LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin May 27, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> Quona Capital led a US$15m round in ADDI, a Colombian point-of-sale lending platform, with participation from Foundation Capital and S7 Ventures, and follow-on from monashees and Andreessen Horowitz.

  • Andreessen led a US$12.5m round in 2019, with follow-on from monashees, Village Global, and Sinai VC.

> 🦄 #US Brex, a US-based corporate credit card company for startups, raised a US$150m Series C extension from existing investors DST Global, Lone Pine Capital, and others. The company, founded by Brazilians Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, has raised US$465m in VC funding to date, according to TechCrunch.

  • Brex raised a US$125m Series C in 2018 led by Greenoaks Capital, DST Global, and IVP.
  • In March, Brex acquired startups Neji, Compose Labs, and Landria.

> Oria Capital invested R$40m in Brazilian AI-powered recruiting platform Gupy. Valor, Canary, and MAYA Capital invested previously.

> Minka, a Colombian fintech incubator and digital banking platform focused on the underbanked, raised a US$3m round from Fintech Collective, Colle Capital Partners, the Collaborative Fund, among others.

> Zenklub, a Brazilian online therapy and wellness platform, raised R$16.5m from Indico Partners. The Portuguese fund first invested in the company in 2019.

> #DEBT Goomer, a Brazilian restaurant operations management platform, raised an undisclosed venture debt round from SP Ventures’ inaugural debt fund, Venture Debt Brasil 1, a R$140m vehicle with allocations from BNDES, XP Investimentos, BDMG, Bossa Nova Investimentos, and unnamed family offices.

> Eurofarma’s #CVC arm Neuron Ventures led a US$1m round in Psicologia Viva, a Brazilian B2B mental health platform. The company provides remote therapy for employees that are part of decentralized teams.

> Hugo, a San Salvador-based last-mile delivery platform serving Central America, raised an undisclosed Series A from unnamed investors and launched Hugo Ventures, a seed fund focused on Central America and the Caribbean.

> #CRYPTO Mexican family office Bevos Technologies made an undisclosed investment in, a Mexican security platform for financial and personal information.

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




AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD: LAVCA's Annual VC/Tech Report: Inside the 4th Consecutive Peak Year cites 2019 VC investment data, top deals, highlighted transactions, sector and country trends, most active investors, and more.

2019 proved to be a record breaking year for Latin America venture capital on many fronts:

  • VC FUNDRAISING (in dollar terms) totaled US$1.08b in partial and final fund closes
  • VC INVESTMENT (in dollar terms) for the region rose to US$4.6b
  • MEGA-ROUNDS 18 disclosed transactions over US$50m11 transactions overUS$100m
  • SEED/INCUBATOR transactions reported a record year in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico

Venture investment in Latin America has more than doubled every year from 2016 to 2019, tracing a steady growth trajectory that will certainly be interrupted by the 2020 COVID-19 global health pandemic in ways foreseen and unforeseen.

DOWNLOAD LAVCA’s Annual VC/Tech Report.

#EmergingMarkets Context: Interested in how LatAm trends compare with other emerging venture markets? Access a new VC+tech report from EMPEA here and sign up for regular updates on notable EM VC transactions here.



> #M&A Hotmart, a Brazilian edtech monetization platform, acquired Wollo, a Brazilian subscription monetization platform for content creators for an undisclosed amount.

  • Since 2020, Hotmart has also acquired Klickpages and Teachable, a US-based edtech startup.

> #M&A Escale, a Brazilian digital marketing agency focused on telecommunications and healthcare companies, acquired Cobmax, a Brazilian sales management platform for an undisclosed amount.

> #M&A Localiza Hertz, a Brazilian car rental network with operations throughout Latin America, acquired Mobi7, a Brazilian fleet monitoring platform. Mobi7 had beenselected to enter Endeavor’s Scale-Up accelerator program earlier this year.

 iFood doubled the size of its assistance fund launched in March to R$100m and extended the initiative until June 30. The funds will be destined primarily to accelerate receipt processing for partner restaurants in their network.

 Rappi is offering its infrastructure to distribute antibody tests to Brazilians as part of Movimento #2em2, a national non-profit campaign aimed at scaling up testing capacity. The effort will also be joined by Loggi and Vitta, among others.

  • Rappi also launched Rappi Makers in Brazil, a virtual internship program for students.

Avista, a Colombian credit placement platform for under-banked Colombians that raised a US$75m credit line in April, launched a dedicated line of credit to support the elderly during the C19 crisis. CEO Andrea Giraldo sees the crisis as a moment of “reinventing financial processes to reduce people’s interactions with cash.”

 Ecuadorian digital payments processor Kushki launched operations in Mexico. Kushki’s checkout product, Cajita de Pago, allows small businesses to receive a variety of payments in one integrated solution. Kushki now has operations in Canada, the US, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and Mexico.

> Resultados Digitais, a Brazilian marketing automation platform for small businesses, donated equipment to Hospital Baia Sul to create a room for health professionals to rest and decompress. Riverwood led RD’s US$50m Series D in 2019.

> Mexico-based orthodontics startup Moons reconfigured their tech to 3D print medical equipment they are providing at cost to health workers. Moons raised US$5m from Jaguar Ventures, Foundation Capital, Tuesday Capital, and others earlier this year.

 Brazilian edtech Descomplica is offering its services free of charge to 1.5 million high school students in São Paulo in partnership with the local government in an effort to support public education amid the C19 crisis.

> Kinedu, a Mexican edtech for early childhood development, is offering free access to its platform until June 30. Kinedu is backed by DILA Capital, IGNIA, The Stanford-StartX Fund, NXTP, and others.  

> Descifra, a Mexican geospatial analytics startup backed by Angel Ventures, launched a platform that provides updates on C19 positive cases and population mobility trends at the street level in Mexico.

> Omie, a Brazilian resource management platform for small businesses, is giving free access to Omie Academy, the company’s platform for entrepreneurial education, to support founders during the C19 crisis. The company also joined Estimulo 2020, a non-profit initiative offering credit with preferential rates to companies that have no access to the banking system. Omie is backed by Riverwood, Astella, and others.

> Truora, a Colombian fraud detection startup providing instant background checks, launched a free recruiting platform to connect talent with Latin American startups.

> Olivia, a US-based personal finance management application, reached 200,000 users in Brazil after seeing downloads spike since the C19 crisis. Investors in Olivia include Banco BV, XP Investimentos, and MSW Capital through BR Startups.

> Dr Consulta’s CEO Thomaz Srougi reviews the current state of the healthcare system in Brazil and the ways in which technology can help increase the access and quality of medical treatments in Latin America.

ARCAP issued a report showcasing the ways in which tech-enabled companies are adapting amidst the current crisis in Argentina, including Citaldoc, Producteca, and Tiendanube.

STARTUPS: How are you responding to the coronavirus pandemic? Share your updates by filling out this form.

> 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 new 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. Sign up here.



> #POLICY It’s been decided: Mexico’s COFECE has been appointed to review Uber’s US$450m offer to acquire a 51% stake in Cornershop. The regulator has committed to resume reviewing the case and reach a resolution immediately.

  • COFECE and IFT have been arguing over jurisdiction since the deal was announced last October. The deal is set to expire in July.
  • Cornershop is facing increasing demand during the C19 crisis. CEO Oskar Hjertonsson shares:

"Instead of focusing on building a better company, we spend a lot of our time deciding which parts of our plan to cut or delay because of the regulatory uncertainty we find ourselves in. As a result, we’re not hiring all the people we should be hiring, and we can’t work with Uber to help us increase capacity at a time when people need grocery delivery more than ever."

> #POLICY The Chilean Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism will allocate US$150m to CORFO’s credit facility in order to generate 215,000 loans for small businesses impacted by the current C19 crisis nationwide. This is in addition to the US$28m already allocated to this program this year.

> eBay will invest R$600m in Meu Negócio 24/7 no eBay, a platform for Brazilian small businesses affected by C19 to export their products locally or internationally without charge. eBay will also invest MX$5m to support small businesses in Mexico through the same platform.

 #POLICY Rappi, Uber, and Didi launched Alianza In, a Colombian association to spearhead the regulatory dialogue between software platforms and national authorities. Alianza In will be led by David Luna, the former Minister of Information Technologies and Communications.

> As part of Uber’s US$170m investment in scooter unicorn Lime, Lime will take over operations of Uber’s JUMP bikes and scooters, and will discontinue service in Mexico, São Paulo, Santos, and Santiago de Chile.

> Telefonica's Vivo is opening Vivo Valoriza, the company’s customer benefits program, for Brazilian small businesses to offer their products and services to Vivo’s 28 million registered customers.

> Mercado Libre has seen a ~85% increase in its stock price in the past two months attributed to the increased adoption of the platform's e-commerce and fintech services.

> Jose Ortiz Masllorens from Mercado Libre shares his view on employee retention strategies that have proven effective in the company.

> Stone Pagamentos discharged 20% of its workforce (~1,300 employees) as part of its C19 restructuring.

> NYT looks at the challenges presented by the C19 crisis in Latin America through the lens of the prior impact of the pandemic in Eastern Europe. The Times also suggests total deaths might be underreported in Mexico City.

> FT reviews the impact of the C19 crisis and the resilience of the Argentine ecosystem in Coronavirus just one more crisis for Argentina’s startups.



> Jaguar Ventures shares its current fundraising status and highlights some positive outcomes of the current environment for its portfolio companies, including LiftIt, Loft, Checkars, and Producteca. Of note:

  • Liftit, a B2B Colombian logistics marketplace for independent truck drivers, grew its GMV by 311% y-o-y in the month of April.
  • Brazilian proptech Loft closed its first 100% online transaction by selling a house without anyone visiting the property beforehand or having physical contact with the counterparty.

> e.Bricks Ventures CEO Pedro Melzer shares his view on the shifting investing landscape in Brazil and says that Avenue, Acceso Digital, and Conexa Saúde are currently in talks to raise more than R$100m each from international investors.

> #CRYPTO KIO is incubating LifeChain, a blockchain technology company focused on financial services, through Alchemy Labs, the company’s accelerator. LifeChain won fifth place in Estonia’s Global Hack under the Solidarity in Action category.

> Globo highlights takeaways from SVB and LAVCA’s discussion on LatAm VC data. Access the full recording here.

  • Francisco Alvarez-Demalde from Riverwood Capital: “There will always be capital available for a good business, even during bad times.”
  • Andy Tsao of SVB: “Capital is not a panacea for startups. You must recognize the risks that come with incurring credit obligations. You must be certain that you will be able to handle the debt burden, projecting the ability of your company to navigate bad scenarios, such as a 75% reduction in revenue.”

> Paulo Passoni of SoftBank shares his views on the food delivery industry in Latin America and predicts significant player consolidation in the coming months.

> BNDES’ Criatec shares initiatives from its portfolio companies to combat the current C19 crisis.

> Redpoint eventures Managing Partner Romero Rodrigues shares his view on the importance of promoting mental health and the role of technology in employee’s wellbeing.

> Greg Mitchell of Angel Ventures Peru discusses the newly found importance of corporate governance practices for startups during the C19 crisis. Mitchell also shared the fund’s shift in priorities:

"We are focused on understanding how government programs can apply to startups. Angel Ventures is working hard to close transactions with companies that were in an advanced stage of due diligence (soft commitment/ term sheet negotiations) before the crisis began."

> Sophia Wood of Magma Partners shares a roundup of recent LatAm tech activity for TechCrunch and makes the case for the ecosystem’s resilience despite the current global circumstances.

> INVESTORS: How are you responding to the coronavirus epidemic? How are you advising your portfolio companies? Fill out this quick form.


> New Ventures’ Foro Latinoamericano de Inversión de Impacto (FLII) is being hosted virtually this week, from May 25 to May 29. Details here.

> LAVCA Members Mountain Nazca, Elevar Equity, ALLVP, and IGNIA Partners joined Catalyst Fund’s Circle of Investors, a community of emerging markets and fintech investors committed to backing inclusive startups.

  • Catalyst Fund is an accelerator for fintechs focused on financial inclusion in emerging markets, backed by the Gates Foundation, JP Morgan and others, and operates in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, India, and now Mexico.

> AMEXCAP will host a virtual discussion on May 29 where Brian York of Liftit and Santiago Pineda of Mensajeros Urbanos will share their fundraising experience during the pandemic. RSVP here.

ACAFI will host its first Demo Day on June 2 with eight Chilean companies virtually pitching their initiatives focused on Latin America.

 TheVentureCity will host its first virtual Demo Day on June 3, with 16 startups of their portfolio expected to participate. RSVP here.

> #HIRING Capria Ventures is seeking a highly qualified investment professional to take on the role of Global Investment Director in the fund. Applications are due June 6.

 Women’s Startup Lab will host WiSE24, a global conference for investors and founders on June 18.

MAYA Capital will host its second Pitch Competition for undergraduate and graduate students in Brazil building companies focused on Latin America. The event’s goal is for young founders to familiarize themselves with the fundraising process and get early exposure to regional investors. Applications are due on June 21.

Platzi will host its DemoDay Competition virtually starting July 1. Early stage to pre-Series A companies with a focus on the Latin American market are welcome to apply by June 14.

Cemex Ventures launched Construction Startup Competition 2020, a platform for startups in the construction sector to have a chance to win access to mentorship and capital for their businesses. Applications close July 26.

Congratulations to Lightwash, Consultok, MIDE, and LocalShop for winning Covid: Colaboración y Vida, Fundacion Chile’s competition to support initiatives created by small businesses to directly fight the C19 crisis in Chile.

Carlo Padovano, former Partner at One Equity, joined DNA Capital as President and CEO.

> Investors from MAYA Capital, Canary, Astella, Innova Capital, Positive Ventures, Wayra, Google, 500 Startups, and others are offering free mentoring for female entrepreneurs through Female Force LATAM.


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The Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America.

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