LatAm Venture Bulletin March 14, 2018

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> Colombian last-mile delivery startup Rappi raised US$185m from Delivery Hero, Sequoia Capital & Andreessen Horowitz, among others.

  • “We did a round of that size not because we’re in a battle but because we had that vision of being a little more bold, of being an everything store,” CEO Simón Borrero told Bloomberg.
  • Rappi’s network now includes “9,000 Uber-style contractors, who work for it more or less full time, and serves more than 1 million customers. It isn’t yet profitable. Restaurants make up a little less than half the orders.”

> DST Global led a US$150m investment in Brazilian fintech Nubank, 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.

  • Nubank has issued 3 million+ credit cards to Brazilians. By presidential decree, Nubank can now operate more like a bank, and recently launched NuConta, a digital transfer account, and NuRewards, a fidelity program.
  • Nubank is the second Brazilian startup and third Brazilian company in 2018 to reach unicorn status, after 🚖 rideshare company 99’s acquisition by Didi Chuxing and media company PagSeguro’s IPO on the NYSE.

> Exceed Capital Partners led a US$26.9m Series B investment in Yogome, a Mexican edtech startup making games for children, with participation from Insight Venture Partners and existing investors Variv Capital and Seaya Ventures. Yogome raised a US$6.6m Series A in 2017.

  • READ our interview with CEO Manolo Diaz (en español): Nuestro objetivo es crear una compañía que perdure por varias décadas y no que sea una moda o un producto de entretenimiento, sino realmente una necesidad. Entonces, es importante para nosotros estar a la vanguardia en términos de educación.

> Invus Opportunities made a R$54m investment in Brazilian edtech Descomplica, with participation from previous investors Valor Capital, Amadeus Capital, and Social Capital. 

> SP Ventures, Syngenta Ventures, Bunge Ventures, and Endeavor Catalyst made a US$6m Series A investment in Argentine agribusiness marketplace Agrofy, with participation from farming conglomerate Cresud. Cresud and NXTP Labs invested previously. Agrofy co-founder Alejandro Larosa says “Agriculture is becoming digital”:

Farmers have changed their behaviors and now they use their smartphones and the internet before the make any purchase or sell decision. Now they are starting to use them to buy or sell products, get a credit or insurance or hire services like harvest or freights…. We will provide them with the technology, payment and logistic solutions to let them do e-commerce.

> monashees+ and made an undisclosed Series A investment in IDwall, a Brazilian validation and identification services startup, following a R$2m investment in 2017. 500 Startups previously invested R$500k.

> #CRYPTO 💰 Medici Ventures made a US$3m follow-on investment in Bitt, a blockchain-based digital payment provider based in Barbados, following a US$4m investment in 2016. 

> Cedro Capital led a R$2m investment in Escola em Movimento, a Brazilian edtech communications platform.

> KICK Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Hitech Eletric, a maker of smart electric cars.

> FS Partners made a follow-on investment in RetailApp, a mobile/social platform based in Miami, with customers in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Asia, after an initial investment in 2017.

> Endeavor Catalyst participated in Dalus Capital’s MX$121m Series A investment in Xertica, a cloud computing startup in Silicon Valley with operations in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Ecuador. This is Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment in Peru.


> raised R$160m for its first fund.

  • Investments include fintech SmartMEI, HR platform Gupy, IT startup Terramagna, used car marketplace Volanty, online factoring platform Rapidoo, and IDwall, a validation and identification services startup. 
  • Investors in Canary’s fund include entrepreneurs Mate Pencz and Florian Hagenbuch (Printi), Júlio Vasconcellos (Peixe Urbano), Marcos de Toledo Leite and Patrick de Picciotto (MSquare), David Velez (Nubank), and Paulo Veras (99). 

> Chilean investment firm Dadneo launched its first early-stage fund, Vulcano, with US$18m to invest in emerging projects in the phase of international expansion. Dadneo has invested US$2.8m to date in TiendaNube and others.

> Brazilian accelerator WOW raised its third fund to accelerate startups. WOW has invested R$8m+ in 45 startups to date, and R$19m in new funds to invest.



> Pomona Impact will invest US$250k in Energryn, a Mexican manufacturer of low-cost hybrid water heaters, over the next five years. 

> Businessman Paulo Ferraz made a R$3m investment in Brazilian edtech startup Tamboro. Previous investors include Vox Capital and Leblon Equities.

> The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and MetLife Foundation announced US$183k in grant investments in ARTEMISIA, New Ventures, Village Capital, and World Vision Canada as part of ANDE’s Catalyst Fund.

> MetLife Foundation will provide US$3.9m to financial inclusion nonprofit Accion to enable financial service providers to better serve low-income Latin Americans. 

> The Nature-Accelerator is looking for early-stage impactful startups that are creating sustainable solutions to innovate the agriculture, forestry, natural resource and ecotourism sectors. Apply by March 15 for US$125k in equity funding.

> McKinsey Quarterly: A closer look at impact investing: “The mistaken rap on this kind of 'social' investment is that returns are weak and realizing them takes too long.”

> The Acumen Energy Impact Report looks at the impact of its energy investing over the past decade with impressive granularity using its Lean Data impact measurement tool. Acumen’s 20 energy portfolio have brought modern energy to 58 million people for the first time. ⬇️ Download the report.

> Impact investing firm Capria is seeking 3-5 investment managers based in and investing in emerging markets that can deliver superior financial returns with scalable impact. Apply by April 6.

> PARTICIPATE 📝: LAVCA and ANDE are partnering on a Latin American impact investing survey. Relevant fund managers, foundations, and other investors are invited to PARTICIPATE IN THE ONLINE SURVEY. The deadline is Friday, March 23. All respondents will receive a copy of the survey findings.



> Gympass, a Brazilian B2B gym membership platform, launched in twelve cities in the US. Gympass operates in 10+ countries. Investors include General Atlantic, Redpoint eventures, KaszeK Ventures, Valor Capital & Atomico.

> 🚖 Expansión: Brazil’s Easy doubles fleet of cars in Mexico City with purchase of Mexico’s Yaxi. EasyYaxi is looking to “Raise their level of competitiveness in this sector in the country [Mexico] compared to other apps such as Uber and Cabify.”

  • Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity, Endeavor Catalyst, GAT Investments, Liil Ventures, WTI, and others made a US$160m Series E investment in Max Mobility, the parent company of Cabify and Easy in January.
  • Meanwhile, Didi Chuxing, who agreed to acquire control of Brazil's 99 in January, is actively hiring in Mexico.
  • READ more on the global transport wars in Latin America #ITSCOMPLICATED

> Forbes: How CargoX quietly reached a US$200m run rate in just six years:

Since launching in 2011, CargoX has grown in just six years to become one of the top 10 players in Brazil’s trucking market, the third largest in the world with 2.6 million trucks on the road. 

> Bloomberg: Chinese Investors Bet on Latin America for Next Tech Gold Rush:

Chinese startups pushing into the region include Hangzhou-based Tian Ge Interactive Holdings Ltd., which wants to build an internet finance platform in Mexico. Phonemaker Transsion Holdings is preparing to set up operations in Colombia. China Mobile Games & Entertainment Group plans to distribute mobile games in Mexico. Ofo, the Beijing-based bicycle sharing service, is preparing to make its first Latin America foray by entering Mexico.

> Valor: Seleto clube dos unicórnios tem potencial para crescer.

> Axios says the death of the internet cookie is near.

> Bloomberg profiles QuintoAndar’s rapid growth in Stanford Grads Use ‘Uber of Real Estate’ to Conquer Rio Rentals.

> AT&T Foundry Innovation Center Opens in Mexico City Marking First Facility in Latin America.


> #AGTECH 🌿 Agfunder’s new report lists SP Ventures and NXTP Labs as two of the most active agtech investors globally (by deal count).

> Grabr, a US-based peer-to-peer shopping and delivery platform counts Buenos Aires as its #1 city, followed by São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Asunción, and Lima. Foundation capital recently led a US$8m investment in Grabr. 

> Copacabana Ventures published a new report on the presence of women in Brazilian VC that identifies 42 female fund managers actively investing in Brazilian venture. Firms where at least half the partners are women: Brain Ventures, Gera Ventures, Arpex Capital, Positive Ventures.

> Only 2% of venture funding went to female founders in 2017, and just 8% of partners at the top venture capital firms are women. #CHANGETHERATIO

> 25 Global Investors made debut investments in Latin American startups in 2017 and the total number of global investors has more than doubled in five years (from 36 in 2013 to 80 in 2017). ACCESS Global Investor Mapping and highlighted global investors/deals by geography/type


> 🚖 Rideshare startups are set to benefit from a new regulatory bill making its way through Brazilian Congress. Last year, competitors 99, Cabify, and Uber came together to oppose a Senate bill that would have introduced new regulations for rideshare.

> 💰 Mexico’s Ley del Fintech is nearing approval: The law will give fintech companies greater regulatory certainty around issues such as crowdfunding, payment methods, and rules surrounding cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.The law permits open banking.



> LAVCA will host VC in São Paulo, our annual meeting for fund managers in Brazil, on May 8 at Google São Paulo. More information. Request an invitation by contacting Claudia Rosenbloom.

> LAVCA will host two Workshops for Emerging VCs on May 16 (Buenos Aires) and May 17 (Santiago). The program for first-and-second-time fund managers, corporate VCs, heads of accelerators, and notable angels will focus on legal best practices to set up early-stage companies for successful follow-on financing. Request an invitation by contacting Claudia Rosenbloom.  

> MIT and MIT Sloan Club of Brazil launched the Inclusive Innovation Challenge in LatAm, to award entrepreneurs using tech to drive economic opportunity for workers. Apply by May 15.

> The IFC and Word Economic Forum selected 50 startups from LatAm & the Caribbean to attend the World Economic Forum in São Paulo. Check out the list

> Globant Ventures is hosting a launch event for its accelerator to support Argentine startups with high potential. Join Globant on March 22 in Buenos Aires. Details & RSVP here.



> Agfunder News interviews Francisco Jardim of SP Ventures On Becoming the Leading Farm Tech Investor in South America: "Our next fund is going to be 100% ag." 

> Allison Kern and Cyril Meduña talk about Morro Ventures, the first venture fund from Advent-Morro, and the opportunity to invest in tech from Puerto Rico.

> WATCH 📺 Joaquim Lima of Riverwood Capital and Angel Uribe of TPG Growth talk about capital considerations for making investments at the 2017 LAVCA Venture Investors Annual Meeting in NYC: “From our perspective, capital intensity is not the most challenging thing. It is the return on the investment.”

> WATCH 📺 Dan Green at Gunderson Dettmer explain best practices for founder equity agreements, and key issues around intellectual property at LAVCA’s 2017 program for emerging VCs.



> New Yorker on Reddit and the struggle to detoxify the Internet: "The trolls are winning."

> World Wide Web creator Tim Berners Lee talks about closing the digital divide in The web can be weaponized – and we can't count on big tech to stop it: 

I want to challenge us all to have greater ambitions for the web. I want the web to reflect our hopes and fulfill our dreams, rather than magnify our fears and deepen our divisions.


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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