Brazil's Ânima launches BRL 150 million CVC fund to invest in startups

The funds will be allocated in a Corporate Venture Capital fund and also in a Venture Builder to invest in early-stage startups and help create others from scratch

Brazil's Ânima launches BRL 150 million CVC fund to invest in startups
Reynaldo Gama, head at CVC Ânima Ventures. Photo: Courtesy
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Ânima Educação, a Brazilian educational group ahead of 18 universities and more than 570 educational centers, has launched a Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund to invest in startups. Called Ânima Ventures, the new fund comes to the market with BRL 150 million and plans to invest in strategic tech companies over the next 10 years. The idea is to invest not only in edtechs that run complementary to Ânima’s core business but also in startups that develop transversal solutions.

Ânima Ventures plans to invest in early-stage startups, in Seed rounds, and sign average checks between BRL 1 million and BRL 5 million, with the possibility of following in Series A rounds. The company expects to bring between 10 and 15 startups to its portfolio.

This is not Ânima’s first foray into the innovation ecosystem. According to the company, Ânima Ventures is the result of a movement that began three years ago, with the launch of Learning Village, a technology hub focused on education and people development, which already has 35 accelerated startups in its portfolio.

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During this time, Ânima also invested in two startups, MedRoom, which focused on developing solutions in immersive technologies for the health sector; and Gama Academy, a technology school that recruits and trains professionals to work in programming, design, marketing, and sales.

Described as a complement to the company’s innovation efforts, Ânima Ventures will be headed by the current CEO of HSM and SingularityU Brazil, Reynaldo Gama. Leading the investment committee will be Ânima’s co-founders, Daniel Castanho, Marcelo Bueno and Maurício Escobar. “The fund will allow us to look not only at the core business but every business that contributes to the ecosystem,” said Castanho.

With an agnostic investment thesis regarding the sector, Ânima Ventures will look for startups that develop solutions that boost the company’s business and for new growth opportunities.

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“The timing is very opportune since the market is much more mature. The idea is to expand Ânima Ecosystem, beyond our core business focused on high-quality education, bringing solutions with some Fintechs, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, for example. We don’t want to leverage only edtech, but everything that can add value and compose our ecosystem even better,” Gama explained.

According to Castanho, the premise of the initiative is collaboration and the exchange of ideas. “More than investing money, we will contribute to the core business of each startup through the experts that we bring together in virtually all areas of knowledge, as well as support in the areas of management and sales.”

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One-third of the fund’s resources, BRL 50 million, will support a Venture Builder recently created to test investment theses and seek entrepreneurs who are “starting from scratch” and want to have Ânima Education as a partner. “We are looking for founders for startups that don’t exist yet,” Castanho concluded.

The Ânima Group owns the universities Anhembi Morumbi, São Judas, Unisul, among others, and also holds the brands HSM, BSP, Le Cordon Bleu, and Singularity in Brazil.

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