LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin August 19, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> REMINDER: VC/tech investors, corporates, and select VC-backed startup founders and CEOs are invited to LAVCA's annual investor meeting scheduled for September 14-17.

The 2020 LAVCA Week agenda will be organized around a series of virtual meetings and content for private capital investors from Latin America and around the globe. Details and registration here.

> Highlighted Keynotes:

🔥 Fireside Chat with David Velez, CEO, Nubank

🌎 Fintech Disrupting Traditional Banking with Martin Escobari, Co-President and Managing Director of Latin America, 
General Atlantic, Osvaldo Gimenez, CEO, Mercado Pago, Ricardo Moreno, CEO, Prisma Medios de Pago, and Neal Kaupr, Senior Director,  Visa Ventures

💸 LP Fire Side Chat with Steve Nelson, CEO, ILPA, John Hershey, Director of Alternative Investments, Oregon State University, and Alison Nankivell, Vice President of Fund Investments, BDC

> Highlighted Breakout Sessions (interactive sessions with limited capacity):

📢 Breakout: How to Work with Venture Debt as an Investor with Andy Tsao, Managing Director and Head of Global Gateway, SVBJulia Figueiredo, Director for Latin America, SVB, and Andrew Kahn, Managing Director and CEO, Partners for Growth

📢 Opportunity Funds Breakout with Nicolas Szekasy, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, KaszeK Ventures

📢 CVC Breakout with Gabriela Ruggeri, Managing Partner, Overboost.vcand Hector Shibata, Director of Investment and Portfolio, AC Ventures

View the agenda-at-a-glance. Investors may REGISTER HERE. Qualified startup CEOs are also welcome to join.



> Vulcan Capital led a US$120m Series B round in Brazilian mobile game startup Wildlife Studios, with participation from Human Capital.

  • Benchmark Capital led a US$60m investment in Wildlife Studios in 2019 at a reported valuation over US$1b, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as angels Javier Olivan and Hugo Barra (Facebook), Ric Elias (Red Ventures), Micky Malta (Ribbit Capital), and Divesh Makan (ICONIQ Capital).
    🦄📏 Unicorn Leaderboard update: View LAVCA’s Unicorn Leaderboard for an updated list of known LatAm tech unicorns.

> Valor Capital and GP Investimentos led a R$66.7m round in Central de Recebíveis (CERC), a Brazilian receivables processor and clearing services provider, to expand the company’s digital platform.

> Creze, a Mexican lending platform for SMEs, raised US$12m from unnamed investors.

  • Creze was acquired by Polygon Fintech, a financial group targeting unbanked consumers, in 2019, providing an exit to backers DILA Capital and Mountain Nazca Mexico.

Navi Capital led a R$30m round in SuperSim, a Brazilian microcredit platform targeting the underbanked.


#CVC #HEALTHTECH Grupo Sabin, a Brazilian medical diagnostics company, led a R$25m Series B in Amparo Saúde, a Brazilian telemedicine startup focused on primary care, with follow-on from pediatric doctor and Itaú heir Jose Luiz Setúbal.

> #FOODTECH Jaguar Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Foodology, a Colombian foodtech leveraging the dark kitchen model to launch restaurant brands.

  • Foodology has delivered more than 90,000 orders in less than a year and is planning to expand into 8 kitchens across Medellín and Bogotá.
  • READ LAVCA’s interview with Co-Founder Daniela Izquierdo below. 

> #HRTECH Capital Indigo led a R$20m seed round in Beejobs, a Brazilian recruitment platform developing an applicant tracking system for SMEs.

> #HRTECH Canary and Valor Capital led a US$2.5m round in Caju, a Brazilian employee benefits management platform, with participation from Ariel Lambrecht, founder of Yellow and 99.

  • Caju provides employers with an all-in-one benefits card for employees, with customized spending limits for pre-approved expenses. The platform is free of charge for employers; Caju makes revenue through transaction fees.
  • Founder Eduardo del Giglio: “Unlike Caju, other corporate benefit solutions restrict spending to specific categories, regardless of what is most beneficial to the employee. With the current social isolation guidelines and the expansion of the home-office, many employees are seeing balances accumulate in [under-utilized categories] such as transportation, which could be better leveraged to fulfill other spending needs, such as food purchases.”

 #HRTECH DOMO Invest led a R$7.5m round in Allya, a Brazilian employee benefits management platform for negotiating discounts and partnerships with service providers.

> MAYA Capital and FJ Labs led a US$1.5m round in Oico, a Brazilian marketplace for construction materials.

> DOMO Invest made a R$5m investment in FindUP, a Brazilian IT maintenance and support marketplace for corporate offices and retail spaces.

  • This is DOMO Invest’s first disclosed investment from its B2B enterprise fund, DOMO Enterprise, which held its first close earlier this year.

> Alaya Capital Partners, Italbank, Ark Fund, and Ark Angels invested US$912k in Quiena Inversiones, an Argentine retail investment platform that enables investors to set up a US-based brokerage account.

> Canary led a R$2.8m round in CombuData, a Brazilian fuel prices monitoring platform for ride hailing and transportation businesses.

> Brazilian accelerator Circle invested R$2m in MKT Bank, a Brazilian fintech catering to the communications and marketing industries.

> US-based accelerator Upward invested US$300k in ImagineX, a Colombian VR/AR SaaS developer for enterprises.

  • Among its products, ImagineX provides real estate and proptech companies a VR platform to offer virtual tours to potential clients.

> Joycar, a Brazilian software platform that enables company employees to carpool to work, raied R$2.2m on Brazilian equity crowdfunding platform EqSeed.

> Noknox, a Brazilian proptech for condo service management, raised R$1m on Brazilian equity crowdfunding platform Kria.

> #LOGISTICS Invisto invested R$1m in Equilibrium, a Brazilian freight quotation and logistic tracking platform.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos invested a total of R$700k in Brazilian startups Certus, a supply chain management platform for small businesses, and Transfeera, and an open banking payment processor.

  • These are the first two investments made through Bossa Nova Investimentos’ R$5m Pool Fintech fund, led by former Banco Itaú CTO João Bezerra.

#ANGEL Anjos Alumni Colégio de São Bento invested R$3.5m in Zipp, a Brazilian online grocery store, with participation from Rafael Duton of Movile.

#ANGEL Anjos do Brasil invested R$500k in Compre Sorrindo, a Brazilian e-commerce platform focused on dental supplies for medical professionals.

#IMPACT Stanford GSB Impact Fund made an undisclosed investment in UBits, a Colombian edtech platform for corporate training with operations in Colombia and Mexico. UBits raised US$2m led by San Francisco-based Spectrum 28 Capital in 2018.

> Thinkseg, a Brazilian insurance group, made an undisclosed investment in exchange for a 30% equity stake in Comparaencasa, an Argentine insurtech focused on the retail auto market.

> Primatec, managed by Antera Gestão de Recursos, made an undisclosed investment in Sem Processo, a Brazilian legaltech aiming to optimize agreement negotiation and settlement practices for large enterprises.

> BRQ Digital Solutions made an undisclosed investment in Certdox, a Brazilian fintech streamlining financial operations and legal contracts for businesses with official registration entities across the country.

> Enterprise management platform Viasoft made an undisclosed investment in market4u, a Brazilian minimarket and autonomous dispensary provider for condominiums and corporate centers.

> CORRECTION: Last issue we reported MatterScale Venture’s US$5m investment in Torre, a Colombian talent search and job matching platform targeting young professionals. MatterScale participated in the round, but did not commit the total amount, as we indicated previously.

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$4.6b in 2019, according to LAVCA data



> San Francisco-based Devlabs Ventures raised US$8m with support from CORFO to invest in 30 software companies in Chile in the next three years.

> Vox Capital partnered with Brazilian investment manager Empírica to launch Empírica-Vox Impacto, a R$9m credit fund for fintech startups focused on microlending products for SMEs.

> #CVC Banco do Brasil launched Programa de Investimento em Startups, a CVC fund with R$100m in committed capital, with plans to commit up to another R$100m.

  • The initiative is part of Banco do Brasil’s R$2.3b investment in technology infrastructure announced during the bank’s Q2 quarterly earnings.




Foodology, a Colombian foodtech leveraging the dark kitchen model to launch restaurant brands in Bogota, just closed an investment round led by Jaguar Ventures, with participation from XFactor, Ideas VC & Impact Investing, NOA Capital, Innogen Capital Ventures, and Apostolos Apostolakis of VentureFriends. LAVCA interviewed Foodology co-founder Daniela Izquierdo for insight into the company’s business model and its current standing amid the C19 crisis.

LAVCA: Why did you launch Foodology back in 2019?

Our dream to launch Foodology started in a classroom at Harvard Business School. Both [co-founder] Juan Guillermo Azuero and I have always been passionate about the restaurant industry and took the only course dedicated to this industry, where we identified how fast the food delivery trend has been growing, and how little restaurants have innovated to better serve this market.

We also both shared a passion for coming back to Colombia, our home country, and creating a business that would help shape a new economy. We started building Foodology right after graduation and opened our first kitchen October 2019. Today we have six kitchens in Bogota and will launch our first kitchen in Medellin by the end of this month.

READ about Foodology's thinking behind launching new brands and the changes in demand they have seen during the C19 crisis.



> #M&A Stone announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Linx, a Brazilian retail management software provider, for R$6b. Former Valor reporter Gustavo Brigatto reports TOTVS also has a bid out to acquire Linx. Stay tuned.

> #M&A Riverwood-backed Conductor, a Brazilian fintech focused on card issuance and payment management, acquired Muxi, a Brazilian fintech providing SMEs and retailers with transaction capturing services at points of sale.

> #M&A Magazine Luiza acquired Canaltech, a Brazilian online media outlet, and the content platform of In Loco Media, a Brazilian adtech providing intelligence based on location data.

  • In Loco raised a US$20m Series B in 2019 led by Valor Capital and Unbox Capital, the Trajano family office, with participation from Naspers and others.

> #M&A Santander Brasil acquired a 80% stake in Gira, a Brazilian fintech focused on receivables processing for agribusiness companies. Gira raised R$6m from Cedro Capital in 2018.

> #M&A #HEALTHTECH Afya Limited, a Brazilian medical education group, acquired PEBMED, a Brazilian clinical diagnostics software platform for doctors, nurses, and medical students.

> Colombian grocery delivery startup Merqueo launched a marketplace for third-party sellers and expanded its product offering to include pets, pharma, and liquor.

  • Merqueo also announced that all express deliveries will now be operated by a fleet of delivery women.

> Sempli, a Colombian lending platform for SMEs, announced the launch of a fully digital credit card for businesses to cover vendor and supplier payments. Sempli raised a US$8m Series A led by Oikocredit and Incofin CVSO in 2019, with participation from IDB Lab, XPT1 Fund, Generación Exponencial, and Impulsum Ventures.

  • Sempli is run by former Velum Ventures partner Esteban Velasco.

> Ecuadorian digital payments processor Kushki recently expanded to Mexico.

  • Founder Sebastian Castro: “We think there is an important opportunity to grow in Mexico, because even when there are already a good number of payment processor companies in the market, they don’t even account for 4% of the total payment volume.”

> Riverwood-backed VTEX announced it will be launching a software development hub in Mexico City this November.

  • This represents the third market for the Brazilian e-commerce platform, which currently has operations in Argentina and Colombia.

> David Velez of Nubank shares his view on the company’s future expansion plans and the opportunity to grow in the Mexican market. Join us for a keynote discussion with Velez on Sept. 16 as part of LAVCA Week.

> Mexican logistics startup iVoy disclosed a data breach that left a significant share of its customers’ data exposed back in late July.

> Check out LAVCA’s 2020 directory of 126 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA (as of end-2019), our Unicorn Leaderboard, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.



> SIGN UP for a bi-weekly newsletter covering cross-border tech transactions and innovations with cross-border applications in a rapidly changing world. Geographies include Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, and other emerging venture+tech markets. View the latest issue, and sign up here.



> #POLICY Mexico’s Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV) will resume its review process for fintechs interested in operating under the Ley Fintech. The CNBV paused all related operations at the outset of the C19 crisis; 96 startups are currently standing by to receive the regulators approval, according to the Mexican outlet El CEO.

> Facebook launched a transparency toolkit in Mexico to improve the platform’s control over political ads and information integrity. The new tools will allow the company to publicly disclose the source of funding of political campaigns and the audience they were intended for.

  • Mexico is the 33rd country where this initiative is now being implemented, according to Forbes.

> #CRYPTO Visa partnered with Tauros, a US-based online banking and cryptocurrency exchange platform, to issue a debit card in Mexico that allows users to convert crypto balances into Mexican pesos and pay at any point of sale.

> Mercado Libre has become the company with the highest market capitalization in Latin America, with a total value of US$60b as of August 6.

> Kamay Ventures partnered with IBM Argentina to provide additional tech infrastructure to eligible portfolio companies in the process of finding product-market fit.

> Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) partnered with iNNpulsa Colombia to launch a smart city laboratory to advance initiatives in public urban infrastructure and natural resource management, within the framework of the Plan de Desarollo de Medellín.

> NeoFeed: O jeito diplomatico de investir (e de encontrar unicornios) do Valor Capital.

> FT reviews China’s in-kind donations and technical support to Latin American countries in an attempt to alleviate the C19 crisis in the region.

> NYT on the current state of the C19 crisis in Mexico: I’d Rather Stay Home and Die.



 > Hector Shibata of AC Ventures shares his views on the future of the last-mile logistics industry, and reviews the strategic positioning, structure, and competitive advantages of a CVC fund.


> Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann shares his view on his current investment activity in technology companies in a conversation with Brex Founder Henrique Dubugras during the Annual Leaders Meeting at Fundação Estudar.

> Tonatiuh Rodríguez of Azteca Servicios Financieros and Fernando Solís of Grupo Financiero Banorte share their view on the current involvement of Mexican pension funds and Afores in venture capital and the necessary regulation to increase institutional backing of the asset class.

> Global Washington reviews the ways in which Capria Ventures is supporting the venture capital fund managers in emerging markets amid the current C19 pandemic.

> LAVCA Executive Advisor Susana Garcia-Robles shares her view on the impact of the current C19 crisis on the venture capital landscape in Latin America and suggests it’s time for investors to “get back to basics”.

> Greg Mitchell and Elizabeth Acuña of Angel Ventures share their view on the increasingly important role of women in the fintech landscape in Latin America.


> Congratulations to the companies selected to participate in Google for Startups Brazil: Blox, CM Tecnologia, Delfos, Dom Rock, EUNERD, Hi Technologies, MOL, Movva, Pravaler, and Vindi.

> Congratulations to the four Chilean startups that have been selected for the final round of the Alibaba GET Global Challenge 2020: Nibi, Conectir, Consultorio Jurídico Virtual, and The Hootie.

> Congratulations to the six companies from ACE’s portfolio selected as part of the 100 Startups to Watch by Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios: JetBov, Convenia, FixIt, NetShowMe, Justto, and N2B.

> SVB and EMPEA hosted a panel with Yar-Ping Soo of Adams Street Partners, Sandeep Naik of General Atlantic, and Eric Acher of monashees to discuss their perspectives on the 2020 global VC landscape. Watch the recording here.

> PECAP and Angel Ventures will host a session on fundraising best practices for first-time founders on August 19 as part of the Peru Venture Capital Series. Register here.

PECAP invites investors, startups, corporates, and other actors in the VC ecosystem to its 5th Perú Venture Capital Series 2020 (PVCS20) taking place August 19, 26 and 27. The event will focus on local and regional Peru VC activity. Access is complementary. Register here. 

 IDB Lab opened registration for WeXchange’s Women STEMpreneurs Competition 2020 in November. Founders are welcome to register until August 23.

  • The program includes a new track for women entrepreneurs raising late seed to Series B rounds, and up to US$1m in IDB Lab funding for a selected finalist.

> Finnovista will host a virtual discussion on August 23 on the current stage of the gig economy featuring Jenny Jonhnston of Flourish Ventures, Mato Jaramillo of Heru, and Andres Fontao of Finnovista. Register here.

Endeavor opened applications for its scale-up program for companies in the healthtech and construction sectors. Applications close August 28. 

EmbrapaVenture Hub, and Bayer’s agricultural division launched an acceleration program for agtech startups in Brazil. Applications close September 1.

ProColombia will host the sixth edition of the Colombia Investment Summit on October 7-9. Registration is now open.

> Facebook launched Facebook Accelerator: Connectivity, and Facebook Accelerator: Commerce, two 12-week programs aimed at improving availability and affordability of internet access in Latin America. 



> GPT-3 is the new hot thing in AI development, and can “read and write” human language.

  • GPT-3 can use its vast dataset to predict words, but as Amonkar of Fractal Analytics notes, "It most probably does not even have any semantic understanding of the underlying words."

> WSJ: How a 30-ton robot could help crops withstand climate change.

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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