September/October 2016 was a busy time for LatAm VCs in terms of new fundraising and deals (we recorded 20+ deals in October alone). At the same time, investors were active in events around the region and the world. Led by President Mauricio Macri, Argentina hosted over 4,000 participants for the Argentina Business & Investment Forum, ABVCAP gathered the early stage community in Brazil, and fintech investors gathered in Mexico for the FINNOSUMMIT.
On September 29, LAVCA convened the leading venture investors active in Latin America at our annual Venture Investors Summit in New York City. The interplay between local and global perspectives made for some fascinating discussions. Of note, Oscar Salazar and Martín Díaz Plata traded perspectives on their respective transportation/logistics investments in Uber, Ride, CargoX, Didi Chuxing and Go-Jek; we also invited corporate development executives from NewsCorp, WPP, Movile and MercadoLibre for a discussion on the digital M&A landscape in the region, a subject we will be spending more time with in 2017.
And executives from Facebook and Google confirmed that Mexicans are just as hyperactive on social media as Brazilians, ranking as their third and fourth largest audiences in terms of monthly visitors. Look out for video highlights on lavca.org/vc over the next couple of months for those of you who couldn’t join us live.
I had the chance to catch up with fund managers leading Mexico’s emerging venture ecosystem this month in San Francisco, first at the AMEXCAP Mexico VC Day, where Maria Ariza hosted an incredibly well-attended program, and then at Mexico Startup Day at Google Launchpad, co-hosted by co-working space Centraal, where Aliada.mx founders Ana Isabel and Rodolfo Corcuera won the pitch challenge. I also got to speak with Conekta co-founder and CEO Hector Cardenas about his recent Series A – you can read the full interview here.
Venture investors active in Brazil are welcome to join us on November 29 for VC in São Paulo, a bi-annual, invitation-only program for early-stage fund managers (evolved from the Brazil Venture Investors Peer Exchange) to share best practices from international markets. Contact my colleague Claudia Rosenbloom ([email protected]) for details.
LAVCA published two important directories for the LatAm venture ecosystem:
- In partnership with FOMIN, LAVCA has produced the first-ever list of Women Investing in Latin American VC recognizes thirty-seven women who are playing an active and important role investing in and growing the early stage ecosystem in the region. Special thanks to the folks at Silicon Valley Bank, Copacabana House Ventures, IGNIA, NXTP Labs, and the VC community in LatAm for helping us crowdsource this list.
- The 2016 LAVCA Accelerator Directory includes verified accelerators based in Latin America or those accelerators with specific programs dedicated to the region, as of September 2016.
I leave you with a summary of new VC funds and over 20 venture investments that were announced in October. Investments are organized by investment amount, versus chronological order. Sign up for the bi-weekly LatAm Venture Bulletin to get fresh news on VC funds and investments as they happen.
NEW VC FUNDS
- Dalus Capital has launched Fund II with US$50m in commitments through CKD and Limited Partnership vehicles.
- Chinese search giant Baidu launched Easterly Ventures, a US$60m strategic early-stage fund focused on Brazilian startups.
- Alaya Capital Partners (Córdoba, Spain) and Sausalito Ventures (Sausalito, California) obtained approval from Corfo to launch a US$16m early-stage fund in Chile.
- In Ecuador, top software companies have come together to create the country’s first seed fund for software based enterprises, 593 Capital Partners.
- Brazilian lender Banco Votorantim will invest an initial R$3m in the BR Startups fund created by Microsoft. They expect to fund six young firms with investments ranging between R$250k and R$1.5m. Existing investors in the fund include Microsoft Participações, Agência de Fomento do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (AgeRio), ES Ventures, Monsanto, and Qualcomm.
- HealthPlus, a healthcare tech focused venture fund created by GrowPlus Ventures, announced open enrollment for healthcare startups seeking capital. The maximum amount HealthPlus will invest in each selected startup is R$300k.
RECENT DEALS (UNDER US$1M)
- Brazilian automotive services app Easy Carros took second place at international startup competition G-Startup WorldWide, and will receive an investment of US$120k from GWC and Sequoia Capital.
- Mountain Nazca joins local and German investors in a US$600k round in Recorrido.cl, a Chilean bus ticketing platform.
- Fundo de Inovação Paulista, managed by SP Ventures, made a R$2.5m investment in Moneto, a Brazilian payment processing app targeting individual business owners.
- FIP INSEED FIMA, an environmental fund launched by BNDES, invested R$3m in OXI Ambiental, an environmental decontamination startup focused on heavy metals and organochlorine pesticides.
- CVentures Primus, CRP Companhia de Participações, and M3 Investimentos invested R$3m in Hiper, an SME management platform based in Santa Catarina, Brazil.
- CVentures Primus and CRP Emprendedor invested R$3m in SumOne, the startup behind Bonuz, a Brazilian food service loyalty app.
- Movile invested R$3m in Leiturinha, a Brazilian infant book club.
RECENT DEALS (OVER US$1M)
- Barn Investments announced a US$1m investment in Skore, a knowledge management platform in Silicon Valley; a US$2m Series A in Worldpackers, a Brazilian social travel marketplace; and participation in Trocafone’s recent R$20m Series A led by Swiss firm Sallfort.
- NXTP Labs led a US$1m investment in agrobusiness platform Agrofy, with participation from agribusiness company Cresud, the Founder of La Espertina Marcelo Carrique, and Founder of Bonterra and owner of Industrias Rurales Pablo Hary.
- ALLVP and LIV Capital led a US$2m Series A in cloud services provider Nubity, with participation from Capital Invent and Stella Maris.
- Monex Group, Variv Capital, Xochi Ventures, Digital Currency Group (DCG), FundersClub, Bitcoin Capital, and Blockchain Tech Limited invested US$2.5m in Bitso, a Mexican bitcoin exchange focused on the underbanked. DCG invested previously in the seed round.
- VARIV Capital, 500 Startups, and Topaz Capital led a US$3m round in Yogome, a mobile learning platform for kids.
- The IFC is considering a US$3m Series B investment in Moni, an Argentine mobile wallet and financial services provider.
- Trident Cybersecurity, Adara Ventures, and Telefónica Open Future_, through its Telefónica Corporate Ventures Fund, invested US$14m in cyber intelligence company 4iQ. Funding will accelerate product development and global expansion into South America.
- LIV Capital and Northgate Capital led a US$55m round in ecommerce platform Linio, with participation from Kinnevik.
RECENT DEALS (UNDISCLOSED AMOUNTS)
- Polymath Ventures launched Mesa, a chain of healthy quick service restaurants in Colombia.
- 500 Startups announces 18 new investments in Latin America as part of its LatAm Accelerator Batch, a program based in Mexico City which focuses on startups in LatAm and Spanish speaking regions.
- e.Bricks Ventures and Endeavor Catalyst made an undisclosed investment in Contabilizei, a Brazilian accounting services platform for small businesses and freelancers, with participation from KaszeK Ventures, which led the Series A in 2015.
- Elevar Equity invested an undisclosed convertible note in Credijusto, a Mexican fintech startup focused on SMBs.
- Primatec made an undisclosed investment in Myleus Biotecnologia, a DNA testing service that emerged out of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Fundepar invested previously.
- Bossa Nova Investimentos announced recent investments in Brazilian startups Razoom, Contentools, AIO, Blogo, and 3Days, a talent platform for creative professionals.