LatAm Venture Bulletin March 28, 2018

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> Investors in Rappi’s latest US$185m round of funding include Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital, and Delivery Hero. 

> Movile made a US$18.3m investment in Brazilian payment solutions startup Zoop, with plans to integrate Zoop across Movile’s mobile app portfolio.

> e.Bricks Ventures led a R$5.2m investment in Brazilian personal finance startup Vérios, with the participation of accelerator Startup Farm and existing angel investors.

> Trinity Ventures, Openview, Redpoint eventures, Funders Club, Valor Capital, ONEVC, and Edelweiss made a US$16m investment in Pipefy, a business process optimization platform that was founded in Brazil. Previous investors include 500 Startups, Founders Fund and others.

> Brazilian fintech firm Toro Investimentos is preparing to launch its brokerage platform after receiving a contribution of R$46m from investors. 

> Capptu, a Mexican technology startup that generates advertising content through crowdsourcing, has secured a seed investment of MXN$11m from Trebol Capital and other venture capital investors.

> Singu, a Brazilian marketplace platform for beauty and wellness services, raised R$10m for expansion from undisclosed investors.

> Grupo Valorem made a R$6m investment in Brazilian fintech Par Mais.

> #AGTECH🌿Fundo FIMA, a fund created by BNDES and managed by Inseed, made a R$5m investment in Brazil's Smartbreeder, an agtech startup specializing in smart crop management software.

> Criatec 3 made a R$2.6m investment in Playmove, a Brazilian edtech maker of interactive games for infants.

> Angel Ventures Peru led a US$500k seed investment in Culqi, a Peruvian payments startup accelerated by Wayra Peru.

>  Brazilian equity crowdfunding platform Kria (formerly Broota) raised R$1.6m from Leblon Equities and others, and an additional R$1.4m from investors on its platform.

> IGNIA led an undisclosed investment in Mexico's Visor, a financing platform for SMEs, with participation from ALLVP and American Express Ventures.

> Startupbootcamp Scale FinTech Mexico City, a program for growth stage startups in emerging markets in partnership with Finnovista, welcomes Expediente (Mexico), Facturedo (Chile), Pagamobil (Mexico), Quotanda (Mexico), and Billen (Spain) to its 2018 acceleration cohort.

> Y Combinator's Winter 2018 cohort includes Runa HR, an automated payroll platform in Mexico, Ropeo, a Colombian on-demand fashion service, Flint, a mobile wallet operating in Mexico,, a Brazilian enterprise performance management platform, and Tributi (formerly ImpuestoCorrecto), a Colombian automated tax filing platform.



> Strider, an agtech crop optimization platform, was acquired by agribusiness giant Syngenta for an undisclosed amount.  

  • Investors include monashees+, which led a US$3m Series A in 2016, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures and Barn Investimentos. Barn previously invested R$5m in 2014.
  • Strider monitors over 2.5 million acres across 2,000 farms (mostly in Brazil). Farmers see an average 10-20% reduction in pesticide costs using Strider’s tools.
  • READ LAVCA's interview with CEO Luiz Tangari: "Pesticides are a third to half of production cost for most crops in Brazil and the rest of the world."

> South Africa’s Naspers, a major investor in Movile, raised US$9.8b from the sale of a 2% stake in Chinese investment Tencent

> announced a partial secondary sale of its holding in Yogome, a Mexican edtech startup making games for children, returning 8x to the fund. Partner Santiago Zavala, who currently manages 500 Startups’ fund in Mexico, says:

"We invested in Yogome because of the clear vision Manolo and Albert had of bringing education to kids around the world using fun games. Now, 6 years later, we have been witness to their passion and hard work bringing this vision to reality and now have a unique opportunity to bring Yogome to every corner of the world."

> Promotora exited Brainz, a Colombian game maker, through a sale to American video game maker Jam City for an undisclosed amount.



> Itaú Unibanco acquired a 74.9% stake in financial services firm XP Investimentos for US$1.7b.



> Grupo Bimbo, in collaboration with Fondo de Fondos and Sonen Capital, plans to launch an impact fund with US$75-150m in initial capital.

> Quona Capital is in the process of raising up to US$200m for its third emerging markets VC fund.

> Private markets investment manager Partners Group is launching a US$1b impact fund aimed at investing in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals.

> Te Creemos, a sociedad financiera popular (sofipo) that provides financial products and services for low-income Mexicans, acquired Consejo de Asistencia al Microemprendedor (Came), a micro-credit sofipo.

> New impact fund Buen Vivir will invest US$540k in loans and grants across projects in the Americas, Southern Africa, and South Asia. Initial investments include the Mayan Medical Clinic in Guatemala. Apply here for a fellowship to work with the fund.

> 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 27.

> Power to Grow: The Innovation Challenge will support organizations that are empowering micro-enterprises in Central America. Apply by April 27.

> FOMIN and ICE will invest up to US$1.6m in early-stage impact startups, accelerators and incubators. Apply by May 18.

> Innovate UK, through the Colombian Prosperity Fund Programme, will invest up to £3m to enable UK and Colombian partners to address agricultural challenges in post-conflict and conflict-affected regions in Colombia. Apply by July 18.



> Folha: Investimento em startups brasileiras bate recorde em 2017.

> Bloomberg: SoftBank Plans Investment in Brazilian Delivery App Loggi.

> WSJ: Uber’s Latest Retreat Leaves Brazil, India as the Key Battlegrounds.

> Valor: Startups atraem recursos de famílias ricas.

> Economía y Negocios maps out some of the key angel/seed investors in Chile.

> #TRENDALERT Major tech companies are setting their sights on Mexico:

  • Amazon launched its first-ever debit card, Amazon Rechargeable, in Mexico.
    • Amazon launched Amazon Echo across LatAm this year; forecasts put smart speaker penetration in Brazil and Mexico close to US rates by the end of 2018.
    • Amazon is reportedly in talks with France’s Casino Guichard Perrachon, to negotiate a deal to partner or sell the retailer’s Brazilian electronic chain (Via Varejo) which includes Brazil’s third largest e-commerce operation and more than 900 stores in the country.
    • Amazon is also quadrupling its logistics investment in Brazil.
  • Google chose Mexico as the first destination to launch Google Wifi in Latin America. Google says Mexico has the third highest internet penetration in the region.
  • AT&T opened its first innovation center in Latin America in Mexico City.
  • Chinese bikeshare startup Ofo chose Mexico as its first international market.

> Fusões & Aquisições: Gigante chinesa Fosun aumenta aposta no Brasil.



> Reuters: Brazil antitrust watchdog to investigate Brazilian banks on fintech complaint:

Nubank accuses Brazil’s largest banks, Itaú, Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil, Banco Santander Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal of trying to block free competition in the credit card business.


> La participación femenina en la industria de capital privado no supera el 1% del total de jugadores, afirma María Ariza, directora general de AMEXCAP, en Expansión: La AMEXCAP Crea el Comité de Mujeres Inversionistas.

> The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France and growing exponentially.


> LAVCA hosts VC in São Paulo, our annual meeting for fund managers investing in Brazil, on May 8 at Google São Paulo. Request an invitation by contacting Claudia Rosenbloom ( 

> LAVCA hosts a Workshop for Emerging VCs on May 16 in Buenos Aires and May 17 in Santiago de Chile. 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 (

> Finep is seeking a fund manager for its investment fund, FIP Inova Empresa. Submit proposals by April 20.

> Incutex Company Builders opened its annual call for technology-based ventures that want to be invested and accelerated during 2018. Interested startups can apply until April 30.

> BBVA’s Open Talent 2018 program is open for applications from fintech startups with less than €3m in annual revenue. Apply by May 3.

> European accelerator Rockstart is hosting the Rockstart Investor Summit on May 9 in Bogotá. Details here.

> 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.



> Diego Serebrisky of Dalus Capital talks about the opportunity for fintechs to close the payment gap in Mexico.

“Clip, y es el caso de otros que están haciendo lo mismo, más del 90 por ciento de los clientes no tenían métodos de pago antes, cobraban sólo en efectivo, son empresas que están creando inclusión financiera de una manera que no lo está haciendo la industria tradicional."

> Hernan Kazah of KaszeK Ventures is optimistic about LatAm tech:

“We have gone beyond the tipping point in Latin America. We are going to see many more unicorns. I am optimistic that this will lead to sustained growth during the next decades. We still lack players, but we have many more than we did 15 years ago. In 20 years from now, we will see much better coverage."

> IFC: Latin American Startups Drive Development and Innovation & Accelerating Latin America’s Tech Startups.



> WATCH 📺 Adolfo Babatz, Co-founder & CEO of Clip, talk about the fintech opportunity in Latin America at the 2017 LAVCA Venture Investors Annual Meeting in NYC:

“In Latin America and specifically Mexico, the vast majority of consumers and businesses are still not served. So, there’s an opportunity for a fintech company to actually take the entire market. It creates a kind of winner-takes-all dynamic, which doesn’t happen in US fintech, because the market is mostly already served.

> IFC interviews Fabien Mendez, co-founder and CEO of moto-bike delivery startup Loggi, on advice for new entrepreneurs: :

“Try not to have a strategy which relies only on raising a lot of capital. The truth is you won’t find this money in Latin America. Try to build a strategy which relies on a good product that is more capital efficient.



> Financial Times: ‘Anarchist-capitalists’ in São Paulo shake the money box:

“There are signs that bitcoin, the world’s most widely traded virtual currency, is booming in Brazil. In December, it was reported that the number of bitcoin investors in the country had surpassed investors registered on the São Paulo stock exchange. Brazil now has more than 1.4m bitcoin investors (of 20m bitcoin accounts worldwide), compared with 619,000 in the stock market.

São Paulo is at the forefront of blockchain initiatives and hosts Brazil’s three biggest bitcoin exchanges, Mercado bitcoin, Foxbit and Bitcambio. The volume of cryptocurrencies traded on them is modest, at less than 1% of the global total, but the pace at which the Brazilian market is growing is attracting attention."

> Iconic is a new platform for projects seeking to fundraise via ICO (token sale).



> The Atlantic: China’s New Frontiers in Dystopian Tech:

“Quietly and very rapidly, facial recognition has enabled China to become the world’s most advanced surveillance state.”


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