LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin July 31, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> LAVCA welcomes SoftBank, Amazon Web Services, and Visa to the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, where they join Google, Microsoft, Facebook, MercadoLibre, Movile, KIO Networks, Globant, Qualcomm Ventures, Wayra/Telefonica Open Innovation, and Riverwood Capital.

Latin American Tech Growth Coalition members are leading global and Latin American tech companies and investors with a common goal of advancing high growth startups in Latin America.

> MEMBER DIRECTORY: LAVCA also published an updated directory of VC/Tech members, with profiles on 70+ firms active in Latin America.



> 🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄🦄 Brazilian fintech Nubank raised a US$400m Series F at a reported US$10b valuation. TCV led the round, with participation from existing investors Tencent, DST Global, Sequoia Capital, Dragoneer, Ribbit Capital, and Thrive Capital.

> monashees and Go4it Capital made a US$8.5m Series A investment in Fazenda Futuro, a Brazilian foodtech startup making plant-based hamburgers, at a reported US$100m valuation. Founders Marcos Leta and Alfredo Strechinsky previously launched the Do Bem beverage brand and sold it to Ambev in 2016.

> SoftBank acquired ~R$1b in shares of Banco Inter, a publicly traded Brazilian digital bank. WSJ reports SoftBank had been in talks with Nubank previously.

> Invermaster Ventures co-led a US$1m investment in Chilean biotech Levita Magnetics, after meeting at the 2018 LAVCA Venture Investors Annual Meeting.

  • Existing investors include Alex Seelenberger from Aurus Capital (co-founder and first investor), FEN Ventures (Cristóbal Silva and José Antonio Jiménez), Juan Andrés Camus, Nicolás Luksic, and Eduardo Ergas.
  • In 2018, Levita got clearance from the US FDA to market its Levita® Magnetic Surgical System for use in bariatric (weight loss) surgeries.

> Shopper, a Brazilian subscription delivery platform for consumer products, raised R$10m from Canary, former Renner CEO José Galló, Juscelino Martins of Grupo Martins, and 99/Yellow co-founder Ariel Lambrecht. Shopper raised R$4.5m from Canary in June.

> Aurus Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Chilean mining tech startup TI Mining, with participation from CLIN Fondo de Inversión Privado, a VC fund managed by Chilean NGO Fundación Chile.

> Bossa Nova Investimentos made new pre-seed investments in MyWork and Yazo.

> Brazilian agtech Perfect Flight raised R$3m from Ouro Fino Chairman Norival Bonamichi.

> #M&A Furniture and home décor marketplaces Alameda (Mexico) and Mubler (Colombia) merged under the Alameda brand and raised an undisclosed investment from Angel Ventures Mexico (through its Pacific Alliance Fund II), DILA Capital, and others.

> ChoppUp, a Brazilian IoT startup that partners with beer distributors, raised R$4m over two rounds from FINEP and undisclosed investors.

> Manutara Ventures invested US$500k in Rocketbot, a Chilean SaaS platform developing bots for process automation.

Alaya Capital Partners led a US$500k seed investment in QMATCH, a Chilean B2B comparison platform for e-commerce market intelligence, with participation from Dadneo’s Fondo Vulcano.

> #CVC Latinia invested US$300k in Mexican lending fintech Prestanómico.

> #CVC Softplan made an undisclosed investment in BIO.aps, a Brazilian healthcare communications app.

> Dataplor, a Brazilian startup crowdsourcing local retail market intelligence, raised an undisclosed seed round from Quest Venture Partners with participation from Magma Partners, ffVC, Sidekick Fund, and the Blue Startups accelerator.

> #EU German digital banking giant N26 raised a new US$170m round from GIC, Tencent, Valar Ventures, and others and is expanding to Brazil.



> e.bricks Ventures is launching a third fund with a reported US$130m target.

> SoftBank committed US$15m in capital to a Colombian government fund of funds to invest in Colombian startups. China’s Neogen Fund also committed US$15m; Bancoldex contributed US$10m. The vehicle has US$45m in committed capital against a target of US$100m.

> #CVC Brazil’s Eurofarma launched Axon Ventures, a US$12m CVC fund to invest in early-stage healthcare startups in Brazil. Eurofarma’s head of corporate venture, Paulo Braga, will lead the effort.

  • The fund made its inaugural investment in Rock Content, a Brazilian content marketing startup.


> Grow Mobility will invest US$25m in a scooter/bike factory in Manaus, Brazil, in a bid to reduce reliance on Chinese parts.

  • CEO Sergio Romo says the new factory is “not only the path to better unit economics but is a true sign of boldness and innovation in Latin America shifting away from China’s dependence and boosting local job creation.”

> Mensajeros Urbanos, a Colombian delivery startup focused on convenience stores and pharmacies, is expanding to Mexico.

> Mercado Libre is experimenting with a parcel moto-delivery service in Argentina.

> Portafolio says Nubank is preparing to launch in Colombia.

> German fintech SumUp announced plans to invest R$500m in Brazil operations.

> #M&A BTG Pactual acquired Resale, a Brazilian fintech focused on defaulted real estate financing.

> BBC: The gig economy is a double-edged sword for migrant workers:

  • Rappi has over 100,000 couriers and says 30% are migrants.
  • Co-founder Simon Borrero told the BBC that Rappi couriers get paid on average 2.5 times the minimum wage in Latin America.

> #SPACETECH Satellogic is expanding to Europe. The spacetech startup also recently partnered with China Great Wall Industry Corp to launch 90 micro-satellites aboard Chinese space rockets over the next two years. Founder/CEO Emiliano Kargieman says this is “really a milestone.”

> Exame profiles Brazilian travel meta-search app Voopter.

> Congrats to Mexican insurtech Covela for joining Y Combinator.

> Check out LAVCA’s list of 258 Latin American startups with at least US$1m in VC funding, verified by LAVCA, and our Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups.

> VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record US$2b in 2018, according to LAVCA data. Access LAVCA’s Annual Review of Tech Investment in Latin America for the details.



Minuto Seguros

Redpoint eventures and Intact Ventures disclosed 20% and 25% equity stakes respectively, totaling US$60m recently converted from debt to equity, in Minuto Seguros, a Brazilian multi-channel insurance brokerage.

Founder & CEO Marcelo Blay confirmed the company has raised a total of about US$70m from investors and currently has no debt. Blay called the deal a “great vote of confidence” in the team and the opportunity in Brazil, despite the current political/economic climate.

THE MARKET: Blay calls Brazil’s insurance market “highly underserved,” noting there are about 70,000 insurance brokers, but “almost 95% of them are very small businesses with clients that are mostly composed of friends and family.”

For Minuto Seguros, customers buying insurance for the first time represent almost 70% of new sales.

THE MODEL: Blay says insurance companies are responsible for underwriting in Brazil, but based on his experience working at two large insurance companies, he understood that, as an insurance broker, Minuto Seguros could help improve this process.

“Our business model was - and still is - effective in reaching people who never had insurance before, which means that insurance companies didn’t have enough information on that specific kind of risk. Based on that, we developed algorithms and score-based models that helped us improve insurance companies profitability and reduce fraud.”

Blay draws a parallel to Lemonade, a full-stack insurance company that just raised a US$300m round led by SoftBank at a reported US$1.7b valuation, in terms of application of data and technology to the “understanding of our customers, not just the core insurance business. Granted, Lemonade operates in a different segment, but the 'thinking' and business model are remarkably similar.”

HUMAN TOUCH: The business model has changed significantly since launching in 2011, but it still includes an in-house sales team to support first-time customers.

“Beyond just selling insurance, we are supporting financial inclusion in an emerging market like Brazil. In a way, we are teaching a broader population about insurance for the first time, and we are very proud to be part of this social transformation. It’s hard to do that without human support. Secondly, when someone has a claim, this person is typically already in a difficult situation: a car was crashed or robbed; someone was ran over; someone passed away; there was a fire; etc.

In moments like that people want to talk to people, not to a software program through a computer. We’ve learned a lot about how to deal with customers' expectations along the way. We developed a sales and post-sales technology system that helps our teams provide the right service in a fast, polite, and efficient way.”

Minuto Seguros has almost 500 employees in Brazil, and has reached gender parity, with women representing over 60% of the workforce.



> VC/tech investors, corporates, and qualified entrepreneurs are invited to join LAVCA on Thursday, September 26 in New York for the Venture Investors Annual Meeting, on the final day of LAVCA Week, followed by cocktails 🍸 hosted by Riverwood Capital. Details & registration here.

> Program Highlights:

🔥 Fireside Chat with Craig Thornburn, Director - Emerging Markets, Future Fund, Australia’s ~US$120b sovereign wealth fund

💸 Growth Capital: Is Bigger Better? With Martin Escobari, Managing Director, General Atlantic & Shu Nyatta, Partner, SoftBank

🔥 Fireside Chat with James Shen, Managing Director, Qualcomm Ventures China & Carlos Kokron, Managing Director, Qualcomm Ventures Americas

🔬 Biotech Panel with CEOs of NotCo, Miroculus, OneSkin, & Unima.

🍸 LAVCA Members are invited to a private cocktail with Silicon Valley Bank and the Tech Growth Coalition on Weds. September 25, the evening prior.



> #PE British asset manager Schroders agreed to acquire a majority stake in Swiss impact investor BlueOrchard. The deal gives Schroders access to BlueOrchard’s ~US$3.5b assets under management as of May 30, 2019. BlueOrchard is active in Latin America out of their Lima, Peru office.

> IDB Invest and Canada’s Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas (C2F) announced a gender lens climate action initiative for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The initiative is expected to leverage up to US$1b in private sector investments in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry to help the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, better prepare for climate change.

> The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) awarded the IDB Group US$24m for its Women Entrepreneurs for LAC (WeForLac) program. #CHANGETHERATIO

  • The program is expected to reach more than 19,000 women owning and running small businesses, with a focus on underserved communities in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru.

> Alterna, in collaboration with New Ventures, is hosting the Latin American Impact Investment Forum for Central America and the Caribbean (FLII CA&C) on November 13-14 in Antigua, Guatemala. More information here.

> LAVCA members have a discount to the GSG Impact Summit, hosted by the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, taking place Nov. 18-20 in Santiago, Chile. Details here. Contact Catalina Santos ( for information about the discount.

> Female entrepreneurs can apply for grants from WomenConnect Challenge, a project to bridge the gender digital divide. Apply by August 6.

> Female founders of socially-minded companies globally are invited to apply to the Cartier Womens Initiative. Details here.

  • 2019 LatAm finalists Tatiana Pimenta (Vittude) & Marcela Torres (Holacode) received US$30k in awards; winner Liza Velarde (Delee) received US$100k.

> The Millennial Impact Report looks at how millennials connect, give, and get involved with social & political causes.

> A new McKinsey study looks at the effects of executive level gender-balance on company profitability in O lugar das mulheres nas empresas.



> Stone Pagamentos and Grupo Globo launched a joint venture to provide merchant services to micro-entrepreneurs in Brazil. Stone partner Caio Fiuza, who will lead the effort, says this kind of client — who makes about R$2m in revenue per month — is “complex”: 

"It’s not just about offering a tool to process credit cards. We have to also offer credit and other services so the client can run their business.”

> Brazil is preparing a national digital identity service based on biometric data. Apparent first use cases are to monitor for voter fraud and government benefits fraud.

  • About half the Brazilian population is already registered to vote with biometric information.

> #TRADEWAR Chinese foreign direct investment in the US fell ~90% since Trump took office and DFI rules changed, affecting sectors from real estate to tech.

> ProColombia partnered with Baidu to promote Colombian tourism content, part of an uptick in partnerships between Chinese and Latin American players.

  • Baidu exited Brazil after a lengthy legal battle with security startup PSafe and the closing of its Easterly Ventures fund.

> #TECHPOLICY 🚴‍♀️ Micro-mobility policy updates:


> ABVCAP is hosting the annual Conferência Brasileira de Venture Capital in Florianópolis on August 12-13. Details here.

> BayBrazil hosts its annual conference on Aug. 22 in Silicon Valley, with speakers from DST, GGV, SoftBank, Qualcomm, and more. Tickets here.

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

> LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: Polymath Ventures is organizing a Latin American Tech Expedition to China, September 2-8. Visit Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou to connect entrepreneurs and investors with leading Chinese tech giants and top Chinese VC/PE funds to explore cross-border collaborations. 📧 Contact Ms. Yuan Li (, Director of China Initiative of Polymath Ventures, for more info. July 31 is the deadline to register.

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

> Save the date for the Peru Venture Capital Conference, hosted by COFIDE, Ministerio de Producción, Startup Perú, BID Lab, UTEC Ventures, ESAN on October 16-17 in Lima.

> Scotiabank is hosting the Latin America Innovation & Disruption Forum in Mexico City on November 12-13. Topics include retail, tech media & telecom, food & beverage, cannabis, and financials. Details here. 📧 Contact  Marcela Villarreal ( to participate.

> The University of Cambridge is hosting its first Latin American Business Summit (LABS), a five-day event in Santiago, Chile Nov. 3-8. Details here.

> DEADLINE TO APPLY: Women entrepreneurs with tech-based and STEM startups are invited to apply to the WeXchange Pitch Competition. READ LAVCA’s interviews with past winners including Lab4U, Semka Biomedical Technologies, and Agruppa. Apply by July 31.

> Puerto Rican accelerator Parallel18 is accepting applications for its 7th cohort. Startups receive US$40k (equity-free) and up to US$75k in follow-on funding. Apply here.

> The LatAm New York Accelerator, powered by ERA Global, is accepting applications for its program to help for Latin American startups accelerate their US market-entry. Details here.

> Agtech startups are invited to apply to GROW, an agtech accelerator in Singapore organized by Agfunder and Australian accelerator Rocket Seeder. Apply for US$120k in funding by August 19.

> MIT announced the 2019 MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge Regional Finalists, including Aflore, TiendaPago, {reprograma}, and Quantum Talent.

> Christine Chang of Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech says three startups from the accelerator’s current cohort launched operations in Mexico: Sonect, Ualet, and Mosabi.

> 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



> Margarise Correa of BayBrazil interviews SoftBank partner Shu Nyatta:

"I can’t speak for others, but the reason we’re excited is quite simple: there are great entrepreneurs in Latin America building really interesting businesses addressing large portions of the economy, but they have been severely starved for capital."

> Expansión interviews partners from IGNIA, ALLVP, and Mountain Nazca Mexico in Por qué no todos los fondos de inversión pueden liderar una ronda: “Ser líder de una ronda de inversión requiere experiencia, prestigio, recursos y tiempo.”

> speaks with investors from Wayra Mexico, BlueBox, and others in Emprender en México después del cierre del Inadem.

> The Shanghai Stock Exchange launched the Science and Technology Innovation Board, AKA “STAR Market,” designed to encourage Chinese tech companies to list locally.

> Crunchbase News: Q2 2019 Diversity Report: Underwhelming Funding For Female Founders, We Ask VCs Why:

About 3% of global venture capital dollar volume went to female-founded companies. That’s true for this quarter. And the three preceding.



> TheNextWeb: Venezuela appears to be leveraging cryptocurrencies as part of a larger effort to bypass US sanctions.

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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