2020 was better than 2019. A statement that only makes sense if applied to the context of investment rounds in Brazilian startups. In the last month of this chaotic year, the forced use of digital tools for health, education, shopping, and so many other services during the COVID-19 pandemic helped startups in the country, which, supported by technology, received millionaire infusions amid the crisis.
For the 2020 year in review, LABS recalled the ten largest rounds to Brazilian startups this year through a survey from Distrito.
According to Distrito, this year until November, startups raised $2.85 billion compared to $2.78 billion last year. Only in September (the most active month) was $843 million. For Eduardo Fuentes, Venture Capitalist in Distrito, Brazil should end the year with about $3.4 billion invested in startups.
“September and October were responsible for more than $1 billion in the Brazilian market”, comments Fuentes. “By the end of 2019, there was a consensus in Distrito that we would have 2020 more crowded than 2019. And this was reflected in the first two months of the year. Loft became a unicorn in the first days of January“, remember.
January and February were restless months for VC. But as the pandemic took place in March, managers and market experts were timorous about the hazy future of 2020. “We came to think that 2020 would not beat 2019. But as the dust settled, we started to understand what was this pandemic about in terms of prevention and diagnosis. We understood that there was a big switch to the virtual, and people started to understand that the virtual also works, whether to make deals, prospects, set up meetings, and the VC market has not stopped,” said Fuentes.
The investment rounds were in sectors that benefited from the new consumer habits, whether financial – $300 million for fintech Neon and BRL 1.3 billion for C6 Bank, – or electronic retail, $225 million for the e-commerce platform VTEX, and games, such as Wildlife, with an investment of $120 million. Below are the 10 largest contributions of 2020:
- Neon – $300 million
- Nubank – $300 million
- C6 Bank – BRL 1.3 billion
- VTEX – $225 million
- Loft – $175 million
- Conductor – $150 million
- Wildlife – $120 million
- Acesso Digital – BRL 580 million
- Nelogica – BRL 550 million
- Take – US$ 100 million
All of these infusions were over $100 million. Amounts that made some startups worth more than $1 billion (like VTEX and Loft) and that made C6 Bank plan an initial public offering (IPO) in 2021. “A 12-month horizon for an IPO following this way appears to be a very interesting term,” said Marcelo Kalim, president and founder of C6 Bank, to Reuters.