital direct-to-consumer distribution channel for its Not Mayo, Not Milk, and Not IceCream products.
  • Nicolás Szekasy of KaszeK Ventures: “...COVID has allowed us to see that meat production is not only environmentally harmful and inefficient, but also that its supply chain is fragile. So we are happy to witness an inflection point where plant-based products are becoming an increasing proportion of a new normal, once they can actually taste amazing...”
  • NotCo CEO Matias Muchnick spoke about the accelerating evolution of consumer behavior alongside L Catterton partner Farah Khan during LAVCA Week.

> SoftBank invested US$75m in India-based hotel unicorn Oyo through its US$5b LatAm fund to launch Oyo LatAm, a joint venture that operates 1,000+ hotels in Brazil and Mexico and has served over 2 million guests. 

> #DEBT BID Invest granted a line of credit of up to ~US$60m to Konfio, a Mexican lending platform for SMEs. Konfio will have access to an initial ~US$36m in credit capacity.

  • In 2019, Konfio raised US$250m in a credit facility from Goldman Sachs and Victory Park Capital, and US$100m in equity financing from SoftBank, KaszeK Ventures, QED Investors and Vostok Emerging Finance.

> Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking led a R$120m Series A in iugu, a Brazilian finance automation and payment platform for SMEs, with follow-on from Indicator Capital, and angel Fabio Povoa (Movile).

  • Goldman Sachs has also backed fintechs Ualá (venture), Konfío (debt), Credijusto (venture and debt), and Nubank (debt).
  • Indicator Capital previously invested R$5m in 2012 and 2014.
  • iugu was granted the BACEN license in August by the Brazilian Central Bank, enabling the platform to operate as a Payment Institution.

> KaszeK Ventures led a R$100m Series A in Ideal, a fully digital Brazilian broker dealer for institutional investors.

  • The round will enable Ideal to expand its offering to retail customers.
  • CEO Nilson Monteiro: “Having achieved acknowledgement and respect in the institutional market, Ideal now wants to reach retail customers.”

> #FOODTECH BTG Pactual, ENFINI Investments, and Turin MFO led a ~US$25m round in Fazenda Futuro, a Brazilian startup making plant-based meat alternatives, with follow-on from monashees and Go4it Capital, at a reported valuation of R$715m.

  • monashees and Go4it Capital first invested US$8.5m in Fazenda Futuro in 2019.

> #CVC Bradesco’s InovaBra Ventures and Itaú Unibanco led a US$15m round in Quanto, a Brazilian open banking platform for retailers, with participation from KaszeK Ventures and hedge fund Coatue.

> monashees and San Francisco-based SV Latam led a US$14m round in Oyster, a Mexican digital banking platform for SMEs and startups, with participation from Redpoint eventures, FJ Labs, Fintech Collective, S7 Ventures, Ulu Ventures, and angel Kevin Efrusy. Oyster is founded by Clip Co-Founder and former CTO Vilash Poovala.

  • This is the largest known seed round in Latin America, according to LAVCA Data.
  • CEO Vilash Poovala: “Mexico is far behind most of the world in terms of extending access to basic financial services, especially for entrepreneur-led businesses that have been completely overlooked by traditional banks. We can open business accounts for customers in 24 to 72 hours instead of waiting the typical four to six months… [additionally,] with the current pandemic, who wants to spend hours in line at a physical bank instead of signing up with us online so quickly?”

> Movile led a R$60m round in Zoop, a Brazilian white label fintech platform for SMEs and startups, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Avalancha Ventures, and Darwin Capital.

  • Movile invested US$18.3m in Zoop in 2019.
  • Since January, Zoop has increased its total payment volume by 140%, reaching R$1.6m, and attracted 40 new partners, according to CEO Fabiano Cruz.

> #AGTECH Aquabyte, a Norwegian aquaculture monitoring startup with operations in the UK and Chile, raised US$10m from undisclosed investors.

> #PROPTECH monashees led a R$20m round in EmCasa, a Brazilian proptech for buying and selling residential real estate, with participation from Caravela Capital, Mercado Libre’s MELI Fund, Pear Ventures, and Washington-based Next Billion Ventures. EmCasa is founded by former Easy Taxi COO Gustavo Vaz.

> Valor Capital led a R$25m Series A in Quasar Flash, a Brazilian fintech providing receivable advances for SMEs.

New York-based VC fund Bowery Capital led a US$3.5m round in Cerby, a Mexican cybersecurity startup for monitoring shadow IT for businesses, with participation from Global Founders Capital, San Francisco-based AV8 Ventures, and Japanese VC Incubate Fund.

> #HRTECH Ulu Ventures led a US$3m round in Rever, a Mexican employee innovation management platform, with follow-on from Sequoia Capital and Zetta Venture Partners.

  • Sequoia Capital and Zetta Venture Partners invested US$2.25m in 2018, in Sequoia’s first known investment in a Mexican startup.

> #AGTECH Brazilian shopping center developer Aliansce invested R$15.5m in BeGreen, a Brazilian farm-to-table vegetable subscription platform building farms in shopping center parking lots.

> #CVC Mercado Libre’s MELI Fund acquired a minority stake in Kangu, a Brazilian delivery logistics platform for ecommerce vendors.

  • NXTP Ventures invested R$6m in Kangu earlier this year with participation from existing angels, including Americo Pereira Filho, former president of FedEx Brazil.

> Redpoint eventures led a R$10m Series A in Repassa, a Brazilian clothing resale curated marketplace. Redpoint first made an undisclosed investment in 2018.

  • Repassa grew its revenue over 60% in Q2020, according to Exame.

> DOMO Invest led a R$5.5m round in Rede Vistorias, a Brazilian proptech providing real estate asset inspection services, through its new DOMO Enterprise fund, with participation from Terracotta Ventures and Invisto.

> ChileGlobal Ventures and Sudamerik led a US$1.4m Series A in ReStudio, a Chilean construction and process monitoring startup focused on the mining industry.

> KPTL invested R$4.2m in AEVO, a Brazilian innovation management platform. 

> #FOODTECH Caravela Capital invested R$2m in OceanDrop, a Brazilian foodtech producing food supplements enhanced with microalgae nutrients.

> Manutara Ventures made an undisclosed investment in ETPay, a Chilean fintech for payment integrations and bank transfers.

> Iporanga Ventures led a R$1m round in FieldLink, a Brazilain remote work team collaboration platform.

> Parnity, a Brazilian logistics marketplace for international freight forwarding, raised US$250k from undisclosed investors.

> #CROWDFUNDING Livima, a Brazilian real estate financing and property discovery platform, raised R$1m in equity crowdfunding platform CapTable.

> #ANGEL Anjos do Brasil invested R$600k in HubLocal, a Brazilian SEO consultancy startup for SMEs.

>  #AGTECH #US Cultivan Sandbox Ventures invested US$2m in Leaf, a San Francisco-based agtech startup for integrating farmland data across tech platforms, with participation from SP Ventures and Radicle Growth.

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



> #CVC XP launched XP Ventures, a R$8b CVC fund to invest in early stage startups.

  • XP Ventures will be led by Marcos Sterenkrantz, former Head of Innovation at XP.
  • XP listed on the Nasdaq in 2019. Itaú Unibanco acquired a significant stake in XP in 2018. General Atlantic and Brazilian investment firm Dynamo were backers of XP Investimentos since 2012.
  • Recent activity: XP acquired a majority stake in Antecipa, a Brazilian fintech focused on predicting receivables; acquired a majority stake in Brazilian personal finance automation platform Fliper; invested in SP Ventures’ inaugural venture debt fund; led a R$380m investment in Brazilian car rental platform Vai.Car; invested in Olivia, a California-based personal finance app; and invested in REBEL, a Brazilian personal credit fintech.

> Advent International reached a US$2b final close for its Advent Latin American Private Equity Fund VII (LAPEF VII).

  • The vehicle will target investments in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru across five sectors: business and financial services; healthcare; industrial; retail, consumer, and leisure; and technology.

> Santander Innoventures rebranded as Mouro Capital.

  • Santander will commit an additional US$100m for a total of US$400m in AUM, and will write checks of up to US$15m for startups across financial services, fintech, and enterprise software.
  • Mouro Capital will continue to manage the 30+ companies Santander Innoventures invested in since 2014.



> NXTP exited Facturama, a Mexican invoicing platform for SMEs, through a sale to FreshBooks, a US-based accounting software platform.

  • NXTP also recently exited Sirena.

> Indicator Capital exited Social Miner, a Brazilian SaaS platform for website user engagement, through a sale to Locaweb, a Brazilian web services hosting platform.

  • This is Indicator Capital’s first exit.

> DOMO Invest exited Agenda Edu, a Brazilian school management and communication platform, through a sale to Eleva Educação, a Brazilian school chain.

  • DOMO Invest invested R$3m in Agenda Edu in 2018.

> G2 Capital exited Saipos, a Brazilian restaurant supply management platform, through a secondaries sale.

  • This is G2 Capital’s first exit.
  • The exit resulted in a 227% return for the fund, according to G2 Capital Founder and Managing Partner Camila Farani.



> Delivery Hero acquired Spanish food delivery platform Glovo’s Latin American operations for US$272m.

  • Glovo closed its Brazil and Chile operations in 2019, citing an “extremely competitive market”.

> Nubank acquired Easynvest, a Brazilian digital investment brokerage backed by Advent.

  • This is Nubank’s third disclosed acquisition this year, having previously acquired software development consultancies Cognitect and Plataformatec.
  • Nubank also announced it has zeroed its carbon footprint

> iFood acquired SiteMercado, a Brazilian white label platform helping grocery stores digitize their operations and launch their ecommerce business.

  • iFood also launched prepaid cards, debit cards, and digital accounts for its partner restaurants.

> Brazilian marketplace Petlove acquired Vetus, a Brazilian petcare management system for veterinarians, pet shops, and hospitals.

> Elo7, a Brazilian handmade products marketplace, made an undisclosed investment in Wedy, a Brazilian wedding marketplace.

  • Elo7 raised an undisclosed round in 2011 from Accel Partners and monashees, and a US$11m round in 2014 from Insight Partners and previous investors.

> Pixeon Medical Systems, a Brazilian healthtech admin management system for hospitals and laboratories, acquired BoaConsulta, a Brazilian online healthcare scheduling platform.

  • Riverwood Capital invested R$30m in Pixeon in 2013.

> Brazilian proptech Loft acquired Invest Mais, a Brazilian fintech lending platform for real estate transactions.

> Mediação Online, a Brazilian B2B legal dispute mediation service for Brazilian businesses and consumers, acquired Robobiz, a Brazilian consumer complaint processing platform.

  • In 2019, Mediação Online raised US$3.5m from Redpoint eventures and Canary.




Arukay, a Colombian edtech teaching K-12 students how to program, won the 2019 WeXchange Pitch Competition, an initiative founded in 2013 by IDB Lab to unleash the growth potential of women entrepreneurs in STEM in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Arukay, founded by Vicky Ricaurte and Marcelo Burbano, teaches computational thinking and coding through multi-disciplinary projects, and provides teacher training to support adoption of the platform. LAVCA interviewed Arukay Co-Founder and CEO Vicky Ricaurte for more insight into the company’s business model, the team’s vision as they aim to expand through Latin America, and Arukay’s current standing amidst the C19 crisis.

LAVCA: Why did you launch Arukay, and what specific problem is the startup trying to solve?

Vicky Ricaurte: The world is changing at a fast pace, and those who are not literate in technology face the risk of becoming irrelevant in the labor market. 65% of current students will have jobs that do not exist today, and 80% will require coding abilities, according to the World Economic Forum. The main problem is that we are not teaching coding, the language of the future, to all of our children in a rigorous manner, the same way mathematics and reading are taught. Today, only one out of ten schools teaches coding. Arukay wants to teach coding and computational thinking to all K-12 students, no matter the languages they speak and where they are located.

What has been your experience bootstrapping Arukay?

One of the advantages of bootstrapping is that the startup is focused on how to make money, rather than how to spend it. When you self-finance your company, cash becomes as important as being creative and resourceful, since you’re forced to iterate more quickly.

READ about Vicky Ricaurte’s experience during WeXchange and her advice to women growing a business in Latin America. #CHANGETHERATIO

Access more content on women in private capital here.



> Visa partnered with Novopayment, a Miami-based Banking as a Service platform Visa backed in 2019, to launch a toolbox offering white-label fintech products such as digital accounts for electronic payments and remittance and disbursement solutions for SMEs in Latin America.

> Stone launched Lojinha Stone, a free ecommerce platform for SMEs, in an effort to support Brazilian businesses during the current C19 crisis.

> PedidosYa, an Uruguayan last-mile delivery marketplace, launched operations in the Dominican Republic.

  • This is the first company of its kind to launch operations in the country, according to Ivan Valdez, Head of New Business at PedidosYa.
  • PedidosYa was acquired by Delivery Hero in 2014. In 2019, iFood acquired the company’s Brazilian operations.
  • In June, PedidosYa launched its first dark grocery store, a cashier-less warehouse facility, to reduce delivery times from one hour to 20 minutes in Montevideo.

> Zinobe, a Colombian lending platform backed by QED and others, announced its expansion to the Mexican market through a joint venture with Mexarrend, a Mexican asset leasing company for SMEs that is backed by Colony Capital and others.

> Argentine mobile banking app Ualá launched operations in Mexico this week.

> Leandro Caldeira, CEO for Latin America of Gympass, shared the company’s experience pivoting to a fully digital platform to serve its customers during the C19 crisis.

> #IPO Housi, a Brazilian property rental platform spun out of real estate developer Vitacon, filed for an IPO on B3.

  • Redpoint eventures invested R$50m in 2019.

> 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.



> SIGN UP for a bi-weekly newsletter covering cross-border tech transactions and innovations with cross-border applications in a rapidly changing world. Geographies will include Latin America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other emerging VC markets. The Sept. 25 issue includes EMPEA’s release of 1H20202 VC Data, with insights on VC fundraising, investment, and exit numbers across emerging markets.

VIEW the archive of previous editions and sign up here.



> Mercado Libre announced the launch of an agtech marketplace for agriculture supplies and machinery in Argentina.

> FT: Brazil’s IPO market on track for biggest year since 2007: “Brazilian companies have raised US$3.6b so far this year, a 151% increase from the same period last year, according to data from Refinitiv.”

 FT: Brazil’s JBS turns to blockchain to shine light on Amazon cattle supply. JBS is facing investor pressure to prove livestock do not come from illegally deforested lands.

  • Brazil’s beef giants have deployed geo-monitoring, satellites and other tech to monitor their supply chains for over a decade, but it hasn’t worked: “The failure of the monitoring agreements illustrates the limits of environmental activism and the necessity of political will if the Amazon is to be saved.”

> #IMPACT Stanford Social Innovation Review: In Latin America, Impact Finance Demonstrates Remarkable Progress and Untapped Potential.

> Washington Post: Washington firm ran fake Facebook accounts in Venezuela, Bolivia, and Mexico.

> NYT: Pandemic Drives Millions from Latin America’s Universities.



 > Susana Garcia-Robles, Executive Advisor at LAVCA and Partner at Capria Ventures, shares her outlook on female entrepreneurship in Latin America.

Marcelo Claure, CEO of SoftBank, shares his views on SoftBank’s investment outlook for 2020 with Luis Moreno, President of IDB.

  • Claure: “... I think we will reach US$2b invested in 20 incredible companies [this year].”


> Endeavor partnered with EY and EDP Ventures to publish a fundraising guide for startups and scale-ups.

Claudio Barahona of Alaya Capital shares his view on the dependency of Chilean VC funds to CORFO.

Fernando Rivera of BuenTrip Hub shares his view on the current state of the startup ecosystem in Ecuador.


> Congratulations to the six Brazilian startups included in CB Insights’ Fintech 250: The Top Fintech Companies in 2020: Creditas, EBANX, Gorila Invest, Nubank, QuintoAndar, and Xerpa.

> Congratulations to the ten finalists of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative: Datarisk, Duemint, FT Technologies, Fygaro, Lendera, mGrana, Prometeo, Quipu Market, Riqra, and Yaydoo.

> Congratulations to Brazilian AR/VR developer Arvore for winning the 2020 Primetime Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Programming.

> Microsoft appointed Mariana Castro as the new Vice President of Sales, Marketing, and Operations for Latin America.

> Redpoint eventures nominated Carolina Strobel, former General Counsel for Intel Capital in Latin America, as the fund’s first woman Operating Partner.

> Startup Mexico partnered with San Jose-based ParqueTec to launch its operations in Costa Rica. This is Startup Mexico’s second international expansion, having launched its operations in Brazil in 2019.

Nexa Resources (formerly Votorantim Metais) opened applications for its fourth Mining Lab Challenge, focused on startups in the mining and metallurgy spaces. Applications close October 2.

> ProColombia will host the sixth edition of the Colombia Investment Summit on October 7-9. Registration is now open.

> Entel and ChileGlobal Ventures will host the third Inventing The Future competition for startups who have a readily available solution to address the Chilean market. Applications close October 12.

> Facebook and Baita launched Campo Digital, an accelerator program focused on agtech startups in Brazil. Applications close October 18.

> LAVCA CEO Ivonne Cuello will participate on the FT Global Boardroom Virtual Summit alongside Mercado Libre Founder Marcos Galperin and IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno in the panel LatAm Tech in the Spotlight: Opportunities for Growth, Leapfrogging and Social Impact on November 11-13. Register for free here.

> ACVC, ARCAP, and Uruguayan Promoción de Exportaciones e Inversiones will host the first Southern Cone Investment Forum on November 25 and 26.

> Facebook launched Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity, and Facebook Accelerator: Commerce, two 12-week programs aimed at improving availability and affordability of internet access in Latin America.



WSJ looks at Alipay’s facial recognition push in China in Paying With Your Face is Hard Sell:

  • “The payment technology has largely failed to gain popularity, analysts say, as some consumers have found the sign-up process cumbersome and had concerns about how their images and data would be used. It shows that even a major fintech innovator with a large customer base can face privacy concerns and struggle to change user habits.”

NPR looks at How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled:

  • “We found that the industry sold the public on an idea it knew wouldn't work — that the majority of plastic could be, and would be, recycled — all while making billions of dollars selling the world new plastic.”

> Facebook Reality Labs launched Project Aria, an initiative to develop wearable devices with AR functionality, with its first set of smart glasses coming to market in 2021.

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