LatAm Venture Bulletin December 21, 2016

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LatAm Venture Bulletin

> QED Investors is partnering with Scotiabank to launch a dedicated fund for fintech investments in Latin America. QED partner Bill Cilluffo tells us: “We’ve been investing in Brazil for a little over two years, with four portfolio companies (BankFacil, GuiaBolso, Pitzi, Nubank), and we did our first investment this year in Mexico in Konfio. With this new fund, we are actively looking at other opportunities in these markets, and will be exploring other countries within Latin America.”

Grupo Algar’s corporate venture arm will invest in Fundo BR Startups, managed by MSW Capital. Microsoft Participações, Banco Votorantim, Monsanto, Agência de Fomento do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (AgeRio), ES Ventures, and Qualcomm Ventures are among the fund’s current investors.


> Singaporean fund Temasek led a US$16m Series B in Iguanafix, an on-demand provider for home improvement services based in Buenos Aires, with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, Endeavor Catalyst, and RVC Capital.

> Acacia Partners led a R$42m Series B in QuintoAndar, with participation from previous investors Qualcomm Ventures and KaszeK Ventures, to fuel expansion within Brazil. KaszeK Ventures led a US$7m Series A earlier this year.

IGNIA, KDWC Ventures, and Jump Capital made an undisclosed Series B investment in Pangea Money Transfer, a Chicago-based international remittance platform that helps immigrants in the US send money abroad, with a focus on Mexico, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Domincan Republic.

Mountain Nazca led a US$3m investment in Kavak, a platform to buy and rent used cars.

Grupo Santo Domingo, via Caracol Televisión and Inqlab, made an undisclosed investment in Pinbus, a Colombian bus ticket platform. Pinbus CEO Sebastián Jaramillo says less than 2% of bus tickets in Colombia are sold online.

> acquired freelance marketplaces Nubelo and Prolancer to expand growth in Latin America. Since launching operations in the region in 2012, now sees 10% of its revenue generated from 1.8 million Latin American users. Nubelo is backed by South Ventures, Mountain Nazca, and Startup Chile, among others.

> Event discovery platform Sympla acquired Eventick to consolidate its share of market in Brazil. Sympla is backed by Movile.

> Claranet, a managed service provider based in London, acquired São Paulo-based cloud service provider CredibiliT to enter the Brazilian market. This is Claranet’s first acquisition outside of Europe.

> Mutant, a contact center technology platform that spun out of Genesys Prime earlier this year, acquired TSA, a quality management platform. Mutant also acquired CCM7 and U-Near in 2016 and is looking to make more acquisitions.



LAVCA welcomes São Paulo-based angel fund Bossa Nova Investimentos as a new member.

> CAF welcomes Luis Carranza Ugarte as its new President, succeeding Enrique García Rodríguez.

> Congrats to Wayra, the digital business accelerator of Telefonica Open Future_, for celebrating five years of investments in Colombia, including Viajala, Hogaru, FLUVIP, Mensajeros Urbanos, Verifícalo, and Celotor. Carlos Castañeda runs Wayra Colombia from Bogotá. And congrats to Sebastián Jasminoy, founder of FLUVIP, a Colombian influencer marketing platform, for joining Endeavor.

> The Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley launched Lean LaunchPad, an entrepreneurship training program in Brazil, in collaboration with VC firm Antera Gestão de Recursos, and with support from the US Department of State and US Embassy. Read about who participated and how Haas is adapting the Lean LaunchPad model to new markets.

> Village Capital is partnering with the Autodesk Foundation to find and support Mexican entrepreneurs tackling the greatest health challenges in the country, with an emphasis on design for impact. Read about three challenges Mexican health entrepreneurs should focus on.

> Latin American Angels Society (LAAS) and Baidu are accepting applications from Brazilian startups for a new mentorship program until December 31.

> Startup Grind hosts its first Foro de Fundadores y Inversionistas on January 12 in Mexico City.



> The Brazilian Central Bank is exploring changing a regulation that would reduce the time frame in which small businesses get payed by credit card companies. Currently, credit card companies have 30 days to pay, but the Central Bank is considering decreasing this to 2 days. Read Nubank’s response.

> Read more about IguanaFix’s Series B in Vinod Sreeharsha’s story for the New York Times: IguanaFix, an Argentine Start-Up, Raises US$16m.

Draper Venture Network went to Mexico last month for, hosted by Dalus Capital, and published this post about the venture opportunity they see in the country.

Colombian travel metasearch platform Viajala, with operations in Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, and Colombia, launched in Brazil. Ruta N, Socialatom Ventures, and Wayra Colombia are investors.

Manoel Lemos of Redpoint eventures talks about growing interest from corporate investors in Brazilian startups in a guest post for TechCrunch.

Valor Econômico interviews Worthix co-founder Guilherme Cerqueira about why some Brazilian startups are migrating to the US.

Azeem Azari of The Exponential View has a solid overview of the “superpowers emerging in real frontier artificial intelligence.”



Elliot Geidt at Redpoint Ventures on joining Nubank’s US$80m Series D:

"We believe Nubank is well positioned to bring the next generation of financial services to Brazil. They’ve developed a modern credit card experience that delights customers, with lower fees, no physical branches to deal with, a great mobile app, and built-from-scratch tech infrastructure. The explosive growth of their customer base is rare among financial services products, and is indicative of a strong need in the market for a better experience. We believe the brand they are building is powerful, and that the customer relationships they have built will endure. David has collected some of the best technology and financial minds in Brazil and globally to build Nubank; I think they are just getting started in their journey of innovation in the Latin American financial services market, which is great news for consumers." 



Facebook has an update on a slate of significant product tweaks to address fake news. Facebook Chief Product Officer Chris Cox says, “We’ve got a lot more work to do here, but as a principle we’re going to be over-communicating our ongoing work on the product and policy issues that surround our role as a space for public discourse.”

Tech giants went to Trump Tower last week for a meeting with Donald Trump. Recode editor Kara Swisher criticized Silicon Valley’s leadership for consenting to a “media-saturated geek reality show episode.” One executive in attendance called the meeting “weird, but not as awkward as it could have been.” Who sat out? Netflix, Salesforce, Yahoo, HP, Uber, and Airbnb. And Twitter, which wasn’t invited, reportedly as payback for refusing to allow an anti-Hillary emoji during the campaign.

Related: Elon Musk and Travis Kalanick are joining Trump’s economic advisory committee, along with Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi. Erin Griffith at Term Sheet explains Why Trump Could (Cringe) Be Good For Silicon Valley.

This marks the final edition of the LatAm Venture Bulletin in 2016. We will resume bi-weekly frequency after a brief break over the holidays. Thanks, as always, for your continued interest and support and we look forward to a dynamic 2017!

The LatAm Venture Bulletin is a news platform of the Latin American Private Equity and Venture Capital Association.

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