LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin October 30, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> SoftBank led a R$190m investment in Olist, a Brazilian e-commerce platform, with follow-on from Redpoint eventures and Valor Capital. Endeavor Catalyst, FJ Labs, and 500 Startups invested previously.

> #CVC Qualcomm Ventures led a R$40m investment in idwall, a Brazilian validation and identification services startup, with participation from ONEVC and Grupo Globo, and follow-on from monashees and Canary. Mercado Libre and 500 Startups invested previously.

> Fifth Wall Ventures led a US$10m investment in Cobli, a Brazilian telematics and fleet management SaaS platform, with participation from Valor Capital, NXTP Ventures, GLP, and angels including Hans Tung (GGV) and Sheel Tyle (Amplo).

  • Parker Treacy (CEO) and Rodrigo Mourad (COO) founded Cobli in 2017.
  • Treacy says 91% of commercial vehicles in LatAm currently operate with maps and walkie-talkies. “Cobli is an IoT technology that helps fleets of any type or size digitize their operations, cut costs, optimize their routes, and integrate their vehicle data with their end clients.”
  • Treacy notes that fleet connectivity in the US has experienced a recent boom in adoption, “minting numerous VC-backed unicorns along the way, such as Samsara, KeepTruckin, Fleetmatics, and Telogis.” He says LatAm has about the same number of commercial vehicles, with a fraction of the funding for trucking/logistics tech.

> #IMPACT #EDTECH Canary and Valor Capital led a R$20m investment in Alicerce, a Brazilian network of education centers to supplement students in the public school system living in city peripheries.

  • Angels including Armínio Fraga, David Feffer, Luiz Fernando Figueiredo, Wolff Klabin, and Daniel Goldberg participated in the round. Alicerce previously raised capital from Good Karma Ventures.

> #FINTECH Brazilian fintech Cerc raised R$20m from Parallax and an undisclosed investor. Parallax invested previously, as did angels Fabio Barbosa (Santander), Marcos Lisboa (Insper), Gustavo Roxo (BTG Pactual), and Jose Bonchristiano (Tempo Participações). Cerc (Central de Recebíveis) is authorized by Brazil’s Central Bank to act as a registrar of receivables for collateral in credit operations.

> NFX led a US$4.4m investment in Zubale, a Mexican crowdsourcing platform for retailers to conduct point-of-sales analysis, with participation from Industry Ventures, Liquid 2 Ventures, XFactor fund, and angels including Jonathan Swanson (Thumbtack), Sergio Romo (Grow), and Bob White (Bain Capital). Pear VC invested previously.

  • Co-founders Allison Campbell and Sebastian Monroy met at HBS after working respectively at Walmart and P&G.

> Astella led a R$15m investment in Exact Sales, a Florianopolis-based pre-sales optimization platform, with follow-on from CVentures and Vesper Ventures.

  • Exact Sales was founded by Felipe Roman and Théo Orosco in 2015.

>  monashees led an undisclosed investment in Simetrik Universal Reconciliator, a Colombia-based B2B SaaS platform for automatic financial reconciliation, with participation from Global Founders Capital, Alpha4, and Mercado Libre. This is the company’s first outside capital since participating in Y Combinator (W18).

  • Why Simetrik? CEO Alejandro Casas says: "We had a previous company (Ropeo - last mile e-commerce) where we used to have these kinds of issues, we never knew if the money we sold online actually got to the bank. We realized this was a huge pain point and we had an expertise in tech and finance to address it. We started with Rappi as our first client providing visibility and control over all of their transactions.
  • Casas says Simetrik currently reconciles over 11 million transactions daily for clients in Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Perú, Uruguay, and the US, including Mercado Libre, Rappi, Banco de Bogotá, Argos, and Old Mutual.

>  #IMPACT #CVC Elevar Equity led a US$3m Series A in Canasta Rosa, a Mexico-based marketplace for DIY and handmade goods, with participation from WPSS Consumer Investments and angels from Mercado Libre, P&G, Fitpass, and others.

  • Founder and CEO Deborah Dana explains how her investing experience as Managing Partner of Soldiers Field Angels informed her current work: “It was a great experience working with entrepreneurs both as a VC fund, but also as a mentor, that moved me to launch a platform which could grow entrepreneurs on a micro level.”
  • Dana notes the sell side of the platform has grown 100% organically: “It has given us great insight on the huge demand that existed for a platform with low barriers for entry and factors which can democratize e-commerce, especially for women.”

> #IMPACT Acumen LatAm Capital Partners made an undisclosed investment in SUNCOLOMBIA, a Colombian solar energy company providing access to reliable energy in rural areas.

> ALLVP and InQlab invested ~US$2.5m in Slang, a Boston-based edtech focused on career development. ALLVP partnered with Slang earlier this year to launch a free English course for Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs.

> Confrapar invested R$7.5m in Compass 3D, a consumer dental tech company based in Belo Horizonte.

> #FINTECH Redpoint eventures and angels invested R$4.5m in Antecipa, a B2B receivables platform. Antecipa previously raised ~R$13m across three rounds from investors including DGF, Yellow Ventures, Osher Tech, and 42K.

> #CVC #INFRA EDP Ventures Brasil and Criatec 3, managed by Inseed Investimentos, invested R$4.5m in Fractal Engenharia e Sistemas, a Brazilian smart monitoring system for hydroelectric dams.

  • Brazil has suffered two catastrophic tailings dam failures in recent years (2015 and 2019), both owned by mining giant Vale.

> Geekhunter, a Brazilian HRtech platform for hiring software engineers, raised R$2m from Bossa Nova Investimentos, 42K Investimentos, Gavea Angels, and Hangar 8.

> GlooPay, a Brazilian payments startup focused on the under-banked, raised R$1.2m from North Star and Axen Capital.

> Alaya Capital Partners made undisclosed investments in Inti Tech, a Chilean manufacturer of robots to clean solar panels without use of water;, an Argentine healthtech working on image-based diagnosis; and Aquabyte, a US/Norwegian aquaculture monitoring startup.

> Verus Group made an undisclosed investment in Alstra, a Brazilian job matching platform.

> Redwood Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Sojourn, a Puerto Rico-based short-term rental platform.

> #AFRICA Stone Pagamentos co-founder made an undisclosed investment in Tutuka, a South African payments processor that operates in a number of LatAm markets.

> #US #CVC #5G Telefonica Innovation Ventures invested in Massachusetts-based Altiostar Networks, joining Qualcomm, Rakuten, Cisco, Tech Mahindra, and others.

  • Telefonica and Altiostar are deploying pilots in Brazil, Colombia, and Perú.

> #US #DEBT MPOWER, an American provider of educational loans to international and DACA students, raised US$100m in debt financing from Goldman Sachs. Variv Capital and Chilango Ventures invested in MPOWER in 2017; Mexico was a key market at the time.

> #PE FTV Capital, a US-based growth equity firm, made an undisclosed follow-on investment in Brazilian payments processor EBANX at a reported valuation over US$1b. FTV Capital invested US$30m in 2018 with participation from Endeavor Catalyst.

> #PE #EDTECH Eleva, a Brazilian network of K-12 schools founded by Gera Capital and backed by Jorge Paulo Lemann and Warburg Pincus, is looking to raise US$200m to fund expansion.

> #PUBLIC UOL is selling an additional US$671.5m of its shares of PagSeguro.



> #CVC #5G Qualcomm Ventures launched a US$200m Qualcomm Ventures 5G Ecosystem Fund to invest in companies building the 5G ecosystem globally. Last year, Qualcomm Ventures launched a US$100m global AI fund.




LAVCA recently spoke with proptech founders from Loft (Brazil) and Flat (Mexico) about their strategy, funding, model, and growth, as well as potential for the sector in Latin America.

> Loft is a Brazilian proptech that aims to reinvent the process of buying and selling real estate, founded by Mate Pencz and Florian Hagenbuch (Co-CEOs) in 2018.

  • Pencz and Hagenbuch are former founders of Printi, and currently also Partners at Brazilian VC Canary.

Pencz and Hagenbuch wanted to do a marketplace play with vertical integration, something with a big market that they could create from Brazil and globalize. That said, Pencz doesn’t necessarily see globalizing as required for their success: “We don’t need to grow outside of Brazil to be relevant. There are real and big problems to solve in the local market: Healthcare, logistics, finance, insurance…” And of course real estate: “There is no mortgage broker system here, no transparency for consumers,” says Pencz of the home purchasing process in Brazil.
> Flat is a Mexican proptech employing the iBuyer model to make the home-buying process less painful on both sides of the transaction. Co-founders Victor Noguera and Bernardo Cordero met at UC Berkeley and later co-founded STARTegy Venture Builder.   
  • Noguera, from Spain, previously served as a venture advisor to Quona Capital.
  • Cordero spoke about proptech at LAVCA’s 2019 Venture Investors Annual Meeting, with Gustavo Vaz (EmCasa), Jeronimo Uribe (La Haus), and Lucas Vargas (GrupoZAP).

The iBuyer Model: Flat started with the traditional iBuyer model — buy, renovate, sell. Whereas it typically takes 6-8 months to sell a home in Mexico; Flat buys house in cash in a matter of days. Cordero and Nogueira say the model is somewhat similar to Loft in Brazil, and as with the Brazilian market, there is no single big player in Mexico. “We see a lot of listing sites in Mexico, brokerage services with new angles, but they are not solving a lot of the issues we see in the market.” While popularized in the US, the founders also argue iBuyer is one of those models that should work better in Mexico and Latin America.

>> READ more insights from Loft and Flat in LAVCA’s spotlight on proptech.



> #M&A Media reports indicate Uber has offered US$450m to acquire a 51% stake in on-demand delivery platform Cornershop, subject to regulatory approval.

> Chilean biotech Levita Magnetics completed its 1000th magnetic surgery procedure. Weight loss surgery is the primary use case.

> Dr. Consulta founder Thomaz Srougi is stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by Renato Velloso. Srougi will remain chair of the board.

> Stripe launched in Mexico, its first LatAm market.

> Check out LAVCA’s list of 258 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA, our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$2b in 2018, according to LAVCA data. Access LAVCA’s Annual Review of Tech Investment in Latin America for the details.



> FT: Why more asset managers are taking cues from UN sustainability goals.

> FastCo: Ford Foundation’s Darren Walker: How to save capitalism from itself.

> WSJ interviews Liesel Pritzker Simmons of Blue Haven Initiative on Getting Past the Guilt and Making an Impact:  

“Born to one of the wealthiest families in America, she knows her family’s success afforded her opportunities that wouldn’t be available to others. That privilege comes with a sense of guilt, she says, especially when she sees income inequality. But she doesn’t let it paralyze her."

> Alterna, in collaboration with New Ventures, is hosting the Latin American Impact Investment Forum for Central America and the Caribbean (FLII CA&C) on November 13-14 in Antigua, Guatemala. More information here.

> LAVCA members have a discount to the GSG Impact Summit, hosted by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, taking place Nov. 18-20. Details here. Contact Catalina Santos ( for information about the discount.

    UPDATE: "Due to the violent protests and the continuing curfew in Santiago...The GSG has decided to shift the location to Buenos Aires.The GSG stands in solidarity with all Chileans and we will demonstrate this through a GSG delegation to Santiago which will meet with the impact community and Chilean political and business leaders."

> SocialLab and Walmart are looking for early-stage retail startups for consideration for their Premio Inovacion Sustentable and corporate mentorship with Walmart. Details here.

> Capria is looking to invest up to US$20m in existing and 1-2 new funds in Latin America. Sign up here.



📢 LAVCA is expanding its VC/tech coverage and is seeking a talented, manager/director-level candidate to join its New York HQ. Requirements:

✔️ Excellent writing skills with sharp attention to detail.
✔️ Spanish and/or Portuguese fluency.
✔️ A passion for how tech is changing Latin American lives for the better.

📧 Email Julie Ruvolo ( for more info.


> LAVCA is hosting a Family Office/VC Workshop in Medellin on Nov. 12 @RutaN. 

    Medellin | November 12 | 📆 REGISTER HERE
    🔥 Fireside Chat: Miguel McAllister, Co-Founder & CEO, Merqueo
    💸 Fund Manager Q&A: Rodrigo Baer, Partner, Redpoint eventures
    📜 Legal Deep Dive: Dan Green, Partner, Gunderson Dettmer

    🙌 Special thanks to lead sponsor Amazon Web Services, Inc., and host RutaN for their support to deliver practical training to Latin America’s emerging cohort of tech investors. 

    UPDATE: Due to the situation in Santiago, LAVCA's Chile Workshop planned for Nov. 14 will be rescheduled. 

>  📣 Are you a woman in STEM? IDB Lab and WeXchange are conducting important research on the current state of women entrepreneurs in STEM in LatAm. The report will be presented at WeXchange this year. WeXchange is taking place November 13-14 in Asuncion, Paraguay. 

> The University of Cambridge is hosting its first Latin American Business Summit (LABS), a five-day event in Santiago, Chile Nov. 3-8. Details here.

> Scotiabank is hosting the Latin America Innovation & Disruption Forum in Mexico City on November 12-13. Topics include retail, tech media & telecom, food & beverage, cannabis, and financials. Details here. 📧 Contact  Marcela Villarreal ( to participate.

> Foro IDEA 2019 is bringing reproductive rights and tech innovation center stage on Nov. 12 in Guatemala. Details here

> ERA Global is accepting applications for its equity-free LatAm New York Accelerator. LatAm startups looking to expand globally and fundraise in the US are welcome to apply by Nov. 15.

> The Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) are hosting the VII Innovation Summit of The Pacific Alliance, Nov. 20-21 in San Francisco, California. More information here.

> FICE 2019 (Festival de Inovação e Cultura Emprendedora) is Nov. 23 in Sao Paulo. Details here.

> Colombia Fintech is hosting a fintech conference in Bogotá on Nov. 28. Details here.

> Greentech Challenge Investor Day is Nov. 28 in São Paulo at Cubo. Startups can apply to pitch here.

> Mercado Libre, Telefonica, Arca Continental, Engie Factory, and BBVA welcomes finalists for its Plug In Mexico acceleration program on Nov. 29 in CDMX. Details here.

> Finnosummit Miami by LendIt Fintech is happening Dec 3-4 in Miami, sponsored by Visa and others. Details here.

> Investors from MAYA Capital, Innova Capital, Positive Ventures, Wayra Brasil, Google, and others are offering free mentoring for female entrepreneurs through Female Force LATAM. XX entrepreneurs, sign up here for free mentoring and spread the word. #CHANGETHERATIO



> CNBC: Chile president cancels APEC summit next month where Trump, Xi were expected to meet.

> FT: Brazil’s senate approves much-vaunted pension reform.

> Reuters: Chile's Pinera seeks forgiveness from hard-pressed citizens, offers rescue package.

> Alberto Fernández was voted into power to replace President Macri in Argentina. Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returns as VP.

> Stripe launched in Mexico, its first LatAm market.

> Iupana launched a new tool to track LatAm fintech deals as they happen.



> LAVCA is updating our list of Top Women Investors and Emerging Women Investors. 📢 Please nominate female partners, associates, principals, and angels on your radar by filling out this brief nomination formThanks to everyone who has nominated so far!

> #IMPACT Maryanne Hancock, CEO of Y Analytics, a public benefit corporation founded by TPG and the Rise Fund, for the FT: How to go beyond shareholder primacy in good conscience.

> #PE Mubadala’s deputy group chief executive Waleed Al Muhairi: “[Brazil] will be one of the important destinations for Mubadala in the next 5 to 10 years."

> Martin Diaz Plata of Capital Group Private Markets (and former LAVCA board member) for Dinero: Cinco tendencias que definen hoy el capital privado en América Latina.

> McKinsey: From pure investor to entrepreneurial owner: How private-equity firms can master the shift.


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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