The future is being built in Latin America. This much is true when we observe the trends shaping the region’s startup ecosystem.
Here is a quick overview of these trends with some insights on what July left us with:
- More than 85 investment rounds
- Around $2B invested
- 3 new unicorns
- 3 companies going public
- The reggaeton and startup universes meeting
The past couple of years can be seen as a breakeven in the Latin American startup ecosystem regarding international exposure and investments which has translated into a more mature market and ventures.
During July, Colombian last-mile delivery startup Rappi pocketed $500M on a Series F round led by T. Rowe Price.
The NotCo, a biotech startup developing plant-based food, raised a $365M Series D making it Chile’s latest unicorn, with Tiger Global Management leading the round.
Brazilian cryptocurrency exchange platform, Mercado Bitcoin, joined two of the most exclusive clubs in Latam. They’ve not just joined SoftBank’s Latin American Venture Club, but they’ve managed to reach a $2.1B valuation. This means they’re not only a unicorn but also the second crypto-unicorn in Latam.
These three startups led the top 5 biggest investment rounds in Latam during July. Disclosed debt was omitted for this ranking.
Where Are These Startups From?
We’ve seen Brazil taking the lead in both disclosed rounds and the amount raised recently. Some media sources divide their findings into two: Brazil and the rest of Latin America. Sometimes, when we see some of the numbers from Brazil and the rest of LatAm, it looks like two different cakes.
Even though Brazil led the number of disclosed rounds (44), Colombia took the lead in the total amount raised by $7M – a very close run.
Around 75 startups that raised money during July come from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, or Mexico. This means that about 10% of the total startup deals for July came from other Latam countries.
Following The NotCo and Mercado Bitcoin, July left us with one more unicorn. MURAL, an Argentine digital workspace, raised $50M in a Series C round and reached a $2B+ valuation. Insight Partners and Tiger Global led this round, increasing Latam’s list to 23 unicorns (not counting Ualá yet).
Although Chile and Argentina each welcomed a new unicorn, Brazil still leads the unicorn club list in terms of the number of members. According to Crunchbase, two-thirds of all the unicorns in Latam come from Brazil.
When looking at the top-funded companies in Latin America, we usually just see fintech, fintech, and more fintech. July was distributed in two main industries: Logistics, and fintech (what a surprise).
While the logistic side was mostly allocated to last-mile delivery services, our beloved fintech was more diversified.
Fintech investments were distributed between banking, crowdfunding, investing, cryptocurrencies, credit, payment, and general financial services – with more money allocated to enterprise financial services, investing, and payment solutions.
Startups are Growth
We are seeing a constant rise of new bets. Most of the investments made during July were early-stage (61 of the 78 disclosed investments to be exact).
On the other hand, only 6 of the total rounds were later-stage: 4 of these investments were Series C, while the other 2 were Series D and Series F rounds.
The remaining 11 rounds were undisclosed.
However, in terms of funding, 60% went to later-stage startups. A total of $906M was raised for more developed companies. While the other 40% went to early-stage startups. That’s around $606M distributed between 61 rounds, resulting in average funding of almost $10M per startup.
Latin American Stocks to the Moon
Finally, 3 companies with Latin American roots went public during July:
- $DUOL (Duolingo). Guatemalan EdTech startup.
- $VTEX (VTEX). Brazilian cloud-based eCommerce platform.
- $ZENV (Zenvia). Brazilian platform for customer communication.
Maluma, a Colombian reggaeton artist, invested in real-estate startup La Haus. According to Andrea Morales, Maluma tends to invest in Colombian projects, so it may not be a surprise.
Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton invested in Chile’s latest unicorn NotCo too.
Stay tuned for our monthly, quarterly, and annual Venture Capital recaps.