LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin October 17, 2018

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> 🦄 #UNICORNS Nubank doubled its valuation to US$4b this year with a US$180m investment from Tencent, representing about a 5% stake in the company. US$90m was a direct investment from Tencent; the other US$90m in equity was purchased from existing shareholders.

  • In March 2018, DST Global led a US$150m round in Nubank at a valuation over US$2b, with participation from Thrive Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, and existing investors Founders Fund, Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital, and QED Investors. Previous investors include KaszeK Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Tiger Global Management.
  • Tencent’s last disclosed direct investment in Latin America was a 2017 Series B in Satellogic, an Argentine space exploration platform.
  • 99, Rappi, PagSeguro, and Arco Educação also reached unicorn status this year.

> SoftBank invested US$100m in Loggi, a Brazilian shipping logistics platform, as part of a new US$111m round with participation from KaszeK Ventures and others. Loggi previously raised capital from Qualcomm Ventures, monashees, and Dragoneer Investment Group.

> Goldman Sachs led a US$34m investment in Ualá, an Argentine mobile banking app, with participation from monashees, Ribbit Capital, Jefferies Group, Cohen’s Point72 Ventures, and Soros' family office.

> SkyDrop, a Mexican shipping logistics platform for online retailers, raised US$5m from Variv Capital, Y Combinator, FJ Labs, Sierra Ventures, EasyPost, Soma Capital, Sinai Ventures, GMF, and Dynamo, a previous investor. SkyDrop participated in Y Combinator’s Spring 2018 cohort.

> HCS Capital Partners invested US$3m in Jooycar, a Chilean insurance tech platform for real-time automotive data.

> Angel Ventures led a US$1.3m seed investment in Homie, a Mexican residential rental platform, with participation from Narval Capital and Plug and Play San Francisco.

> Angel Ventures Peru led a US$350k seed investment in FitCo, a Peruvian gym management startup that also operates in Mexico, Chile, and Colombia. CEO Andrea Baba says she plans to use the funding to grow revenue in these markets and expand to Argentina.

> Chilean Fondo CLIN invested US$300k in Instacrops, a crop monitoring platform, and US$300k in SimpleRoute, a logistics platform. Fondo CLIN is administered by Fundación Chile, with funding from Corfo, family office Zoma Capital, Entel, and Engie Factory.

> Dux Capital made an undisclosed investment in transcription startup Atexo

> Vector Inovação e Tecnologia (Vit) acquired a controlling stake in Brazilian fintech Beblue, a payments and loyalty platform for small merchants.

> Wharton Angels invested US$500k each in lending startup Flexipag, fashion marketplace Repasa, and edtech Tutor Mundi.

> GV Angels invested US$101k in Instaviagem, a Brazilian travel service for last-minute adventures.

> CORRECTION: Artesanal brewery Cervejeria 3Cariocas raised R$2m (not R$3m) on equity crowdfunding platform Eqseed.



> Brazilian retailer Mundo Verde acquired 100% of Natue, an ecommerce platform for natural products in Brazil, providing an exit to majority stakeholder Project A Ventures.



> Brazilian logistics software startup Loggi acquired adtech startup Worldsense for an undisclosed amount.

> Senior Solution, a Brazilian software solutions provider for the financial industry, acquired software provider ConsultBrasil for R$6.8m.



> LAVCA and ANDE launched a new report on the impact investing landscape in Latin America, based on surveys with 67 impact investors in the region. Key findings:

  • Total AUM allocated to impact investing in Latin America are estimated to be US$4.7b.
  • 55 investors reported making investments in the region for 2016-2017, deploying US$1.4b through 860 investments.
  • Top sectors: Microfinance (US$782m, 369 deals) & agriculture (US$300m, 276 deals), together representing 75% of the total capital deployed in the region.
  • Peru was the largest market for MFI deals (US$155m), followed by Ecuador (US$101m) and Nicaragua (US$89m).
  • The tech sector was a key area of focus, with information and communication technology capturing US$146m. A considerable portion of this went to fintech opportunities, receiving US$51m across 26 deals.

> ANDE is hosting events in Brazil and Mexico to launch the LAVCA/ANDE impact report.

> ImpactAlpha: Peru tops Latin America in impact investments.

> FT looks at impact versus ESG versus ethical investing.

> Chilean recycling and sustainability B Corp TriCiclos worked with Pepsico and Universidad de Santiago de Chile to redesign packaging for the Lay’s Artesanas brand using a vegetable base and reduced carbon output.

  • TriCiclos raised US$2.6m from FCP Innovación SP, the corporate venture fund of Colombian utility EPM, FIS_Ameris, Australian fund Small Giants, and William McDonough in 2018. MOV Investimentos invested previously.

> Katapult Accelerator is accepting applications for its fourth batch. Apply for US$150k in funding by Nov. 9. More info here.

> GIIN Investor Forum is October 30-31 in Paris, France.

> FLII Central America and the Caribbean is November 7-8 in Guatemala.



> #BIGNEWS After years of making billions of dollars off their patents, Microsoft is making its 60,000+ patents available to the Open Innovation Network to help protect Linux and open source. OIN’s founding members include Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat, and Sony.

  • Former CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux a cancer in 2001.
  • Microsoft’s US$7.5b acquisition of GitHub in 2018 indicated a different direction on open source. Microsoft VP Nat Friedman said, "If you're looking for signs that we are serious about being the world's largest open source company, look no further."

> Reuters looks at how Mexican retailer OXXO is moving into e-commerce through partnerships with Conekta to enable cash payments for over 1,000 online retailers, and with Amazon for in-store merchandise pick up.

> TechCrunch looks at the role of local and global accelerators in Latin America’s startup development.

> Facebook pivoted its telco partnership to bring people online in underserved markets from offering free access to helping telecom providers build networks at lower cost through the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), in partnership with Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Intel, Cisco, Broadcom, and others.

> Facebook’s Building 8 hardware lab prototyped a device that lets you hear through your skin by translating sound into felt vibrations.

> Google ran a censored version of its search engine from 2006-2010 before closing it due to political pressure in the US. Now, there are plans to bring it back to the world’s largest digital population: China has some 750m internet users, more than the entirety of the European market, and almost double the current Latin American market.



> kubo.financiero, a Mexican peer to peer lending platform, has disbursed over MX$560m across over 19,000 credit lines to date. kubo.financiero raised a US$7.5m Series A in 2016 from Bamboo Finance, Endeavor Catalyst, Monex, KuE Capital and previous, investors Alta Ventures, Capital Invent, Vander Capital Partners, and Wayra.

> WSJ and Época Negócios look at the rise of unicorn Brex, a startup offering corporate credit cards for US-based startups. Brex is founded by Brazilians Henrique Dubugras and Pedro Franceschi, who dropped out of Stanford.

> Forbes looks at how Ripio, Ualá, and Increase are increasing access to financial services in Argentina.

> Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech in Latin America shares some numbers on growth in its current cohort: Expediente Azul, Facturedo, Pagamobil, and Quotanda.

> Edtech Yogome has closed down.

> Check out LAVCA’s list of 256 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA. Sort by geo, sector, and stage of investment.


> Join AMEXCAP for its annual Mexico VC Day in San Francisco on Oct. 19. Details here.

> Smart Capital is Oct. 22-23 in Medellín. Details here.

> Corporación Ventures is hosting the Latin American Ventures Summit on Oct. 30-31 in Cartagena, Colombia. Access the agenda.

> Scotiabank hosts its first LatAm Ecommerce and Technology Forum on November 6 in Mexico City to connect its investment clients with leading FOs, VCs, and startups in Mexico and across the region. Email Marcela Villarreal ( to request an invitation. 

> Join us for WeXchange, a forum to connect high-growth entrepreneurs with mentors and investors, November 6-7 in Lima, Peru.

> TechCrunch hosts Startup Battlefield on Nov. 8 in São Paulo. Agenda and details here.

> Resultados Digitais hosts its annual RD Summit in Florianopolis Nov. 7-9 and expects a crowd of 10,000 attendees from Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia. Details here.

> Join the NVCA for their first conference on Emerging Technology Meets National Security, Nov. 14 in Washington D.C.

> Seedstars will be in Panama on Oct. 25 and Guatemala on Nov. 7. Seedstars also hosts its LatAm Summit Dec. 5-6 in Lima. Details here.

> Globant Ventures and the British Embassy’s Department of International Trade launched the Latin America Createch Competition to support creative technology entrepreneurs in Digital Media, Animation, Gaming, and Immersive Technologies. Entrepreneurs from Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, and Argentina can apply here to receive a trip to the UK to participate in London Tech Week and Createch and receive advising services.



Jennifer Reyna founded Gaszen in Mexico in 2016 to disrupt how energy is consumed in Latin America. Gaszen's IoT gas management solution puts an emphasis on building a community and empowering users with a powerful range and a fair price using embedded software technology.


LAVCA interviewed Jennifer Reyna about the benefits of building a startup in Mexico, the challenges of being a woman entrepreneur, and how winning WeXchange in 2017 helped her grow her business and network. Check it out here.

The cost of operations is, without a doubt, the best benefit of running a startup out of Mexico. Our team in the US would consist of two engineers. For the same spend in Mexico, we have six engineers (two with more than twelve years of experience and patents) plus six business collaborators. The low cost of operations allows us to build our service and product at the same stage as some of our competitors with one-third of the funding.



📋 LAVCA, with the support of Facebook, is conducting the first-ever survey of Latin American startups.

We want to tell the world how many jobs startups in the region are creating, what the gender diversity is among startup founders, challenges for startup growth, and the impact startups are making in their market, sector, and community. Results will be shared globally to help put Latin American tech innovation on the map 🗺️.

✔️PARTICIPATE IN THE SURVEY. This survey is multiple choice and should take a startup CEO or founder no more than 12-15 minutes to complete. 



> Manoel Lemos of Redpoint eventures looks at the growth of Brazilian healthtech startups offering healthcare on demand, telemedicine, e-prescriptions, and healthcare data analytics.

> Marcelo Sato of Astella Investimentos also recently shared perspective on the healthtech opportunity in Brazil.

> AgFunder News maps out the agtech ecosystem in Argentina, interviewing Camila Petignat of The Yield Lab, and others.

> Micky Malta, the Venezuelan co-founder of Ribbit Capital, tells Bloomberg, “Argentina doesn’t scare me.”



> VentureBeat looks at the blockchain opportunity in Argentina, including ~US$77m in token sale funding for Ripio, Decentraland, AstorGame, and Flixxo.


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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