The Latin America September Tech Round Up

LatAm List – September was a record month for the rapidly expanding tech ecosystem in Latin America. The recent spate of deals including an investment into delivery company Rappi and the recent acquisition of Cornershop have made international headlines and are proving that the region’s startups are ready to scale.

Here are the four standout deals of September, plus four deals you might have missed.

Rappi became Colombia’s first unicorn after receiving a US$200M investment from DST Global and previous investors, Andreesen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital. The delivery app was founded in 2015 and was the first Latin American company to enter Y Combinator. With a US$1B valuation under its belt, Rappi is conquering new markets across Latin America and dominating the competitive last-mile delivery industry in the region.

Mexican e-scooter company Grin raised the biggest seed round in the history of the region, closing with over US$28M from Monashees, 500 Startups, and others. Following in a growing trend that has taken over China, the US, and Brazil, Grin was also accepted into Y Combinator and became one of the top ten startups from the accelerator. Grin was one of six Latin American startups to enter the most recent Y Combinator batch, alongside BrainHi, Fintual, and Ubits.

Brazilian e-scooter startup Yellow, founded by the founders of 99Taxis, raised US$63M in the largest Series A round ever. After being founded in 2017, Yellow has grown extremely quickly in one of Latin America’s largest markets.

Cornershop, a Mexican-Chilean grocery delivery app founded by the founders of Groupon Latin America, was acquired by Walmart for US$225M to integrate the delivery logistics with the corporation’s growing interest in e-commerce. This massive exit shows that Latin American startups are now scaling at Silicon Valley speeds and opens the potential for higher valuations in the future.

While these four deals broke records for the Latin American ecosystem, they overshadowed several smaller acquisitions and investments that prove the underlying dynamism of Latin America’s tech ecosystem.

  • Chile’s insurance comparison platform, ComparaOnline, acquired its much smaller Colombian competitor, ComparaMejor, to streamline its entry into the Colombian market. The Chilean platform received a Series C investment from Bamboo Capital and the IFC last year, which helped fund this acquisition.
  • Mexican apartment-sharing platform, DadaRoom, was acquired by US counterpart, Roomi, for an undisclosed sum in early September. Founded in 2012, DadaRoom received funding from Wayra and Start-Up Chile to help it grow to over 800,000 users across dozens of cities in Latin America.
  • China also continues to edge its way into the Latin American ecosystem, through corporate and government investments. Brazilian iPhone resale platform, Trocafone, received US$3M from Pedralbes Partners and Chinese resale market leader, Aihuishou. Latin America is a key market for Chinese companies who can easily draw parallels between the development paths of the two regions.
  • Brazilian drone startup, Horus, recently raised over US$2M on a crowdfunding platform, the largest sum ever raised via crowdfunding in Brazil. Horus uses drone technology to map agricultural territory and help farmers make smarter decisions about their land by accessing the information through their smartphones.

The Latin American startup ecosystem is reaching an inflection point, demonstrated by September’s flurry of record-breaking deals. These massive exits, along with the smaller deals within the ecosystem, are a sign that Latin American tech is rapidly maturing, allowing regional startups to have a global reach.


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