Canary was born in January 2017 from the joint forces of some of Brazil’s most prominent entrepreneurs. Among its 49 partners are the founder and president of Nubank, the founder of Peixe Urbano (acquired by Baidu), the founder of 99Taxis, and the founder of the Instagram photo app.
Canary’s investment thesis is to get Brazilian startups through the “death valley”: the period of time between the initial angel investment and a Series A. Up to 30% of startups in Brazil fail during this critical period due to lack of access to capital. The idea originally came from two foreign entrepreneurs, Hungarian Mate Pencz and the German Florian Hagenbuch, who co-founded Printi, a graphic materials e-commerce site, in Brazil.
When they started making angel investments themselves, they realized the capital market in Brazil was lagging, and dragging startups down with it. The founders raised US$160M to invest in Brazilian startups and have thus far made 21 investments (approximately 12% of their capital).
Canary is entrepreneur-centric; they make decisions after 2-3 meetings, never take more than 15% of the company, and offer an enormous network of Brazil’s most experienced entrepreneurs. Their investments range from US$180K (R$600K) to US$300K (R$1M) and they invest up to 60% of their fund in follow-ons to portfolio companies.
This article originally appeared in Portuguese on LAVCA.