LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin April 10, 2019

Web Version

LatAm Venture Bulletin

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



LAVCA Tech in Mexico

🍸 LAVCA, in partnership with Latin American Tech Growth Coalition member KIO Networks and with support from Endeavor and AMEXCAP, hosted a cocktail last week in Mexico City and presented an update on VC/tech activity in Mexico. ACCESS THE PRESENTATION & EVENT PHOTOS 📷. 

Mexican startups raised US$175m from VCs across 95 transactions in 2018, representing an increase of 119% of capital invested and 61% in number of deals compared to 2017.

  • Fintech represented 46% of the total number of transactions.
  • Transportation tech deals increased from less than US$1m in 2017 to US$47m in 2018.

Thanks to the 100+ entrepreneurs and investors who attended and to KIO for hosting! A special thanks to Alejandro Solis, the head of Rappi Mexico, and Mariana Castillo, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Mexican startup Ben & Frank, for sharing their insights.

🎊 LAVCA WELCOMES Microsoft and MercadoLibre to the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition.

The Tech Growth Coalition supports the expansion of LAVCA’s research and engagement with the region’s vibrant tech innovators through access to relevant information, dissemination of best practices, and facilitation of valuable networks among startups, investors, and tech companies.

FOUNDING MEMBERS include Google, Facebook, Telefonica Open Innovation, Qualcomm Ventures, Globant, KIO Networks, Movile, and Riverwood Capital.


> QED Investors and Invus Opportunities co-led a US$22.6m investment in Escale, a Brazilian digital marketing agency providing customer acquisition services to Brazilian telco and healthcare companies.

  • Previous investors KaszeK Ventures, Redpoint eventures, and Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital participated in the round.

> WEEL, a Brazilian cash flow management platform, raised US$30m from American asset manager Franklin Templeton.

  • WEEL (formerly WorkCapital) raised US$6m earlier this year from monashees, Mindset Ventures, and Banco Votorantim, and US$8.5m in 2017 from monashees, Mindset Ventures, and FJ Labs.

> 🛴 #CVC Insurance firm Mutua Madrileña and Seaya Ventures led a US$22.5m Series A in Spain's Movo, a micromobility startup and subsidiary of Cabify.

  • Seaya Ventures was an early investor in Cabify. 
  • Movo operates in Spain, México, Colombia, Perú, and Chile, with plans to expand into Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay in 2019.

> Ribbit Capital led a R$25m investment in Warren, a Brazil-based digital brokerage, with participation from KaszeK Ventures and Chromo Invest.

  • This is Warren’s first known institutional capital.

> #CVC Seattle-based pet sitting marketplace Rover led a US$7m investment in DogHero, a Brazilian pet-hosting startup operating in 750 cities in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

  • DogHero founder Eduardo Baer: We’ve always looked up to Rover; we’ve admired the company since the beginning.”
  • DogHero raised US$2.5m from IGNIA, Global Founders Capital, and others in 2016. monashees and KaszeK led a US$3.1m round in 2016.

Leal (formerly Puntos Leal), a Colombian consumer rewards platform, raised a US$3m Series A from FCP Innovación SP, the CVC fund of EPM, and and undisclosed Colombian financial entity.

> #DEBT Credijusto, a fintech startup that provides affordable financing to SMEs in Mexico, closed a US$100m debt round with Goldman Sachs to expand its credit operations.

  • Credijusto investors include: Elevar Equity, Victory Park Capital, City Hall Capital, Fourth Green Capital, Uprising Venture Fund, Flatiron Investors, M4Fund, and others.

> Criatec 2, managed by Crescera Investimentos (formerly Bozano), invested R$2.5m in Bom Consórcio, a Brazilian secondaries marketplace for consumer debt.

> GV Angels led a R$1m investment in PackID, a Brazilian food logistics monitoring platform, with participation from ACE, MOR Capital, Allievo Ventures, and M3.

Superjobs Ventures invested R$1m across fintechs Firgun and Rocketpass and online therapy platform Vittude.

> Redwood Ventures made a US$600k investment in Troquer, a Mexican fashion resale platform.

> Smart Money Ventures invested US$259k in Produttivo, a Brazilian field team management software platform.

> IGNIA Partners made an undisclosed investment in Takeoff, an ecommerce platform for grocery retailers in Mexico.

> InvestTech made an undisclosed investment in ClipEscola, a Brazilian edtech marketing platform.

> Nilo Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Keynua, a Peruvian visual identity platform that just finished YC.

  • Keynua founders previously started Cinepapaya, which sold to Fandango in 2016.

> #CVC Positivo made undisclosed investments in agtechs Agrosmart and @Tech. 

> #HEALTHTECH In 2018, Mexican cancer detection startup Higia raised US$5m from Khosla Ventures, Hummingbird Ventures, Sound Ventures, Abstract Ventures, YC co-founder Jessica Livingston, Ashton Kutcher, and Paul Buchheit. Higia participated in YC in 2018.

  • This is Khosla’s inaugural investment in a Latin American startup.
  • Higia is founded and run by Julián Ríos a 19-year-old inspired by his mother’s battle with breast cancer to develop an early-detection wearable. A prostate cancer wearable is also in development.

CORRECTION: Loft raised a US$70m Series B led by Fifth Wall Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from QED Investors.


> Accion made an undisclosed investment in CÍVICO, a Colombian location data crowdsourcing platform for micro/small businesses. CÍVICO operates in Bogotá, Mexico City, and Santiago de Chile.

> Brazilian publisher Nexo Jornal raised US$920k from Luminate, formerly the Government and Civic Engagement arm of Omidyar Network.

> #HEALTHTECH FIS Ameris made an undisclosed investment in Kirón, a Chilean medical device manufacturer for people with mobility limitations. This is the firm’s third investment from Fund 2.



> Distrito and Parallax Ventures are partnering to invest up to R$10m in Brazilian fintechs.

  • Parallax has invested ~R$13m in the past year in CERC, Monkey, goLiza, Ali Crédito, Asaas, and healthtech Bright.

> Cisco launched Decibel, an independent VC fund to make early-stage enterprise investments. Cisco execs Rob Salvagno and Jon Sakoda will lead the effort.

> #PE Advent International has plans for a US$1b dedicated US tech fund.



> Stone Pagamentos announced a follow-on public offering that could raise over US$700m.

> #IMPACT #PE #DEBT Adobe Capital and IGNIA announced its divestment from Provive, a Mexican urban regeneration company, following a new round of debt financing from an undisclosed international bank.

  • This is the second exit from Adobe’s first fund, Adobe Social Mezzanine Fund I.
  • After the partial exit of IGNIA Fund I from its investment in Provive, IGNIA completed the repayment of its debt with the IDB.
  • Provive successfully restored over 6,600 homes in the cities of Tijuana, Juarez, Mexicali and Hermosillo, impacting the lives of approximately 30,000 people.

> Chilean VC Alaya Capital exited TranslationBackOffice through an undisclosed sale.

> Linx will acquire Hiper for a reported R$50m, providing an exit for Cventures, Trivèlla M3 Investimentos and ACE.

  • M3 also exited M2M through a sale to Chilean IT firm Sonda in January.

> Update: TripAdvisor’s restaurant reservation subsidiary, TheFork, acquired Restorando for an undisclosed amount, providing an exit to investor KaszeK Ventures.

> 🚕 #RIDESHARE Lyft IPO’d on the Nasdaq. Uber bought Middle Eastern rival Careem for US$3.1b and is getting ready to raise US$10b in an IPO. 



> Krealo, Credicorp’s open innovation arm, acquired the digital business unit of Chilean payments company Multicaja for US$19m.

> GoTrendier and Chicfy merged to create a clothing resale platform in Latin America and Spain. GoTrendier is backed by IGNIA, Ataria Ventures, Banco Sabadell, and others.

> Brazil Journal: B2W and Magazine Luiza are competing to buy Netshoes. NYSE-listed Netshoes has risen 50% since April 2. The company has a market value of US$70m.

  • For Magazine Luiza, the acquisition would mark its entry into the clothing segment.
  • For B2W, it would be the first acquisition of another ecommerce player since the company's creation with the merger between Submarino and


> Amazon partnered with Conekta and OXXO to launch Amazon Cash payments in Mexico.

  • Hector Cardenas, Conekta CEO & Co-Founder, says ~90% of ecommerce and physical sales are still made with cash in Mexico, according to a Financial Inclusion Report from the CNBV.

> iFood rowth stats: iFood logged over 17 million orders and added ~16,000 restaurants in March.

> Cuenca CEO Matin Tamizi talks about his experience launching Cuenca as an immigrant in Mexico. Cuenca is a fintech offering financial services to underbanked Mexicans that raised US$2m last year from Andreessen Horowitz and KaszeK Ventures — Andreessen’s first known investment in Mexico.

> #HEALTHTECH Bloomberg covers Rappi’s partnership with French pharma giant Sanofi to deliver prescriptions and eventually doctor house calls: “The partnership will initially offer over-the-counter consumer healthcare products.”

#HEALTHTECH Bloomberg on Dr. Consulta: Lemann-Backed Startup Looks to Tackle Brazil's Health-Care Woes:

“Today, Dr. Consulta has more than 1 million patients. Two thousand doctors in 60 locations attend to 200,000 people every month.”

> #FOODTECH Reuters covers NotCo’s expansion to Brazil: Bezos-backed startup partners with Brazil retailer GPA to sell plant-based products. NotCo CEO Matias Muchnick: “A big chunk of this investment is going to Brazil ... We are betting Brazil is to become our biggest market within a year.”

> Automation Anywhere, a SoftBank-backed Robotic Process Automation (RPA) platform, is expanding in LatAm with four new regional offices.

> ID345’s portfolio companies raised US$35m in 2018, including Higia, Reverscore, Yalochat, Miroculus, and Adext. ID345 is an angel club run by KIO Networks co-founder Antonio Rallo.

> 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.



> #PE A new global social impact fund managed by FIA Asset Management, which will invest in companies in Latin America and East Africa, is set to launch in April 2019. The fund is backed by Francisco García Paramés.

> ImpactAlpha: Ejido Verde is financing indigenous Mexicans to plant trees:

"The decade-old company is one part pine-resin supplier, one part mass-reforestation project and one part community lender.... Ejido Verde is financing the replanting of thousands of hectares of pine trees to produce the resin used in shoe glue, tape, chewing gum and hundreds of other everyday products.”

> #AGTECH Agriinvestor: Impact pressure is shaping ag markets: “LP demands for climate-mitigating strategies and ESG hint at how the asset class might come into sharper focus.”

> French energy giant ENGIE is now a certified B-Corp company. ENGIE's environmental and social impact investment fund is the Group's first subsidiary to join the B Corp business community.

> The GIIN released a report estimating the size of the impact investing market: “Over 1,340 organizations currently manage US$502b in impact investing assets worldwide.”



> Reuters: Pymes de Latinoamérica ayudan a Facebook a alcanzar 5 millones de anunciantes:

“Las pequeñas y medianas empresas de América Latina fueron uno de los principales motores para que Facebook lograra un salto del 25 por ciento en su base de anunciantes a nivel global en los últimos seis meses.”

> #DATA Facebook has 86 million MAUs in Mexico (as of Q4 2018). 64 million are daily users. Mobile dominates -- 86 million or 98% of all Mexicans on Facebook access via mobile.

> Reuters: AWS will open a computer center in Colombia to train 2,000 students in digital infrastructure technology.

> New York Times: What if Mexico Still Included California, Nevada and Texas?

> Mexico registered 32 million new smartphones in 2018, according to IDC.

> CNBC: Brazil overtakes China in consumer sentiment, according to a Credit Suisse survey.

> Visa Innovation Center in Miami published a report on drivers of innovation in Latin America.

> TechCrunch: Venezuela is losing a generation of tech talent to its humanitarian crisis.

> ProRata: Global VC investment is down 10% (by dollars) and 22% (by deals) from Q1 2018, per data from PitchBook and the NVCA.

> Fortune goes inside Grab and Go-Jek’s super app model:

“It’s a model pioneered in China by Alibaba’s Alipay and Tencent’s WeChat; Mark Zuckerberg, in a recent blog post, hinted that he hopes Facebook can emulate it…. In Southeast Asia, the super-app model is evolving more rapidly than anywhere else in the world.”

> WSJ: More Than a Third of China Is Now Invested in One Giant Mutual Fund: “588 million users of Alipay, Ant’s highly popular mobile-payments network, had parked cash in its flagship Tianhong Yu’e Bao fund at the end of 2018.”



> BN Americas says top execs at Visa and Mastercard have urged Mexican policymakers and financial institutions to implement the tech needed to go cashless.

> FT: IDB scraps annual meeting after China excludes Venezuela:

“The extraordinary cancellation of the annual meeting of a multilateral development bank a week before the gathering highlights the extent to which the IDB has been caught in the middle of the economic and strategic rivalry between Washington and Beijing.”

> The EU passed a copyright directive that appears to be problematic for the tech giants and small publishers alike, if enacted.

  • EFF says this is the first update to EU copyright rules since 2001 and “has become the most controversial issue in EU history, literally, with the petition opposing it attracting more signatures than any other petition in’s history.”
  • Boingboing: “The European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts.”

> VCs, tech players, and Brazil’s top entrepreneurs can now register for LAVCA Encontro Anual Brasil (formerly VC in São Paulo), an annual, invitation-only meeting scheduled for May 15 in São Paulo. The 2019 program includes:

  • LAVCA Data & Insights on VC/Tech Activity
  • 🔥 Fireside Chat with Sergio Romo, CEO of Grow Mobility
  • 🔥 Fireside Chat with Stelleo Tolda, COO of MercadoLibre
  • Breakout Discussions on Angel/Seed Investing and Raising Growth Rounds
  • 🍽️ LAVCA members are invited to a private member-only dinner hosted by Latin American Tech Growth Coalition member Microsoft following the meeting.

> VARIV Capital and Facebook hosted the TOA WorldTour in Mexico City last week.

> 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

> Facebook and Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 are looking for Caribbean startups driving meaningful social impact to apply for a 12-week program. For-profit startups with an operational base in the Caribbean can apply by April 15.

> Facebook launched Innovation Lab Santiago, a program to support innovators in Chile in partnership with the government-run accelerator Start-Up Chile. Photos here.

> TheVentureCity launched a five-day bootcamp, powered by Google Developers Launchpad, for startups in Miami. Startups can apply here.

> Visa Everywhere Initiative invites female founders of fintech and social impact projects to apply for a trip to Paris during World Cup to compete for US$100k and the opportunity to collaborate with Visa on a pilot program. Apply by April 14.

> CEMEX Ventures launched a Construction Startup Competition 2019 for startups innovating in the construction industry. Apply by April 21.

Sodimac Colombia, Corona, and Endeavor Colombia invite Colombian entrepreneurs to apply to Aceleradora Sodimac Corona. Apply by April 30.

LatinSF is hosting an Innovation Tour in Medellin, Santiago, and Buenos Aires, May 12-17. LatinSF is a public-private partnership to promote business between San Francisco and the Latin American region. Apply to join.

LAB Ventures hosts the Future of Real Estate Tech Summit on May 14. The program will include a pitch competition for real estate & construction tech startups.

MIT is hosting the Inclusive Innovation Challenge in LatAm to award entrepreneurs using tech to drive economic opportunity for workers. Apply here.

> LAVCA Member Jaguar Ventures promoted Pilar Zambrano to Fund Manager and hired Alice Cahill (Investment & Strategy Associate).

  • General Partner Cristobal Perdomo: “We are talent agnostic… What we firmly believe is that any team that doesn’t include a woman’s perspective is at least missing out on 50% of the vision for the market.”


> #CVC 🇦🇷 🇧🇷 🇨🇱 🇨🇴 🇲🇽 🇵🇪 Telefonica has emerged as one of the most active investors in Latin American startups, with almost €12 million invested across more than 20 deals in 2018. 📰 READ our feature on 2018 deal activity from the Wayras, Axon Partners and Scale Capital.

> SoftBank plans to do 1-2 deals per month in Latin America, according to Brazil Journal.

  • SoftBank partner Shu Nyatta and new investment partner Paulo Passoni will join Marcelo Claure to lead deal-making; André Maciel is joining from JP Morgan to run the Brazil office, according to Bloomberg.

> ALLVP has a list of the most active investors in female-founded Mexican startups.

> Polymath Ventures launched a China-Latin America tech alliance.

> Thiago Paiva of Liquid Digital Assets published a roundup of March fintech activity.

> Alan Patricof, Co-Founder of Greycroft Ventures, for the Financial Times: The big tech companies are smothering small start-ups.

> 📢 FYI: Andreessen Horowitz is pivoting from a VC fund to a RIA (Registered Investment Advisor). At least in part to remove restrictions on their crypto investments. Andreessen’s investments in LatAm include Rappi, Loft, and Cuenca.



> DCG, an investor in Bitso, Buda, Decentraland, and others, shares insights & valuations on 100+ recent crypto investments. DCG portfolio updates:

  • Crypto exchange app Abra added a new feature to let users to make fractional investments.
  • Decentraland launched a new visual identity and LAND builder.

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