LatAm Venture Bulletin
LatAm Venture Bulletin November 11, 2020

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> ♀️ LAVCA is seeking nominations for its lists of Top Women Investors and Emerging Women Investors in Latin America VC+Tech.

ACCESS the form to nominate senior, mid, and junior-level female investment professionals on your radar that are deploying capital from a fund and women angel investors committing over US$50k to LatAm tech startups. 




US-based hedge fund Viking Global Investors led a US$150m round in Conductor, a Brazil-based payments processor and card issuance provider for fintechs, with participation from Advent affiliate Sunley House Capital, and follow-on from Riverwood Capital and Visa.

  • In 2018, Visa Ventures made its first investment in Brazil in Conductor.
  • READ LAVCA’s interview with Chief Strategy Officer Marcelo Jacques below👇

IDB Invest led a US$15m round in GAIA, a Mexican digital on-demand furniture and interior design platform.

  • Rise Capital led the US$15m Series B in 2018, and co-led the US$2.5m Series A with Capital Invent in 2015.

#CVC Brazilian steel producer Gerdau invested R$60m in Brasil ao Cubo, a Brazilian startup enabling off-site modular construction for commercial real estate development.

#CROSSBORDER #ECOMMERCE Budapest-based VC fund PortfoLion and the Polish National Center for Research and Development invested US$5.3m in edrone, a Polish customer service and marketing automation platform for ecommerce. edrone intends to double down on its presence in Brazil, where it launched three years ago, according to Brazil COO Felippe Pereira: “Latin America is the right place for ecommerce companies. In Brazil alone, this year we had a 130% growth in revenue.”

Vine Capital led a US$4m round in Tül, a Colombian supply chain management platform connecting construction material manufacturers with SMEs.

  • Tül is currently in three cities across Colombia and just launched its international expansion by opening its fourth center in Ecuador.
  • Co-Founder and CEO Enrique Villamarín: “We want to be the first application in the construction material space to think about the industry from a bottom-up instead of a top-down approach. We want to empower the local hardware store owner, who has known his local community for decades and who is usually the last node in the supply chain, to become not only a product distributor, but also a financial credit and lending service enabler.”

#HEALTHTECH KaszeK Ventures and Peninsula, the family office of Abilio Diniz, led a R$17m round in Cuidas, a Brazilian enterprise primary care platform for employees, with participation from 3G Capital founder Jorge Paulo Lemann.

  • KaszeK Ventures and Canary invested R$5m in Cuidas in 2018.

> #AGTECH SP Ventures invested R$14m in Traive, a Brazilian lending platform for agricultural producers, with participation from Bread & Butter Ventures and Techstars.

> #HRTECH Astella Investimentos led a US$1.4m round in BossaBox, a Brazilian on-demand platform connecting SMEs with remote teams of product managers and software developers, with participation from Redpoint eventures and MIT Angels.

> #GOVTECH Astella Investimentos invested R$8m in Gove, a Brazilian public finance management platform for municipalities.

  • Gove has enabled local governments to better manage income tax revenues and purchase medical equipment during the current C19 crisis.

#CVC Citi Ventures, the CVC arm of Citigroup, made an undisclosed investment in Arcus, a Mexican payment infrastructure provider for retailers and traditional banking institutions.

> #HRTECH MAYA Capital made an undisclosed investment in SafeSpace, a Brazilian workplace misconduct prevention reporting platform, with participation from angels Ariel Lambrecht (99), Luciana Caletti (LoveMondays), Mariana Ramos (Gupy), Ann Williams (Creditas), and Felipe Affoso (SoftBank).

> London-based VC Passion Capital led a US$1.4m round for Warren, an Estonia-based self-service distributed cloud platform with operations in Brazil.

> #ANGEL BR Angels led a R$3m in Nvoip, a Brazilian B2B cloud-based telecommunications platform, with participation from Bossa Nova Investimentos and Cedro Capital.

> Fuse Capital invested R$3m in Pink, a Brazilian customer service and internal communication platform for ecommerce businesses.

> #IoT EDP Ventures invested R$2m in Time Energy, a Brazilian manufacturer of IoT devices to monitor energy consumption data in retail stores and commercial establishments.

> US-based accelerator Product Club invested R$1.8m in AZpop, a Brazilian on-demand platform for hiring construction, personal wellness, and food services professionals that runs on WhatsApp.

> #GOVTECH Cedro Capital invested R$1.5m in DataPolicy, a Brazilian open regulation platform for companies and NGOs that monitors the performance of politicians and regulatory agencies across Brazil.

> Condopay, a Brazilian payment platform for condominium rentals, raised R$500k from undisclosed angels.

> Nubimetrics, an Argentine data analytics platform for ecommerce, raised a US$2.5m Series A from undisclosed investors.

> #BLOCKCHAIN G2 Momentum Capital made an undisclosed investment in KOIBANX, an Argentine blockchain-based fintech offering cash management and investment services for SMEs.

> #CROWDFUNDING Nextale, a Brazilian digital book publishing platform, raised R$400k through Confiance Invest, a Brazilian equity crowdfunding platform.

  • Brazilian family office ALFP Participações was one of the 21 investors participating in the round.



> #ECOMMERCE #EXIT Brazilian pet marketplace Petlove acquired DogHero, a pet lodging and daycare services platform with operations in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.

  • This is Petlove’s third acquisition after acquiring Vetus this September and VetSmart in 2019.
  • Seattle-based pet sitting marketplace Rover exited its participation through the transaction, after leading a US$7m round in DogHero in 2019; IGNIA also had a partial exit, after leading a US$2.5m round in DogHero in 2018 alongside Global Founders Capital.
  • DogHero raised US$2.5m from IGNIA Partners and Global Founders Capital in 2018, after raising US$3.1m in 2016.
  • L Catterton made an undisclosed investment in PetLove in June. SoftBank invested US$48m in April 2020.

> Confrapar and Crescera Investimentos exited Vindi, a Brazilian billing automation platform, through a R$180m sale to Locaweb, a Brazilian web services hosting platform.

  • Vindi raised R$20m from Confrapar in 2019 and R$5.8m from Crescera Investimentos in 2017.

> #HEATHTECH Cedro Capital exited iMedicina, a Brazilian healthtech management platform, through a sale to Conexa Saúde, a Brazilian telemedicine marketplace. 

  • Conexa Saúde raised a R$40m Series B from General Atlantic and Igah Ventures (formerly e.Bricks Ventures) in July.
  • Cedro Capital made a US$2.5m investment in iMedicina in 2018.



> In September, Brazil’s antitrust agency CADE approved the sale of Brazilian real estate platform Grupo ZAP to Naspers-backed OLX Brasil.

  • OLX Brasil’s intention to acquire Grupo ZAP was first announced in March 2020.
  • Grupo ZAP was formed when startup VivaReal, backed by monashees, KaszeK Ventures, and others, merged with Grupo Globo’s real estate platform in 2017.
  • See VivaReal and other highlighted LatAm startups that have been acquired or listed.

> Visa acquired YellowPepper, a Miami-based mobile banking and payments platform for companies in Latin America.

  • Visa led a US$12.5m in YellowPepper in 2018 in its first startup investment in Latin America. LIV Capital led a US$19m Series C in 2015.

> #IMPACT #AGTECH Acceso, a social business initiative focused on providing food security and market access to smallholder farmers in El Savaldor, Haiti, and Colombia, acquired Extensio, a Mexico-based B-corp agtech platform for crop monitoring and supply management for small producers in Mexico.

  • Acceso spun out of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (CGEP) in February.



> Patrick Arippol of DGF Investimentos launched Alexia Ventures, a Brazilian early stage VC fund with a US$100m target to invest Series A rounds in Brazilian startups focused on software, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. 

> Brazilians Paulo Mattos of IG4 Capital and Luigi Cosenza formerly of cell tower management company BR Towers launched Capital Lab, a new London-based VC fund with a US$100m target to invest in Latin American, European, and Israeli early stage companies.




Conductor's CSO Marcelo Jacques, Executive Director Anderson Olivares, and CEO Antonio Soares

Conductor, a Brazil-based payments processor and card issuance provider for fintechs, recently raised a US$150m round led by Viking Global Investors, with participation from Advent affiliate Sunley House Capital, and follow-on from Riverwood Capital and Visa. Conductor also represents Visa Ventures’ first investment in Brazil, when they committed an undisclosed amount in 2018.

LAVCA interviewed Conductor’s Chief Strategy Officer Marcelo Jacques to learn more about the company’s current standing amid the C19 crisis and its roadmap towards becoming a publicly traded company.

LAVCA: Conductor was founded in 1997. Can you share with us some numbers that can help us better understand the company’s growth and scale in recent years?

Marcelo: We have been a very high-growth company since 2012. We have seen a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 40-50% for the past eight years. We now enable more than 200 companies to offer payment and digital banking solutions to their clients, while processing more than R$10b in monthly transactions and serving 100m customer accounts. It is important for us to say that our scaling trajectory has not been based on achieving growth at all costs; we are a profitable business and always look for the correct balance between growth and profitability.

LAVCA: How is Conductor thinking about allocating the US$150m just raised through this latest round of financing?

Marcelo: We do not have a formal allocation for the proceeds. The ultimate allocation will depend on the opportunities that arise. What we can say for sure is that we are going to continue expanding our business aggressively. Regardless of the organic or inorganic nature of the growth opportunity at hand, we will allocate resources in any project we believe is adherent to our vision and that strengthens our position as the leading payments processing and banking-as-a-service technology provider in Latin America.

READ the full interview including how Conductor’s executive team thinks about the road to IPO.



> #CROSSBORDER Chilean foodtech NotCo launched NotMilk, a plant-based milk alternative, in Whole Foods stores in the US.

  • NotCo announced it will open a second office in New York to host its commercial operations.
  • NotCo raised a US$85m Series C from L Catterton and Future Positive in September, 2020. The Craftory and Bezos Expeditions made inaugural investments in LatAm through NotCo’s US$30m Series A in 2019, alongside MAYA Capital and KaszeK Ventures.
  • NotMilk is NotCo’s first plant-based dairy product line to reach the US market; Brazilian foodtech Fazenda Futuro also launched a plant-based chicken product to enter the US food market, supported by the ~US$25m round raised from BTG Pactual and ENFINI Investments in September, 2020.

> iFood launched a free digital bank account powered by Movile and Zoop, in an attempt to create the first “bank for restaurants.”

> Rest of World features MUY CEO Jose Guillermo Calderon in The man who built the future of dining: “I was CEO and cofounder of a delivery platform [Delivery Hero] for over a decade. I knew I could build a better product by combining the cloud-kitchen approach with technology and my experience in the market.”

> Ximena Alemán of Mexican open banking platform Prometeo discusses the current gender gap for startups looking to raise VC financing.

> FT features fintechs Zinobe, Movii, and Mesfix, and reviews the current fintech opportunity in Colombia in Colombian fintechs fill Latin American banking gaps.

> Cabify exited its operations in Panama and Dominican Republic this past Monday as it looks for viable paths towards profitability.

> 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.



📣 LAVCA is seeking nominations for the upcoming monthly publication of individual investment cases in an effort to feature timely examples of value creation at the portfolio company level. Access past case studies hereOpen exclusively to LAVCA member firms, deal cases will also be considered for the🏆 Latin American Private Equity Awards.

Complete the online submission form. A PDF submission form can be sent to fund managers upon request. LPs and service providers can also nominate deals using thisshort form. Questions can be directed to Catalina Santos.


 READ the latest in a series of deal cases featuring LAVCA member investor Oria Capital's investment in Brazilian software/CPaaS company Zenvia.

The case study includes the transaction details, sector and consolidation opportunities, deal execution, and ESG considerations, as well as COVID-19 efforts from the last several months.

Oria assisted in the creation of a dedicated M&A team, resulting in the acquisition of four companies over a two-year period. In July 2020, Zenvia announced the acquisition of Sirena, a WhatsApp communication solutions platform based in Argentina and with presence in Mexico and the US... the acquisition of Sirena is set to further strengthen Zenvia’s product portfolio and international reach.

DOWNLOAD the full deal case here.



> SIGN UP for a bi-weekly newsletter covering cross-border tech transactions and innovations with cross-border applications in a rapidly changing world. Geographies will include Latin America, Africa, India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and other emerging VC markets. 

VIEW the archive of previous editions and sign up here.



> #POLICY Brazil’s President Bolsonaro sent the Marco Legal das Startups to the National Congress on October 19.

> Globant partnered with Dr. Beatriz Diuk of the Argentine National Scientific and Technical Research Council (Conicet) to launch Dale!, a mobile videogame to combat illiteracy in Argentina.

> Amazon announced the opening of three additional logistics centers in Brazil in Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, and Brasilia, for a total of eight centers focused on ecommerce in the country.

  • Amazon Brazil CEO Alex Szapiro: “Brazil is the country with the fastest growth in Amazon Prime subscriptions.”

> Global Entrepreneurship Monitor partnered with Babson College to publish the 2020 Family Entrepreneurship Report, a study of the current state of family-led startups and SMEs in 48 economies.

  • "In every participating Latin American and Caribbean economy, over three-fourths of entrepreneurs involve family in their startups, with family involvement being the highest in Argentina (92%) and Panama (99%)."

> #C19 Reuters: Pfizer vaccine trial success signals breakthrough in pandemic battle:

  • “Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE estimate they can roll out up to 50 million [C19 vaccine] doses this year, enough to protect 25 million people, and then produce up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021.”

 Aljazeera: Millions of Brazilians at risk of slipping back into poverty.

> El Economista: Mexico, el destino favorito de las startups chilenas: ProChile.



> #C19 The Rockefeller Foundation announced plans to allocate US$1b over the next three years to address the pandemic and its aftermath, with an emphasis on targeting energy poverty, according to Axios:

  • “The Rockefeller Foundation's US$1b commitment is the largest in its 107-year history, and will primarily focus on expanding access to COVID-19 tests and vaccines, as well as investing in distributed green power sources for the more than 800 million people stuck in energy poverty.”

> Anderson Thees of Redpoint eventures shares his views on the drivers accelerating artificial intelligence adoption in Brazil and the technology’s role in solving diversity and human bias issues.

 Ernesto Torres Cantú of Citi Latin America shares his view on specific actions that must be taken by big banks to support Latin American women entrepreneurs in a post-C19 landscape, including increasing access to credit and support networks.


> #WATCH #TODAY LAVCA CEO Ivonne Cuello during the FT Global Boardroom Virtual Summit alongside Mercado Libre Founder Marcos Galperin in the panel LatAm Tech in the Spotlight: Opportunities for Growth, Leapfrogging, and Social Impact today November 12 at 4pm EST. Register here.

> EMPEA will host a GP-led training on emerging markets secondaries and their part in the current private capital markets liquidity landscape on November 19. Registration is now open for GPs. LAVCA member GPS have a complimentary pass to participate.

> Financial Times will host Women at the Top USA, a program to discuss the role of gender equality with Arianna Huffington (Huffington Post), Gloria Steinem (New York Magazine), and Gloria Allred (Allred, Maroko & Goldberg) on November 18-19. Registration is now open. LAVCA members get a 25% discount (use your LAVCA login for the code here).

> AC Ventures will host a panel discussion on the latest trends and insights into IoT-enabled businesses on November 18. Registration is now open.

> ACVC, ARCAP, and Uruguayan Promoción de Exportaciones e Inversiones will host the first Southern Cone Investment Forum on November 25 and 26.

> TheVentureCity became the official accelerator of Innovate4Climate, the World Bank’s startup incubation program, supporting the program's five startup finalists in creating paths towards sustainability and ESG compliance.

> IBM Brazil Country Manager Tonny Martins has been appointed as IBM Latin America General Manager.



Loon, Alphabet’s internet balloon subsidiary, set a new flight record by staying aloft for 312 days, beating its previous record of 223 days.

  • Loon aims to provide beaming internet connectivity for rural and underserved areas, and it already launched its first commercial service with Kenyan telecommunications holding Telkom in July.

> Quartz looks into the cleantech sectors VCs are backing.

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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