Vanessa Viana Capital Lab Ventures
Vanessa Viana, managing partner of Capital Lab Ventures. Photo: Courtesy

With a US$ 100 million fund, Capital Lab seeks to drive Latin America's technological rise

London-based fund looks for startups to solve Latin America's problems and develop cutting-edge technology

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Latin American startups entered the venture capital map once and for all in 2021. As of September, the region has raised impressive $11.5 billion in venture capital, according to preliminary data from LAVCA (The Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America). To surf this recent wave of investments, the manager Capital Lab Ventures wants more than a fund, it wants to become a platform for fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.

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Formed by Brazilians and with headquarters in London (England) and São Paulo (Brazil), the company launched a $ 100 million fund to transform some of the startups in the region into “mini-multinationals”. “Capital Lab Ventures DNA is to find startups that solve some of the biggest problems we have in our society”, explains the managing partner of Capital Lab Ventures, Vanessa Viana.

Capital Lab wants to be a link between startups in Latin America and other innovation hubs

In addition to startups in Latin America, the fund is interested in startups from markets such as England and Israel. In this format, the fund intends to be a connection between Brazil, Latin America, London, and Israel. And the objective is that knowledge and business opportunities for companies, as well as resources, flow through this route.

“This is seen favorably by these European companies that do not have a consumer market as big as ours. We make these cross-border investments bringing together the best of both worlds. You have the best in technological development with the best size in the market”, explains Viana.

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The fund’s startup selection process involves determining sectors that can make a leap with the help of innovative technologies. Thus, the fund wants to be close to universities and research centers in the regions where it operates.

Viana explains that Capital Lab is looking for startups that can develop solutions in deep tech areas — technological advancements that are difficult to reproduce and focused on high-level science. Areas such as quantum computing, nanotechnology, climate management and others are on Capital Lab’s radar.

According to the executive, what Latin American entrepreneurs have been doing is developing solutions that reduce transaction costs and reduce information asymmetry — but few of these solutions are based on in-depth “scientific knowledge”.

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The company has already invested in seven startups in Latin America: Dinie, I4Sea, Clorent, Pink Farms, Geru, Uello, Atomic Agro. The fund also seeks business in segments such as connected cities, mobility, finance, retail, cybersecurity, education, health and the future of work.

For the executive, the new wave of venture capital may be the right opportunity for the region to take the technological leap it needs. “We have many opportunities ahead. It’s time for us to take the best technology in the world and take a leap”, explains the manager of Capital Lab Ventures.