LatAm Venture Bulletin

LatAm Venture Bulletin July 17, 2019

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

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> VC/tech investors, corporates, and qualified entrepreneurs are invited to join us on Thursday, September 26 in New York for the LAVCA 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.



> UPDATE: SoftBank led a US$231m investment in Brazilian fintech Creditas at a reported US$750m valuation, with participation from previous investors Amadeus Capital Partners, Vostok Emerging Finance, and Santander InnoVentures.

  • Vostok led a US$55m Series C in Creditas in 2018 with participation from Amadeus, Santander InnoVentures, KaszeK Ventures, QED Investors, Quona Capital, the IFC, and Naspers Fintech.
  • Creditas received over 800k loan applications in 1H 2019.
  • CEO Sergio Furio plans to launch payroll loans in Brazil and asset-backed credit in Mexico.

> Insight Partners made a US$45m Series B investment in Pipefy, a business process optimization platform that was founded in Brazil, with participation from existing investors OpenView and Trinity Ventures.

  • Pipefy raised a US$16m Series A in 2018 from Trinity Ventures, OpenView, Redpoint eventures, Funders Club, Valor Capital, ONEVC, and Edelweiss. Previous investors include 500 Startups, Founders Fund, and others.

> GIC and General Atlantic made an undisclosed Series A investment in Hotmart, a Brazilian monetization platform for online courses.

  • Hotmart was founded in 2011. Buscapé previously invested US$300k; founder Kees Koolen is also an investor.
  • Hotmart has over 500 employees and operations in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, and Holland.

> DOMO Invest made a R$4m investment in MLabs, a Brazilian SaaS platform for social media management. MLabs was founded in 2012; this round is the company’s first institutional funding.

> #AGTECH 🌱 SP Ventures and Capital Lab invested R$2m in Pink Farms, an urban vertical farming startup focused on vegetable production that is based in São Paulo.

  • Pink Farms estimates ~100x productivity gains, 95% water reduction, 50% fertilizer reduction, and zero use of agrotoxins.

> DILA Capital and Jaguar Ventures made an undisclosed investment in Smart Lending, a Mexican mortgage lending platform, with the participation of unnamed angels.

  • Smart Lending has raised US$80m in equity and debt funding to date.

> Colombian HR tech startup Rankmi raised US$1.5m from Chilean fund Beagle Ventures.

> Brazilian urban logistics startup Gadle announced a US$1m seed investment from undisclosed investors and rebranded to Vuxx.

Bossa Nova Investimentos invested R$700k in Play2Sell, a Brazilian software platform for training sales teams, with an initial focus on real estate. The Latin America Angels Society invested previously.

  • Bossa Nova also announces pre-seed investments in Hallo (fintech) and Zaply (retail tech).

> Brazilian fintech Peak Invest raised R$1.2m on equity crowdfunding platform EqSeed.

> Brazilian proptech startup Sohtec received an undisclosed angel investment from Rappi alum Bruno Nardon and others.

> The Hive will invest ~R$6m in a fintech collaboration in Brazil between its digital bank, SmartBank, and fintech Cloudwalk.



> #CVC Chile’s Grupo Consorcio launched a US$10m CVC fund to invest in fintech and insurtech startups in Latin America, with a focus on Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico. Tomás Zavala leads the effort.

  • Chilean fintech Pago Fácil is among the first deals, with a US$500k investment.

> #CVC European security firm Grupo Prosegur announced a €30m global fund to invest in early-stage security technologies. Prosegur’s LatAm investments include Brazilian fintech Concil.

> #CVC Petrobras partnered with Sebrae to invest R$10m in energy and clean tech startups. Applications for funding open on August 1.

> The Colombian government launched Fondo Emprender del Sena to provide ~US$6.25m in seed capital to Colombian entrepreneurs.

> Endeavor launched its third Endeavor Catalyst co-investment vehicle, targeting US$100m.

Endeavor Catalyst’s LatAm portfolio includes Agrofy, Digital House, Globant, Onapsis, Satellogic, Creditas, Dr. Consulta, Neoway, Resultados Digitais, Cornershop, Ofi, Rappi, Clip, Scanntech, & others.

> Valor: Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek is looking to expand investment in Brazil.

  • Temasek is invested in directs (Neoway) and funds (monashees) in Brazil.
  • Latin America represents ~1% of the fund’s global portfolio.

> Bloomberg: Goldman's Special Situations Group Sets Sights on Latam Fintechs.



> Scooter unicorn 🦄 Lime launched in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Lime launched in Chile earlier this year.

> Indian electric mobility unicorn 🦄 Ola Electric (SoftBank-backed) is planning to enter Latin America.

> Rappi partnered with Brazilian travel app Voopter to sell airline tickets via the Rappi app.

> Expansión interviews Rappi co-founder Sebastián Mejía in ¿Qué hará Rappi con 1,000 millones de dólares?

> #M&A Colombian b2b e-commerce startup Ofi acquired Cimacast, a provider of cloud services for media in Colombia.

  • Ofi raised a US$5m Series A led by Rise Capital with participation from Velum Ventures, Tinello Capital, Alpha4 Ventures, and Endeavor Catalyst in 2017.

> Nubank appointed former Petrobras executive Ivan Monteiro as a member of its risk committee and finance consultant.

> Brazilian startup FC Nuvem was named Microsoft Parceira do Ano LATAM for the second consecutive year.

> Cntxto shares a list of fitness/wellness apps in LatAm.

> 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.



equipe Xerpa - small

> Xerpa is a Brazilian human resource management platform that recently raised a R$16m Series A from KaszeK Ventures, Redpoint eventures, and QED Investors.

> Co-Founder & CEO Nicholas Reise, a former Principal with Redpoint eventures, says the “people side of the business” is an obstacle for growth for almost every entrepreneur he spoke with during his time as an investor:

Recruiting was a clear and expected pain point, but the frequency with which entrepreneurs mentioned effectively managing people, ops, administration, and data stood out. Companies lacked an integrated, up-to-date system of record that addressed their HR process headaches and also unified their siloed HR data, making it actionable for the first time.

I teamed up with Paulo Ahagon as CTO/Co-Founder, who had extensive experience integrating more modern user-facing technology with legacy software, which would clearly be vital to disrupting the HR space. Other keys to success will be ensuring employee engagement and finding other creative ways to leverage and modernize the employer-employee relationship.

This is the foundation of our financial services strategy and specifically Xerpay, a disruptive benefit which allows employees to access their already-earned wages on-demand, without changing employers’ cashflow, payroll or timekeeping processes.

> Xerpa clients include Gympass and Nubank.



> 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.

> ImpactAlpha published Five guideposts for family offices shifting to impact.

> 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.


> WSJ: Brazil’s Congress Votes in Favor of Pension Overhaul Bill in First-Round Vote: The bill could be approved later this year.

> The Verge: Deaths and Injuries Don’t Slow Uber Eats’ Rapid Expansion in Mexico. Since November, five Uber Eats couriers and one from Rappi have died while delivering in Mexico City:

Uber Eats couriers are considered “service providers” under Mexican labor law, which means they have no recourse to recoup lost earnings, receive disability payments, or receive employer-sponsored health care.

> Uber partnered with BBVA and Mastercard in Mexico to offer a debit card to unbanked drivers.

> Didi is launching new financial products for riders and drivers in Brazil and Mexico as the battle with Uber heats up in Latin America.

> Ascenty will invest US$70m in a new Chilean data center. Huawei also announced plans to build a data center in Chile.

> Reuters: 'Safe like China': In Argentina, ZTE finds eager buyer for surveillance tech:

The deal is an example of the tech inroads China is making in Latin America even as the US warns about the dangers of using Chinese technology, especially related to surveillance.

> Globo: Brasil quer ampliar a lista de 'unicórnios': É preciso ter aportes significativos para surgirem unicórnios.

> Quartz covers misinformation on WhatsApp in the Bolsonaro election.

> NYTimes looks at why Cuban doctors have left Brazil, leaving 28 million with their healthcare in jeopardy:

Brazil paid millions of dollars a month to Cuba for the doctors, making them a vital export for the island’s coffers. But most of the money went directly to Cuba’s Communist government, an arrangement Mr. Bolsonaro warned he would change.

> While Brazilian visitors to the US still need a visa, US & Canadian visitors to Brazil no longer need a tourist visa.



> Bloomberg Opinion: Looks Like Brazilians Won’t Be Scootering to Work: “A competitive private sector could help reset public transit. Brazil should be so lucky.”

> A proposed Peruvian fintech bill would allow equity crowdfunding on locally administered platforms.



> LAVCA welcomes new member Flourish Ventures, an evergreen, early-stage venture fund investing globally in entrepreneurs whose innovations help people achieve financial health and prosperity.

  • Spun out of Omidyar Network in 2019 with an existing portfolio of US$200m, Flourish received a new commitment of US$300m from Pam and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay.
  • In Latin America, Flourish portfolio investments include Albo, GuiaBolso, Neon, and Suyo.
  • Key contacts: Arjuna Costa, Managing Partner; Jenny Johnston, Associate (San Francisco, CA)

> LAVCA welcomes new member Innogen Venture Capital, a micro-VC making Seed and Pre-Series A investments in Central American and Latin American startups.

  • The fund is composed by members of a Central American family with investments in real estate, hospitality, automotive, and beverage industries.
  • Portfolio includes PRODUCTECA and Huli Health.
  • Key contacts: Rodrigo Dumont, Managing Partner; Christian Quiñonez, Managing Partner (El Salvador).

> Register here for LAVCA’s 2019 Venture Investors Annual Meeting on Sept. 26 in New York.

> 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.

> 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.

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.

> Cisco partnered with Endeavor to help startups in retail, manufacturing, finance, and transport partner with Cisco business units. Apply by July 19.

> 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.

> Globant partnered with Acámica to offer 500 coding scholarships in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico through Code Your Future.

> Google Launchpad partnered with Corporación Ventures in Colombia on an acceleration program.

> Endeavor selected 31 high-impact entrepreneurs at its 88th International Selection Panel in Tokyo this month. Congrats to Latin American entrepreneurs from NotCo (Chile) and HYP3R (Puerto Rico).

> Chilean VCs hosted the first Co-Investment Day Chile to facilitate co-investments and dealflow among local investors, which included Wayra Chile, Génesis Ventures, Manutara Ventures, Chile Global Ventures, Dadneo, Chile Ventures, and Beagle Ventures. Details here.

> 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

> Quasar Builders Trocafone & Restorando alum Andy Freire joins SoftBank as a Managing Partner.



> Susana Garcia-Robles of IDB Lab for El Pais: ‘Hecho en Latinoamérica’, una marca de innovación propia:

Está naciendo una marca de innovación poco convencional y diferente de productos y servicios hechos en América Latina y el Caribe; un Made in LAC que se abre camino gracias a la diversidad de su gente.

> Sophia Wood of Magma Partners for Crunchbase News: What The VC Landscape Is Really Like For Latin America’s Female Founders:

“I have been in meetings full of male investors who don’t say everything they want to say, or they treat me differently from my male partners and try to be gentle with me. That behavior excludes me from their real decision making; I would prefer to be treated in the same way as my male colleagues,” Nastassja Palmiotto of PlieQ noted.

> WSJ: Latin American Venture Firms Angle for Slice of Global Funding Boom.

> Isto É looks at Brazilian families investing in tech funds (like Redpoint eVentures, e.Bricks Ventures, DNA Capital) and startups (like Brain4Care and CashMe).

> Estadão: Fundos começam a captar recursos no Brasil.

> #CHINA Bloomberg: China’s Venture Capital Boom Shows Signs of Turning Into a Bust:

Venture deals in China plummeted in Q2 as investors pulled back amid unpredictable trade talks and growing concerns about startup valuations. The value of investments tumbled 77% to US$9.4b in the second quarter from a year earlier, while the number of deals roughly halved to 692, according to Preqin.

> #CHINA A new China Internet Report makes the case that Chinese startups are shifting from copycats to trailblazers.



> Exponential View: “The automation of white collar jobs on Wall Street has almost obliterated Goldman Sachs’ Equity Trading desk,” which was once run by 500 people and is now run by three. “Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs now employs 9,000 engineers and is investing heavily in machine learning.”

> #DEEPFAKES MIT Technology Review: An AI app that “undressed” women shows how deepfakes harm the most vulnerable.

> The future is quantum. MIT Technology Review explains:

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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