Global participation in local investments in Latin America‘s innovation ecosystem has been steadily increasing since 2019: 21% of transactions included at least one global investor in 2019, jumping to 23% in 2020 and 31% in the first half of 2021, according to data from LAVCA, the Latin American Private Equity Investment Association, that will have updated figures for the second half of 2021 during the 2022 first quarter. “Now, we are interested in seeing how do collaboration dynamics between global and local investors develop during 2022”, the association said.
READ ALSO: The 10 most valuable startups in Latin America (so far)
LAVCA also has been closely watching some trends that have received significant investment during 2021 across the ecosystem, which include E-commerce aggregators, Banking as a Service, Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL), and Crypto.
Some of the notable rounds in these verticals include:
E-commerce aggregators with presence in Mexico and Brazil:
- Advent International and SoftBank led a $225 million Series B for Merama;
- Angel Ventures, FJ Labs Upper90 and Presight Capital led a $50 million Seed round in VALOREO with KASZEK leading a round extension soon after;
- Cometa led a $20 million Seed round for Quinio;
- ALLVP and Mountain Nazca led a $20 million Seed round for Wonder Brands.
Banking as a Service (BAAS):
- Tiger Global led a $135 million Series A for Swap, a Brazilian cloud infrastructure and fintech services provider;
- QED Investors and KASZEK led a $40 million Series C for Hash, a Brazilian payment services provider for non-financial companies offering banking services;
- Temasek invested $20 million in Conductor, a Brazilian payments processor and card issuance provider for fintechs;
- Two Sigma Ventures led a $20 million round for Nelo, a Mexican BNPL platform for e-commerce merchants;
- KASZEK led a $5.25 million round for Aplazo, a Mexican payment platform enabling buy-now-pay-later systems for e-commerce brands;
- 10t and Tribe Capital just led a $50 million Series B+ for Brazilian crypto exchange Mercado Bitcoin after SoftBank invested $200 million in July at a reported $2.1 billion valuation;
- Digital Currency Group (DCG) led a $50 million Series B for Ripio, an Argentine crypto trading platform;
- Kingsway Capital led a $16.3 million Series A for Lemon, an Argentine crypto banking platform.
READ ALSO: All I want for Christmas is… funding. Some funds gave many gifts to Latin America in 2021
LAVCA said to LABS that it has also seen rising interest from investors in the potential of hardware-based technologies and IoT (Internet of Things) solutions, with rounds in Brazil, Mexico and Chile, such as:
- Cobli, a Brazil-based telematics and fleet management platform, raising a $35 million Series B led by SoftBank;
- Pulsar, a US-based manufacturing analytics platform for factories in the US and Mexico, raising a $3.6 million Seed round from Jaguar Ventures, GFC, Picus Capital and Kayyak Ventures;
- InfoPrice, a Brazilian developer of hardware-based solutions for foot traffic monitoring and dynamic price setting for small retailers, raising $3 million from Indicator Capital and TM3 Capital;
- Instacrops, a Chilean sensor-based crop monitoring platform, raising $2.8 million from Genesis Ventures, Fundacion Chile’s CLIN and SVG Ventures.