Brazil continued to churn out unicorns this month, with Curitiba-basedEbanx
[https://www.ebanx.com/br/]becoming the first startup from the southern part of
the country to top a$1 billion valuation
U.S.-based FTV Capital provided the investment but did not disclose the amount
invested nor the exact valuation of Ebanx after the investment.
Ebanx is an end-to-end payment processor that helps international companies
receive payments in the Latin American market, similar to Stripe. Their clients
include Airbnb, AliExpress, Pipedrive, Spotify, Uber and Wish, and more than 50
million Latin Americans have conducted transactions with more than 1,000
companies through the Ebanx platform. This investment comes on the heels of
exciting partnerships with Uber Pay, Shopify, Spotify andVisa
[https://crunchbase.com/organization/visa]to expand cross-border payment
processing across the region.
Ebanx has operations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru,
Ecuador and Bolivia, and will expand their local payment solution, Ebanx Pay,
into Colombia in 2020. The company has grown its user base by offering a
full-service product that includes market research, 24/7 customer service and
The Ebanx investment is part of a growing interest in Latin American payments
startups. Brazil?sPagSeguro [https://pagseguro.uol.com.br/]andStoneCo
[https://www.stone.co/]had successful IPOs last year, while Mexico?sConekta
[https://www.conekta.com/]and Ecuador?sKushki [https://www.kushkipagos.com/]have
raised large rounds to try to unite the region under a single processor as Latin
America rapidly adopts e-commerce.
Uber acquires Cornershop, takes off where Walmart left off
The acquisition of the Chilean-Mexican grocery delivery startupCornershop
[https://crunchbase.com/organization/cornershop]has been anemotional roller
[https://latamlist.com/2019/06/20/cornershop-co-founder-confirms-the-companys-withdrawal-from-ma-with-walmart/] for Latin American entrepreneurs and investors throughout 2019. First Walmart
announced a $225 million deal that would be one of the bigger exits of the
region, then the acquisition was blocked by Mexican antitrust institution
COFECE. This announcement dealt a blow to the ecosystem as entrepreneurs and VCs
had eagerly awaited this boost in liquidity in the local market.
> Last-mile delivery and logistics became a very competitive space in Latin
America in 2018.
Then in mid-October 2019, Uber announced it would take a 51% stake in Cornershop
for a reported$450 million
quadrupling the startup?s value in the four months since the COFECE decision.
This deal will consist of cash, investment in Cornershop?s growth and stock in
Uber, which IPO?d earlier this year.
However, this deal must also be approved by the Chilean and Mexican antitrust
boards, which are expected to release their decisions within the next two weeks.
In the meantime, Cornershop will continue its expansion into the Colombian
market after it added Peru and Canada in 2019.
Last-mile delivery and logistics became a verycompetitive
[https://latamlist.com/2018/03/28/the-battle-for-last-mile-delivery-in-latin-america/] space in Latin America in 2018, and many of the players are sitting on enormous
pools of capital. Colombia?s Rappi raised $1 billion from SoftBank in early
2019, breaking records for startup investment for the region. Brazil?s iFood
raised $500 million from Naspers at the end of 2018. However, delivery continues
to be a cash-intensive business, with many of these companies burning through
capital quickly to gain market share. Cornershop was an exception and had raised
less than $50 million before the acquisition.
Brazil?s Buser, Olist, raise funding from SoftBank
Despite the WeWork crash,SoftBank [https://crunchbase.com/organization/softbank] has continued investing consistently in Brazilian startups. In early October
2019, the Japanese investor led an undisclosedSeries B
[https://latamlist.com/2019/10/08/softbank-invests-in-brazilian-mobility-platform-buser/] round for Brazilian collaborative bus chartering startupBuser
[https://www.buser.com.br/]. Buser?s team will invest more than $73 million in
growth over the next 12 months to create new alliances for their network of
Buser helps coordinate groups of people to charter buses at convenient times and
lower prices, disrupting the bureaucratic, anti-competitive and inefficient bus
system. The company has grown 1,500% over the past nine months and serves more
than 3,000 people per day. While Buser has been popular with locals, traditional
bus drivers are calling for regulation to slow the company?s meteoric growth.
Buser plans to add more than 100 direct jobs in 200 cities over the next 12
months, and SoftBank?s most recent investment will help power this growth.
Brazil?s e-commerce marketplace integratorOlist [https://olist.com/]also
received investment from SoftBank for its Series C, coming in around$46 million
eVentures [https://rpev.com.br/]andValor Capital [http://valorcapitalgroup.com/] also participated in the round.
> This investment signals the increased interest by traditional retailers in
startups that are slowly chipping away at their market share across the region.
Olist [https://crunchbase.com/organization/olist]connects small businesses to
larger product marketplaces to help entrepreneurs sell their products to a
larger customer base. They will reportedly use this investment to investigate
the development of financial products and look for collaboration with SoftBank?s
other companies, like Rappi and Loggi. Based in Curitiba, Olist was founded in
2015 to help small merchants gain market share across the country through a SaaS
licensing model to small brick and mortar businesses.
Today, Olist has more than 7,000 customers and uses a drop-shipping model to
send products directly from stores to clients around the country, allowing them
to grow with a capital-light model. They will use the investment to add up to
100 new employees.
Carrefour Brazil acquires 49% of Ewally
Grocery chain Carrefouracquired
[https://latamlist.com/2019/10/04/carrefour-brazil-acquires-49-stake-in-ewally/] a large stake in Brazil-basedEwally [https://www.ewally.com.br/]after it
completed?Village Capital?s first regional acceleration program.
Ewally improves financial inclusion in Brazil through a mobile wallet app that
allows unbanked clients to pay bills and make purchases online through the
blockchain. Carrefour will reportedly use the acquisition to accelerate digital
transformation and improve online payment mechanisms throughout Brazil.
Carrefour did not disclose the amount invested and the deal is still subject to
approval by Brazilian financial regulation authorities. However, this investment
signals the increased interest by traditional retailers in startups that are
slowly chipping away at their market share across the region.
News and Notes: Early-stage rounds are getting bigger
Startups in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina raised several rounds this month,
ranging from $1.5 million to $13 million. Brazil?s Xerpa, Colombia?s Sempli,
Brazil?s Gorilla and Argentina?s Bitso and Worcket were among those that raised
capital from local and international investors in October 2019.
Brazilian human resource management platformXerpa [https://www.xerpa.com.br/]
[https://latamlist.com/2019/10/09/brazilian-fintech-raises-13m-from-vostok-emerging-finance/] from Vostok Emerging Finance to continue to help companies like MercadoLibre,
iFood and QuintoAndar provide benefits for their employees. Previous investors
include Nubank?s David Velez, Kaszek Ventures and QED Investors.
Sempli [https://www.sempli.co/], an online lending platform for small businesses
in Colombia, raised an$8 million
A from new investorsOikocredit [https://www.oikocredit.coop/]and Incofin CVSO,
as well as previous investorsBID LAB [https://bidlab.org/en], XTPI Fund,
Generaci?n Exponencial, and Impulsum Ventures. To date, Sempli has raised more
than $24 million in equity funding. The founders will use this round to grow
their portfolio and improve their risk assessment technology to provide more
small business loans in Colombia.
Brazil?sQuicko [https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/quicko], an alternative
mobility startup that uses big data, raised$10 million
[https://latamlist.com/2019/10/14/brazilian-mobility-startup-quicko-raises-10m/] in October from Brazilian transport company CCR. Quicko?s technology integrates
all mobility options ? from bicycles to Uber and 99 ? to help people get where
they need to go as quickly and inexpensively as possible.
Also in Brazil, startup Gorilla Invest raised$8.4 million
Ribbit Capital [https://ribbitcap.com/],Monashees [http://monashees.com.br/en/] andIporanga [https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/iporanga-investments].
Gorilla aggregates financial assets so that investors can review all their
commitments in one place, and currently manages more than $1.2 billion for
Mexican cryptocurrency exchangeBitso [https://bitso.com/]raised anundisclosed
[https://latamlist.com/2019/10/18/bitso-raises-funds-for-its-latin-american-expansion/] round from Argentine startupRipple [https://www.ripple.com/]to expand into the
Southern Cone, especially Argentina and Brazil. Other investors in the round
included Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, Jump Capital and Coinbase.
Looking ahead to November, with unsettled politics in several countries across
the region, tech startups are growing despite governmental changes. Some of
these changes will likely have a positive effect on the regional ecosystem as
people push for more sustainable and equal economic growth.
What to watch next? Last year, Q4 was marked by a wave of large investments as
funds and startups look to end the year strong. IFood raised its record-breaking
[https://latamlist.com/2018/12/30/after-us500m-investment-ifood-reaches-12-3m-monthly-orders/] round in December 2018. We may well see a similar uptick this year as mega-funds
like SoftBank have been consistently investing multi-million dollar rounds since
June. There is no sign international investment in Latin America will slow
through the end of the year, so we can likely look forward to several more
growth-stage rounds before the year is out.