LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin May 23, 2018

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> Sapphire Ventures led a US$55m Series D investment in Auth0, an identity verification solution founded by Eugenio Pace and Matías Woloski, with participation from World Innovation Lab and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Trinity Ventures, Meritech Capital Partners and K9 Ventures. Meritech led Auth0’s US$30m Series C last year. Cygnus Capital and NXTP Labs are previous investors.

> Monsanto Growth Ventures made its inaugural Brazil investment in Grão Direto, a grain marketplace that primarily transacts via mobile and WhatsApp. Monsanto contributed about half of the R$2.3m investment, with participation from Canary and the founders of OpenVC.

> Cedro Capital made a US$2.5m investment in iMedicina, a Brazilian healthtech client management platform.

> BID Invest made a US$2m investment in Argentine fintech MONI Online.

> Aurus Capital led a US$1.4m investment in Capitalizarme, a real estate investment platform with offices in Santiago de Chile and Denver, Colorado.

> Trebol Capital led a MXN$3.2m investment in Piktia, a Mexican photo-printing service, which included a MXN$500k investment by angel network Ark Fund. Piktia raised an additional MXN$250k via Crowdfunder.

> ALLVP made an undisclosed investment in Chilean crowdlending platform Cumplo. The fintech startup will use the capital to expand to Mexico.

> IGNIA made an undisclosed investment in Virket, a Mexican provider of performance management solutions for small businesses.

> Cemex Ventures made an undisclosed follow-on investment in PRYSMEX, a Mexican IoT startup using real-time data to prevent industrial labor accidents. This is Cemex Ventures’ fourth investment in the company.

> Cventures Primus and Omnilink founder Cileneu Nunes made an undisclosed Series A investment in Wevo, a Brazilian ecommerce cloud integration platform.

> Spain’s Banco Sabadell made an undisclosed investment in Trendier, a Mexican peer-to-peer marketplace for women’s clothes.

> Alaya Capital announces participation in the recent Kilimo investment from Xpand Ventures and confirms investments in RocketPin, 1,2,3 Seguros, Zoco, and Quiena.

> Puerto Rico’s Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) will invest US$150k through Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18’s follow on fund in Abartys Health, a local insurance startup, and US$75k in Quiena, an Argentine fintech startup.

  • Abartys Health recently raised US$1.45m from Parallel18, PE fund Parliament Capital, and individual investors.
  • Quiena recently raised US$750k from ItalBank International, Ayala Capital Partners, Parallel18 Ventures, Incutex, and La Turbina Ventures.


> SP Ventures is launching its second VC fund, which will exclusively focus on 🌿agtech startups, but broadening its focus outside of Brazil to include Latin America.

> Angel Ventures seeks to raise MXN$1b from Mexican Afores for its debut CKD vehicle, which will be listed on Mexico’s stock exchange (BMV).

> US Capital is a new R$8m VC fund based in Orlando, Florida, and focusing on Brazilian startups with potential for international expansion.

> BTG Pactual launched BoostLab, an accelerator to scale up Brazilian startups with R$900k-30m in revenue.

  • First cohort includes three fintechs: Liber Capital and F(x) (both backed by e.bricks Ventures), and Neurotech; as well as Clicksign, Zigpay and agtech startup Agronow (backed by SP Ventures).
  • BTG Managing Partner Renato Mazzola is running BoostLab.

> Unilever Brasil launched LeverUP, it first startup acceleration program globally, in partnership with Liga Ventures.



> The TriLinc Global Impact Fund approved an additional US$4.4m in term loans and trade finance facilities to companies operating in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

> responsAbility Investments has fully exited from MiBanco, Latin America’s largest microfinance bank by asset size, through a divestiture to majority shareholder Credicorp.

> Global impact accelerator Agora Partnerships is hiring a Managing Director to be based in Mexico City or Bogotá. Apply here.

> Village Capital is looking for early stage entrepreneurs in Latin America that are helping improve financial health to join its FinTech: LatAm 2018 investment readiness program. Apply here.



> Bloomberg: Morgan Stanley to Follow Goldman in Bet on Brazilian Fintech.

> Colombia’s Superintendente Financiero launched a fintech hub and sandbox to promote fintech innovation.

> PayPal made its largest-ever acquisition, purchasing Swedish mobile point-of-sale solution iZettle for US$2.2b in cash. Axios says this will help PayPal further its expansion into Latin America.

> The Atlantic: The 'Black Hole' That Sucks Up Silicon Valley's Money.



> VC investments in Latin America surpassed US$1b for the first time in 2017, doubling the amount committed to startups in 2016.

Read LAVCA’s newest report, 📊 Inside Latin America’s Breakout Year in Tech, an 8-page report mapping 2017’s breakout year in tech, including top deals by value, co-investments, startup ecosystem maturity, and the trending and fastest growing sectors. Download it here.

> Axios: Only 39% of all-female founder teams raise follow-on funding for their startups, compared to 52% for all-male teams.



> Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) just went into effect, and several tech heavyweights have decided to extend European protections globally, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook, and Snapchat.

Google: "At Google, we have always sought to build our products and privacy tools for users globally, including data subjects rights, and we continued with that approach as we planned for GDPR. As a result, many of the steps we’ve taken have been integrated into our global privacy program. We have sent an email to all our users where they can learn more about the updates we're making and we have a public blog post as well."

Microsoft: "We will extend the rights that are at the heart of GDPR to all of our consumer customers worldwide. Known as Data Subject Rights, they include the right to know what data we collect about you, to correct that data, to delete it, and even to take it somewhere else.”

> Fortune: Uber will end its policy for forced arbitration for individual sexual assault and harassment claims. It will also allow people to settle these claims with Uber without a confidentiality requirement covering the facts of their experience. Uber also committed to publishing a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform.


> Rocío Fonseca left her post as Executive Director of Startup Chile to lead innovation for Corfo.

> Incluyeme, an Argentine job portal for people with disabilities in Latin America, won a grant at global social impact program Expo 2020 Dubai. Incluyeme was accelerated with Startup Chile, 500 Startups, and Ashoka.

> Join LAVCA's Director of Research Eduardo Roman for a panel on VC and real estate tech at the Proptech LatAm Summit on June 7 in Santiago, Chile. LAVCA has a limited number of complimentary passes for member investors. Contact to reserve your pass.

> Startup Grind hosts its Fintech Conference LatAm in Lima on May 30-31. Details here.

> LAB4+, el Foro de Emprendimiento e Innovación de la Alianza del Pacífico, will host an investor meeting on June 12-13 in Medellin. Tech investors interested in meeting entrepreneurs from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru can register here.

> Startupbootcamp Fintech Mexico City partnered with IGNIA to focus on financial inclusion for its second batch. Apply by June 3.

> Finnovista and Visa invite fintech entrepreneurs to apply for Visa’s Everywhere Initiative in LatAm and US$50k in prize money. Apply by June 15.

> Argentine startups can apply to present at Foro de Capital para la Innovación - región litoral centro. Apply by July 6.

> Seedstars is hosting its Seedstars World pitch competition. Startups in Latin America that are 2+ years old with more than US$500k in funding can apply here.



> ComparaGuru is a Mexico-based financial management platform for comparing insurance and banking products that has raised US$11m in financing to date: Seaya Ventures led a US$4m seed round in 2015, and QED Investors led a US$7m Series A in 2016, with participation from Struck Capital and Thiel Capital. READ 📰
LAVCA's interview with CEO Fernando González-Ambía, also an Executive in Residence at QED Investors, about how ComparaGuru is encouraging financial literacy and bridging the banking gap in Mexico:

"Our thesis is that in financial services, everybody wins when you have a savvy customer. A person with a bad credit score is either irresponsible, or they made a mistake, often due to an emergency, or they who just doesn’t know to manage their finances. Education helps in all three cases, especially with the last one, which is the bulk of the users in Mexico.

But there’s another issue: More than 22% of Mexico's GDP comes from the informal economy. The informal worker thinks she's not eligible for bank credit because she doesn't get a salary, or an informal business owner might want to stay away from banks. The solution is to bring information and options to them. We need to tell them that a proof of income not only comes from pay stubs but from account balances as well, or that you can open an account or ask for a personal loan without stepping into a bank branch. Users without a bank account, which is 56% of Mexico's adult population, need to understand that having one is the first step to get a credit card, and address the myths and concerns they may have around this topic."



> Valor Capital partner Scott Sobel talks about Valor’s tech investments in Brazil and draws a comparison between the Brazilian and Chinese venture markets:

"In 2003, China had US$1b in venture capital, most of which was local and non-institutional money. Last year, Brazil first reached US$1b in venture capital investment. Given that Brazil has 1/6 of China’s population and 1/5 of its GDP, it is fair to extrapolate that Brazil can support a venture capital sector that is 7 to 8 times larger than today’s.

Much like China, Brazil is the largest economy and hub in its respective geography, making Brazil the core to any LatAm strategy. The momentum we are seeing in Brazil stems from a combination of a large market, maturing venture ecosystem, positive secular trends, and growing exit opportunities that create a highly attractive environment for venture and growth returns."

> Manoel Lemos of Redpoint eventures talks about Brazilian tech startups that are beginning to expand globally:

"Dozens of startups born in Brazil have realized they can compete on a global scale and expand their companies quickly by exporting their business models to other regional markets around the world, including Canada, Colombia, Europe, Japan, Mexico, the UK and the US."



> The Economist: The impact of Masayoshi Son’s US$100b tech fund will be profound:

First there is the “frontier”—bets backing Mr Son’s instincts about revolutionary technologies in areas such as the internet of things, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), computational biology and genomics…. Second comes investments designed to bring new tech to old industries such as transport, property and logistics. Ride-hailing falls into this category. And the third area is technology, media and telecoms, where SoftBank has been investing for nearly 25 years.

> Also interesting to note: The dotcom crash of 2001 wiped out 99% of SoftBank’s market value.

But one investment—US$20m sunk into Alibaba—is regarded as one of the best in history. The Chinese internet titan went public in 2014 in the world’s biggest IPO. SoftBank’s 28% stake in the firm is now worth US$140b.


The LatAm Venture Bulletin is the VC/tech newsletter and content platform of the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

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