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This week in LATAM Startups
Global VC declines? Yes, but LATAM has a new fund... meanwhile, Y Combinator outperforms its peers in unicorns creation.
Welcome to our weekly newsletter covering the latest news and trends in the Latin American startup scene.
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The global accelerator with more unicorns
Y Combinator outperforms Techstars, MassChallenge and Global 500
Since companies like Airbnb and Reddit were backed by Y Combinator, the accelerator made a name for itself and since then has not stopped accelerating startups that reach the mythical $1 billion valuation.
An estimated 4.5% of the startups that have gone through Y Combinator since 2010 have become multi-million dollar companies, more than Techstars, MassChallenge, 500 Global or SOSV, according to a PitchBook analysis of large accelerators. Although in Latin America 500 Global has the most unicorns in its ranks, with two established brands - Clip and Konfío.
The unicorn creation rate for cohorts between 2010 and 2015 was even higher, at about 5.4% of all startups. And Combinator also outperformed other top accelerators in cumulative capital raised, with nearly $80.9 billion in total from its cohort companies from 2010 to 2022. Two-thirds of the accelerator's total value comes from its unicorns, a much higher rate than its competitors, the analysis shows.
Brazilian capital markets fintech Kanastra closed a $13 million seed funding round as it looks to further develop its infrastructure solution. The round is one of the largest early-stage rounds amid caution from venture capitalists.
Brazil's financial technology sector is booming, but many of the leading startups and early-stage companies have a problem: infrastructure providers have not kept pace with their innovation.
Kanastra's solution is a technology platform that provides a one-stop solution for both fintechs and originators themselves as well as financial providers.
A new equity fund for LatAms is born. Shu Nyatta and Marcelo Claure, former SoftBank executives for LatAm, launched on Wednesday Bicycle, a venture capital fund, with a major focus on Brazil and Mexico, having raised USD$440 million to boot. (Bloomberg Línea)
Finerio Connect is recognized by Vector Casa de Bolsa as one of the best global fintechs. The Mexican company was one of the three winners of the second edition of the Objetivo Fintech Award; it shared recognition with the American Toggle and the Israeli TipRanks. (Contxto Newsroom)
Endeavor and HSBC México created an alliance. The objective is to provide financial services and knowledge of the dynamics of the Mexican market to international startups coming to Mexico and looking to expand to and from Latin America. (Redacción Contxto)
Almacén Gurú leaves Mexico. The Chilean online grocery startup Almacén Gurú is leaving Mexico, a market it entered in 2022 with the intention of digitizing grocers. It also cut about 50% of its staff, which also affected collaborators in Chile. (DF Más)
Venture capital in global declines. U.S. startups raised $37 billion in the first quarter of this year, 55% less than in the first three months of last year. (Reforma/ The WSJ)
Tiendanube exceeds expectations. The e-commerce platform that has digitized more than 115 thousand businesses in Latin America, reported that in the Hot Sale 2023 its stores reported a growth in turnover of 60% and 111% in the number of purchases, both compared to the 2022 edition. (Contxto Newsroom)
Rappi launches new tools. The Colombian unicorn launched this Tuesday in Mexico some tools in order to economically boost small and medium-sized restaurants and make the products and services of its platform more accessible to millions of consumers. (Contxto Newsroom)
Lanzan una app para mayores de 50 años en Latinoamérica. CírculoTen funciona como un espacio para conectar con personas de intereses similares y participar en salas de chats temáticos, además hay cursos, talleres, juegos en línea, entre otros. Hasta el momento la han descargado más en Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay y México. (Contxto Newsroom)
Tools, websites and accessories
Bio Libre: A new free tool from Mercado Libre, where through social networks, entrepreneurs and content creators will be able to unify their sales channels and payment links in a space that they can customize with the tone and style of their brand. (Mercado Libre)
Generative Recolor: Designers and marketers can now use generative AI to change colors, themes, and fonts of graphics in Adobe Illustrator through text prompts, Adobe announced Tuesday. (Forbes)
Food for Thought
AI Generated Junk is flooding Etsy:
The Atlantic provides tech founders and VCs with an insightful examination of the pitfalls that can occur when AI is used to exponentially scale content generation. The article explores the repercussions of rampant deployment of AI, like OpenAI's GPT-3, in entrepreneurial ventures, cautioning against the potential dilution of content quality in various markets. It serves as a stark reminder that while AI democratization holds immense promise, its unchecked, large-scale application could lead to unintended consequences, underscoring the need for a balanced, thoughtful approach to technology adoption." (link)
The Swedish theory of love
The article argues that despite Sweden's reputation for being a collectivist society, the country is actually quite individualistic, with a strong emphasis on personal autonomy and self-expression. Norberg examines the historical and cultural factors that have contributed to this paradox, including Sweden's Lutheran heritage, its emphasis on education and social welfare. It offers valuable insights into the cultural and social factors that can shape a country's approach to business and innovation. Additionally, Norberg's writing is clear and engaging, making the article an enjoyable read for anyone interested in exploring the nuances of Swedish culture. (Aeon)
The cult of being confident and why it doesn’t help women
The examines the research on gender and confidence, highlighting studies that show how women are often penalized for expressing confidence, while men are rewarded for the same behavior. She also explores the ways in which this emphasis on confidence can be harmful to women's mental health, as they may feel pressure to constantly project confidence and suppress their doubts or insecurities.
Women in Leadership Face Ageism at Every Age
Despite the sobering statistics and anecdotes presented in the article, the authors also offer practical strategies for addressing ageism and promoting greater equity in the workplace. These strategies include advocating for age diversity, challenging stereotypes about aging, and promoting intergenerational collaboration.
How Fathers Can Support the Social and Emotional Health of Their Children
Emotional education is crucial for young boys as it helps them develop the skills needed to manage their emotions, communicate effectively, and build healthy relationships. In today's world, where toxic masculinity and emotional repression are still prevalent, emotional education can help young boys break free from harmful gender stereotypes and develop into empathetic and emotionally intelligent adults.
This article offers specific strategies for fathers to support their children's social and emotional health, such as engaging in play and physical affection, modeling healthy emotional expression, and fostering positive relationships with their children.
1. Book Worth Reading:
"Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World" by David Epstein. This book challenges the common belief that early specialization is the best path to success. Instead, Epstein argues that people who start wide and then narrow down are often more creative, more agile, and able to make connections that their more specialized peers can't see.
2. Concept Worth Understanding:
"Second-Order Thinking" - This is a mental model that encourages people to look beyond the immediate effects of an action and consider its subsequent effects. In other words, it's about thinking through the consequences of the consequences. It's a powerful concept that can help in problem-solving and strategic planning.
3. Advice Worth Listening:
"Practice 'Nonviolent Communication'" - This is a methodology for resolving conflicts developed by Marshall Rosenberg. It encourages empathetic listening and honest expression, and can be a powerful tool in both personal and professional relationships.
4. Video Worth Watching:
"Adam Grant at TED: The surprising habits of original thinkers". In this lesser-known TED talk, organizational psychologist Adam Grant discusses the habits of people he calls "originals": nonconformists who not only have new ideas but take action to champion them. He explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt.
These startups received capital this week
VIOO | Content creation | Seed. The startup that seeks to revolutionize the visual content creation market in Latin America, raises investment led by Mexican fund Wollef. The $1 million round was also backed by Kima Ventures, 500 Latam and Colectivo Jaguara, as well as a number of angel investors. (Contxto Newsroom)
nocnoc | Series A | $14,000,000.00 Nocnoc is the main tech-enabler that helps global sellers succeed in Latin America's #1 marketplaces. (Investors: PayPal Ventures)
The Green Coffee Company | Series C | $25,000,000.00The Green Coffee Company, allows our farms and partner producers to export a diverse range of offerings.
Hackmetrix | Convertible Note | $1,300,000.00 Hackmetrix helps startups improve their security complying with industry standars like ISO27k or PCI. (Investors: Daedalus Ventures)
PhycoLabs | Grant | $20,000.00 PhycoLabs is a biotech startup that focuses on developing and licensing algae-based technologies, in a business model. (Investors: H&M Foundation - Global Change Award)
Cumplo | Non-equity Assistance Cumplo is the largest SMB lending network in Latin America (Investors: Start Path Small Business)
Exato Digital | Venture | $3,470,000.00 Exato is a quick, cheap, and thorough background check platform that can be used by corporations, startups, and micro-entrepreneurs.
Muta | Pre-Seed | $180,000.00 Muta builds technology to enable solutions in software and hardware to digitalize the recycling industry. (Investors: Orbit Startups)
Paygol | Non-equity Assistance Paygol is the payment system provider that offers you a perfect solution to monetize your online business in Latin America. (Investors: Start Path Small Business)
MERU | Pre-Seed | $6,000,000.00 Meru is the one stop shop platform that is optimizing the automotive aftermarket supply chain for mechanics in Latam.
Batech | Seed Batech is an artificial business intelligence firm that focuses on technical solutions that provide value to businesses.
GrupoTusMaquinas | Seed | $1,200,000.00 We're a Marketplace specialized in services for big machines: lend, sell, finance.
AltWoo | Venture Altwoo is a global social network on a blockchain platform with real-time information and analysis.
Plurall | Seed | $1,000,000.00 Plurall is a fintech focused on improving the Financial Inclusion of solo-preneurs in Colombia.
Kanastra | Seed | $13,000,000.00 Tech-driven backoffice for alternative investments (Investors: Quona Capital, Valor Capital Group)
Mombak | Venture | $2,179,983.00 Mombak is a carbon removal company that focuses on the reforestation of the Amazon.
INVEX | Post-IPO Debt | $59,517,509.00 Invex is a financial institution.
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