LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin June 5, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> 🦄 #UNICORNS SoftBank led a US$150m investment in Loggi, a Brazilian shipping logistics platform, with participation from GGV Capital, Fifth Wall Ventures, Velt Partners, and Microsoft, at a reported valuation over US$1b.

> SoftBank made a US$200m investment in Brazilian fintech Creditas at a reported US$700m valuation.

  • Vostok Emerging Finance led a US$55m Series C in 2018 with participation from Amadeus Capital Partners, Santander InnoVentures, KaszeK Ventures, QED Investors, Quona Capital, the IFC, and Naspers Fintech.
  • Amadeus Partner Pat Burtis: “Personal secured credit is a huge, untapped opportunity in Brazil.”

> e.Bricks Ventures made a R$14m follow-on investment in Brazilian construtech startup Ambar. E.Bricks invested R$40m+ previously. Ambar expects sales over R$200m in 2019. 

e.Bricks Ventures and BTG Pactual made an undisclosed investment in SMB credit platform Finpass. Finpass reports over 10,000 borrowers and 250 lenders on its platform.

> Redpoint eventures led an undisclosed seed investment in Brazilian healthtech Sami.

> #IMPACT Oikocredit invested US$4.7m in Caravela, a coffee trader in Latin America that uses direct trade principles. Oikocredit purchased shares from Annona Sustainable Investments.

> #IMPACT Vox Capital invested R$6m in Celcoin, a Brazilian mobile payments app.

#CVC Libbs Farmacêutica made a US$1m investment in Brazilian biotech PluriCell to develop regenerative cell therapies for cardiovascular diseases. PluriCell was founded in 2013 and incubated at USP/IPEN-Cietec.

> #CVC VExpenses, a Brazilian HRtech platform for employee expense management, raised R$2m from FG/A Investimentos.

> DUX Capital made a US$350k investment in Trato, a Mexican blockchain-based contract management platform.

Mexican digital identity platform Tu Identidad raised an undisclosed round from Finnnovista, new fund, and others.

> Brazilian edtech Jovens Gênios raised R$200k from angel investors. Jovens Gênios was accelerated at SEVNA Startups.

#EM PayJoy, a US startup providing mobile credit solutions in emerging markets, raised US$20m from Greylock Partners, Union Square Ventures, EchoVC, and Core Innovation Capital.



> Grow Mobility, the rideshare startup that resulted from the Grin/Yellow merger, has merged with payments startup Flinto.

  • Grin & Yellow jointly raised US$150m in January; the joint venture has over 1,000 employees based in the region. Backers include monashees, DCM, Trinity Ventures, SV Angel, and others.
  • Grow approaches mergers in the true sense of the word, bringing the founders into a combined management team, according to co-founder Marcelo Loureiro (and founder of Ride, which also merged with Grin).
  • Co-founder Jonathan Lewy on the merger: “For Latin America, the wallet is not an add-on. It’s a need if you want to tap into a big market of underbanked or non-banked. The only way to bring them on the platform is through a wallet… we see [it] as the future of the company.”


> #CVC YPF Ventures launched two CVC vehicles:

  • YPF Early Stage Fund: A seed fund will focus on cleantech and energy innovation deals locally.
  • Argentina Energy Bridge: A growth equity fund will collaborate with Silicon Valley investors on cross-border deals.
  • Tomas Ocampo will serve as Managing Director; YPF executive Sergio Giori will participate in investment decisions.

> BNDESPAR will commit an aggregate R$2.2b to four PE funds and four VC funds selected from this list of finalists.

> #IMPACT FinDev Canada will invest US$12.5m in EcoEnterprises Partners III, a women-led impact fund investing in Latin American SMBs working to protect fragile environments, create jobs and empower women in rural areas.



> Colombia’s La Superintendencia de Industria y Comercio (SIC) levied fines against Falabella and Rappi over data privacy regulations.



> Brazil Journal: General Atlantic em conversas avançadas com o Neon.

> 🦄 #UNICORN Bloomberg: Brex Is Raising Money at a Valuation Above US$2b.

> Reuters:

> Expansión: Startup México abre campus en Brasil.

> Bloomberg: Deluded and Disappointed, Economists Rethink Brazil's Future.

> Washington Post: It’s the middle of the night. Do you know who your iPhone is talking to?

> Axios: Alphabet’s Loon helps restore internet access in Peru:

This was due, in large part, because it had already been in talks with Telefonica to bring its service to parts of the country and had offered its service in 2017 after flooding.

> NPR: After 7-Year Battle, Amazon Nears Victory In Domain Name Dispute:

Amazon has moved closer to winning the rights to an internet domain name after years of opposition from several countries in the Amazon basin, including Brazil and Peru.

> Bloomberg: SoftBank’s Japanese telecom unit selected Nokia and Ericsson to build its 5G network, excluding long-time supplier Huawei.


> Congrats to ARCAP 🇦🇷, AMEXCAP 🇲🇽, and ABVCAP 🇧🇷 for hosting highly successful annual meetings in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and São Paulo in late May.

> 500 Startups selected 11 startups for its program in Mexico City, which includes US$60k in investment:

Mexico: AppHive, Baubap, Come Bien, DB Menos, Little Bookmates, Net Worth Consulting
Colombia: Tourbitz, Vico
Chile: AddShop, Etiner
Argentina: Slik

> #IMPACT Facebook and Puerto Rico accelerator parallel18 partnered to launch Startup Hub Caribbean, supporting Caribbean startups focused on social impact. Congrats to the first cohort:

Puerto Rico: Stageboom, Agrobeads, SharpFocusVR
Jamaica: Queritel, Hacker Hostel
Dominican Republic: Jompeame, EduPass, YoYo, Okus,TagShelf

> AWS partnered with Tec de Monterrey to support 500+ Mexican startups with up to US$10K in AWS credits.

> AWS also gave Colombian cloud telephony startup Bidda an innovation award for its WeKall product.

> Endeavor Miami launched a ScaleUp Acceleration Program. Details here.

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

> CAP Minería and Fundación Chile are looking for mining tech startups. Apply by June 9.

Scotiabank joins Visa, IGNIA and others as a corporate partner of Startupbootcamp Fintech. Apply for the acceleration program in Mexico City by June 20.

BlastU is hosting a 2-day festival on ecosystem and innovation in São Paulo, August 13-14. Details here.

BayBrazil is hosting its 8th edition Conference in Menlo Park on August 22. More info here.

LatinSF is accepting applications to join the Latin American Innovation Tour, September 9-13 in Colombia, Chile, and Argentina. Details here.

> 7 Tips for Women Pitching VCs: IDB Lab’s Susana Garcia Robles and WeXchange shared a relevant throwback from The Next Web.

Cecilia Corral’s list of 35 Latina tech founders who raised more than US$1m in funding has grown to 100.

> 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



> HBS awarded INGIA Partners co-founder Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui with the 2019 HBS Alumni Achievement Award 🏆, recognizing distinguished graduates who have contributed significantly to their companies and communities.

> Pedro Sirotsky Melzer of e.bricks Ventures for Época Negócios: O Brasil está (finalmente) abrindo os olhos para o investimento em venture capital.

On SoftBank’s US$5b fund: “Devemos olhar para movimentos como esse com muito entusiasmo, pois eles encorajam o empreendedorismo e dão o “combustível” necessário para as empresas chegarem aos próximos níveis.”



> #CHINA Buzzfeed News: US Universities And Retirees Are Funding The Technology Behind China’s Surveillance State:

Princeton University and the US’s largest public pension plan are among a number of stateside organizations funding technology behind the Chinese government’s unprecedented surveillance of some 11 million people of Muslim ethnic minorities.

> #PRIVACY Buzzfeed News: Facial Recognition Technology Is Facing A Huge Backlash In The US. But Some Of The World’s Biggest Tech Companies Are Trying To Sell It In The Gulf:

Even as the technology comes under more scrutiny in the United States, tech giants such as IBM, and China's Hikvision and Huawei, are marketing biometric surveillance systems in the UAE, where citizens have fewer options to push back.

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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