LatAm Venture Bulletin February 22, 2017

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

>  LAVCA, in partnership with Omidyar Network, Telefonica Open Future_, and Silicon Valley Bank, has organized a special agenda featuring two days of private meetings with the Bay Area's venture community. Select VCs from Latin America are invited to join us on April 3 and 4 in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for VC in the BayYou will meet with:

>  Reply here, or email Leah Galamba at, for a copy of the agenda or to see if you qualify to attend.


> The IFC led a R$60m Series B in Creditas (formerly BankFacil), with participation from Naspers’ new fintech division in Latin America, as well as existing investors Redpoint eVentures, KaszeK Ventures, Quona Capital, and QED. More coverage in Reuters.

Creditas CEO Sergio Furio explains how Creditas is helping Brazilians access affordable consumer loans:

"Banks typically don't offer collateralized consumer loans due to (1) focus on higher pricing products (personal loans, credit cards and overdraft), which are the profitability engines; and (2) complexity of origination. Banks typically offer purchase financing solutions (i.e. mortgages and auto loans), but not home equity and auto equity loans as an alternative to unsecured consumer financing. What Creditas does is provide personal loans with collateral, therefore refinancing expensive debt priced at ~200% per annum into more efficient ~20% per annum (home equity) and 30% per annum (auto equity)."


> Aurus Capital led a US$19m round in MineSense, a British Columbia-based company that provides data analytics systems for the mining industry, with participation from Caterpillar Venture Capital, the venture investment arm of the mining equipment giant, and prior investors Chrysalix Venture Capital, Cycle Capital Management, Prelude Ventures, and Export Development Canada (EDC).

> Redpoint eVentures led an undisclosed investment in Pismo, a Brazilian electronic payments processor founded by Daniela Binatti. Romero Rodrigues joins the board.

> ALLVP led an undisclosed Series B in Enlight, a Mexican home solar energy company, with participation from independent electricity producer Engie.

> Mindset Ventures announces its first round of investments in US-based tech start-ups Globatom, Kensci, Funnelbeam, Metric Insights, Aromyx, Crowdmed, Aerial Intelligence, and GEO Semiconductor. Acelera Partners Directors Daniel Ibri and Camila Costa launched the fund to invest in early stage companies abroad.


> Omidyar Network, Fundación Avina, and Avina Americas launched the Latin American Alliance for Civic Technology (ALTEC). The US$3.5m fund will support the development and promotion of civic tech platforms created to increase government transparency, fight corruption, and improve the delivery of public services. Interested startups can get in touch here.

> The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), members of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, BIM Asset Management and AC Capitales SAFI have launched the Peru Microfinance Investment Fund, the first private investment fund for microfinance in Peru that will connect Peruvian MSMEs with capital markets.

> READ about Latin American microfinance in LAVCA and ANDE’s Impact Investing Landscape in Latin America.


> Accion Venture Lab sold its stake in PayClip (formerly Clip) to an undisclosed buyer. PayClip recently raised an undisclosed round of funding from General Atlantic.


> Mountain Nazca acquired Groupon LatAm for an undisclosed amount to bolster e-commerce in the region and amplify the company’s presence across Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru.

Docway, a Brazilian app for in-home doctor visits, acquired competitor Dr. Vem.

> São Paulo-based Microsoft platform specialist AX4B acquired Basis IT, a consulting firm in Porto Alegre specializing in the administration of SAP NetWeaver and Basis environments.



> Congrats to Descomplica, Creditas (formerly BankFacil), Satellogic, and Contabilizei for making FastCompany’s list of the most innovative companies in Latin America.

> Congrats to Hogaru, a Colombian cleaning service startup backed by Wayra, accelerator of Telefonica Open Future_, for making it into Y Combinator.

> Enrique Jacob Rocha is leaving INADEM, Mexico’s Instituto Nacional del Emprendedor, to coordinate Alfredo del Mazo Maza’s campaign for governor of the Estado de México. INADEM supported 29,000 entrepreneurial projects with more than MX$17.9b in 2016.

> Check out Casa Mexico (March 9-12) and Casa Argentina (March 12) at this year’s SXSW in Austin, TX.

> Telefonica Open Future_ partnered with Parque Tecnológico da UFRJ to launch CrowdRio, its fifth co-working initiative in Brazil. Interested startups can apply here by March 10. 

> RTM (Rede de Telecomunicações para o Mercado) and FintechLab partnered to launch Desafio RTM, an accelerator program for fintech, telco, IT, and connectivity startups at any stage of development. Apply by March 13.

> Santander Bank and Endeavor are partnering on Radar Santander, a growth accelerator for startups with a proven business model in CRM and big data, risk management, payment solutions, human resources management, and relationship channels. Interested startups can apply by March 24.

> TechStars celebrates 10 years of global activity, 1,000 investments, and 10,000 jobs created. (Also available in Spanish.)

> Finnovista is gearing up for FINNOSUMMIT in Bogotá, Colombia on March 14. LAVCA Members can contact about a discount on tickets.

> Latin American early stage investors are invited to the seedstarssummit, an entrepreneurship forum for emerging markets in Lausanne, Switzerland on April 5-6, 2017. Contact about a 30% discount.



> New York Times says Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis. Anyone in Mexico innovating around water tech? Y Combinator wants to back you.

> Speaking of water, Telefónica and Huawei partnered with water metering company Kamstrup to pilot a program that allows Chileans to track their residential water usage in real-time.

> A new book by the organizers of Marco Civil, Brazil’s globally referenced, crowdsourced digital legislation, is available as a free pdf.

> GuiaBolso is helping three million Brazilians save money and pay their credit card bills on time. Co-founder Thiago Alvarez tells Valor Econômico they want to IPO in five years.

Ewally, a Copacabana House Ventures investment, launched a digital wallet for Android users in Brazil that does not require a credit card or bank account.

> Peruvian dating app Dating LATAM tripled their traffic in 2016 and expanded to Colombia, Chile, and Peru. Founder/CEO Pedro Neira says there is an addressable market over 104 million single adults in the region that are not yet using the internet to find a partner. Investors include former eHarmony marketing executive Ottokar Rosenberger and SparkLabs Global Ventures (their first LatAm investment). READ LAVCA’s interview with Pedro here.

> Startse: "América Latina é a região mais subcapitalizada no mundo para startups."

> Globo: "O mercado de tecnologia latino-americano não tem a atenção que merece."

> Dan Primack: Mexican remittance tax could lead to Bitcoin boom.

> Estadão: Go4it, de filho de Lemann, investe em aplicativo de esportes Strava.



> Carlos Kokron of Qualcomm in Pulso Social: "Emprender es una maratón sin espacio para éxitos fáciles o rápidos."

> Bloomberg launched a new US Startups Barometer to track the health of the US venture ecosystem. Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures analyzes the data.

> Follow ARCAP, the new Argentine Venture Capital Association, on Medium.



>  The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) sent a letter to President Trump, signed by 200 VCs and founders, saying that they are deeply troubled by his recent travel ban and a proposed executive order related to H1-B visas and the International Entrepreneur Rule (more details here). Of note:

 "While we recognize the importance of promoting national security and protecting the interests of American workers, we strongly believe that the existing and proposed Executive Orders will not accomplish these goals and in fact, could undermine our ability to found and grow new companies that create jobs here in the U.S. We urge you to reconsider these actions and their impact not only on American values, but also on America's economic future."

>  +1 for Mark Zuckerberg: "Facebook stands for bringing us closer together and building a global community. When we began, this idea was not controversial." And: “I don’t think that we, sitting here in California, are best positioned to know what the norms in communities around the world should be,” Mr. Zuckerberg said. “At some point, you just need a more dynamic system where people can just express that themselves.”

>  A woman's perspective as an engineer at Uber... Anyone who doesn't understand why people in Silicon Valley keep talking about diversity, or thinks the problem is that there are not enough qualified techies who are women/people of color should read this for some insights. Uber CEO Travis Kalanik called her experience abhorrent and promised an independent investigation and firing of anyone found responsible for sexual harassment.


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