There are new players wanting to invest in Latin America. The K Fund, one of the largest venture capital firms in southern Europe, has crossed the Atlantic with capital to invest in Latin American startups.
Founded six years ago by Inaki Arolla – the entrepreneur who founded the online car classifieds company Coches.com (sold to Santander) – and Carina Szpilka, an executive with a thriving career at ING, the K Fund is already a major player in the development of the innovation ecosystem in Southern Europe.
To reach Latin America, the K Fund partnered with Gustavo S. Carvalhal Ribas as its Venture Partner and head of LatAm, and opening an office in São Paulo, Brazil.The Brazilian has already served on the board of some of the best known startups in Brazil, representing firms such as Provence Capital (owned by Leopoldo Figueiredo, former partner at Hedging-Griffo) and Mogno Capital.
From São Paulo, Ribas will take care of a relevant part of Leadwind, the largest growth fund ever raised by a southern European fund. The idea is to allocate 25% of the fund to investments in startups in Latin America. With 180 million euros already raised, the K Fund intends to close Leadwind early next year, when the fund will be launched.
“There are currently a number of firms bridging the Latin American and the US venture capital ecosystems. K Fund, through Leadwind and its corporate backers, will forge that bridge with Southern Europe, significantly helping our portfolio companies with their global strategies”, says Gustavo S. Carvalhal Ribas, K Fund’s Venture Partner and head of LatAm operations.
K Fund traditionally invests on pre-seed and seed stages, but with the launch of Leadwind they have expanded to also making Series A investments. This allows the fund to be able to write cheques from €100K to +€10M.
The fund is backed by key corporates in the region like Telefonica/Vivo, BBVA, Go Hub, Proeduca or SATEC among others, as well as institutional investors such as AXIS-ICO via the Fond-ICO Next Tech initiative, seasoned entrepreneurs and family offices.
A final closing for the €250M fund is expected by early 2023, with more than €180M in capital commitments already secured to date.