LatAm Venture Bulletin April 26, 2017

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> Omidyar Network led an undisclosed follow-on round in Suyo, a Colombia-based startup making it easier and more affordable for low-income families in Colombia to formalize their houses and land. Suyo CEO Matt Alexander says, "approximately 60% of families in Latin America have not formerly registered their property or have given up trying due to the costs and time and overly complicated processes."

> monashees+, Accel Partners, QMS Capital, and Pointbreak LLC made an undisclosed investment in Brazilian enterprise software platform Neoway.

> Blockchain technology investor Medici Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Argentinian bitcoin provider Ripio.

> made undisclosed investments in Brazil’s Rapidoo, an online factoring platform for small businesses, and used car marketplace Volanty. also recently invested alongside monashees+ in IDwall, a Brazilian validation and identification services startup.

> Florianopolis, Brazil-based BZPlan invested R$3m in events management platform MobLee.

> Confrapar will invest up to R$16m in payments platform Muxi.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos has made undisclosed micro VC investments in nine startups, ranging from R$100k-R$800k.

> Kapor Capital, TechStars Ventures, and Magma Partners invested in GroupRaise, a restaurant booking platform that donates a portion of the client’s bill to the charity of their choice. GroupRaise is based in the US, with a sales/operations office in Chile; co-founder Kevin Valdez is from Guatemala.

> Magma Partners also made an undisclosed investment in fintech startup Portal Finance, which is based in Bogotá, Colombia, with an office in Santiago, Chile.


> Astella Investimentos and VARIV Capital exited auto part e-commerce platform Ítaro, which was acquired by Pneustore for an undisclosed amount.


> BNDESPAR is launching a credit fund to support innovative small and medium-sized companies. BNDESPAR will invest up to R$80m, not to exceed 50% participation; the fund could reach up to R$200m.



> Caixa Econômico Federal, in partnership with Artemisia, will invest up to R$1m in five fintech startups focused on lower-income clients: PoupeMais, Jeitto, DimDim, QueroQuitar!, and SmartMEI.

> NYTimes goes inside Ford Foundation’s new US$1b impact fund, which will focus on affordable housing in the United States and access to financial services in emerging markets.

> Cartier Women’s Initiative recognizes Carolina Medina of Telefonica Open Future_'s Wayra accelerated Agruppa, a platform helping tenderos, Ana Lucia Cepeda of flex-time job board Bolsa Rosa, and Candice Pascoal of crowdfunding platform Kickante, on their shortlist of women running high-impact sustainable businesses. 
READ LAVCA's Entrepreneur Profile of Carolina Medina here.

> The Economist Intelligence Unit, in partnership with Facebook’s, launched the Inclusive Internet Index to measure adoption of the internet in 75 countries:

"Twenty years after the Internet began to change people’s lives, less than half of the world’s population benefits from it. Even in some developed countries, up to one-fifth of residents are still offline, either unable to use the Internet or unconvinced of its value. The ranks of the unconnected are far larger in the developing world…. Connectivity alone, however, is not enough to guarantee that people will benefit from the Internet. As our study argues, the Internet must also be relevant, and people must have the skills and confidence to use it."

> MetLife Foundation published findings from interviews with 185 low-income families in Mexico that point to income inconsistency and the opportunity for income-smoothing solutions. Interesting for any funds or startups targeting the under/un-banked.



> Fintech was the most popular sector of IT investment in 2016, capturing 55% of IT dollars, and representing about 25% of all IT deals. Check out LAVCA’s fintech data and our 2017 Trend Watch: Latin America Infographic for details.

> Internet penetration is 66% in Brazil and 45% in Mexico, according to BTG Pactual’s Brazilian E-commerce Playbook 2016. Smartphone penetration in Brazil climbed to 81% in 2015, with 168 million devices.

> Reuters: Facebook has 114 million monthly active users (MAUs) in Brazil, and 73 million MAUs in Mexico. In other words, 83% of Brazilians online, and 78% of of Mexicans online, are using Facebook.

> Axios: Even as Android now accounts for nearly 9 out of 10 phones, Apple's store has continued to outpace Google's because Apple users spend so much more on content than their Android users.

> Brazil's higher education institution Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV) published a mapping of Brazil’s startup ecosystem.

> Peruvian Angel Investors Association just published a helpful guide to Peruvian startups (en español), including recent angel funding, exits, and notable Peruvian founders of US-based companies.

> AgFunder’s 2016 report tracks a decline in global agtech funding (US$3.2b in 2016) but an uptick in number of deals, and seed investments in particular.



> Big announcements from Facebook’s F8 conference last week. Axios has the round-up here.

> Brazilian lawyers Márlon Reis and Ronaldo Lemos launched Mudamos, an app that collects verified signatures for campaigns and petitions using blockchain technology. Lemos says the app reduces the chance of signature fraud to zero.

> Bloomberg: Mexico Emerges as Most Alluring Emerging Market, India Worst.

> Bloomberg: Baidu Goes All In on AI.

> Axios: Trump to scrap H-1B lottery for merit-based system. More details here.

> NYTimes: Amid Venezuela Protests, General Motors Plant Is Seized, and Company Exits.

> Turkish president Erdogan just consolidated dictatorship-levels of power. From TechCrunch: What’s next for Turkey’s tech scene?



> Mass Challenge Mexico opens applications for its accelerator today, April 26. If you’re in Mexico City, check out their launch event.

> Xpand Ventures, Diario Clarín’s new corporate business accelerator, is open for applications from early-stage startups, with a focus on IoT, data science, agtech, fintech, insurance, e-commerce, and adtech. Xpand Ventures will invest US$50k-US$250k in five startups this year. Applying companies should be operating in Argentina and be able to show strong sales as well as customer acquisition metrics. Apply here.

> Imagine Lab in Chile, with support from CORFO and Microsoft, is accepting applications from early-stage startups. Apply by April 28.

> Brazilian VC investors are invited to LAVCA's bi-annual VC in São Paulo meeting at Google, on May 9, 2017. Contact Claudia Rosenbloom for more information or to see if you qualify to attend.

> Parallel18, an accelerator in Puerto Rico run by former Startup Chile head Sebastian Vidal, is accepting applications for its fourth cohort, with a focus on bridging LatAm-based startups to the US. Startups receive a US$40k grant, 20 weeks of training and mentorship in San Juan, access to a network of mentors and potential clients, and potential follow-on investment. Apply by May 8.

> Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator is accepting applications for its Brazil program. Details here.



> Isto É Dinheiro interviews e.Bricks Ventures, Bossa Nova Investimentos, Invest Tech, A5 Capital Partners, Domo Inest, and InovaBra Ventures on their outlook on Brazil. 

> Edson Rigonatti at Astella Investimentos: Diário de um VC: a busca pelo escalável, sustentável e admirável.

> Tech analyst Ben Thompson on how the VC model is changing from within Silicon Valley. EXCELLENT READ:

"Much has been written of the difficulty in building 'another Silicon Valley.' To be sure, many countries and regions have tried, seeking to assemble the perfect mix of willing investors, eager entrepreneurs, and ready-made markets that will produce the sort of self-perpetuating ecosystem that will lift the region, country, nay, the world to a new level of prosperity and modernity. The problem is that like most real-life systems Silicon Valley is non-linear: it is impossible to break it down into component parts that can be reproduced, and no one can know for sure what a small change in inputs will mean for the outputs.

Moreover, one of the most important stories of the last several years is how the structure of Silicon Valley itself is changing, particularly when it comes to funding. Instead of traditional venture capital firms investing in startups from PowerPoint to IPO, there are angel investors and seed rounds on one end and traditional public market investors investing in private unicorn rounds on the other, with venture capital firms somewhere in the middle. And no company is more responsible for this radical transformation than Amazon: the company changed the inputs, and the butterfly effect is upending the entire system."

> The Washington Post: Juicero shows what’s wrong with Silicon Valley thinking, “Company executives and investors were so eager to make a profit off of an overhyped new product and its lucrative subscription model that they apparently didn’t bother to see whether it actually made sense.”

> Spotify is apparently strongly considering a direct listing instead of an IPO.

> A quick visual guide to machine learning.


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