Published On: Fri, Feb 28th, 2020

Latin America roundup: SoftBank adds $1B, Stori raises $10M and Grow Mobility puts on a brakes

After investing scarcely $2 billion of a Innovation Fund in Latin America in 2019, SoftBank announced this month that it would supplement an additional $1 billion into a account to continue ancillary tech startups opposite a region. While a Japanese financier faces a plea of lifting a second tellurian account after a Vision Fund, SoftBank is still investing heavily in Latin America. 

One of a early Latin American investments — and a initial in Colombia — Ayenda Rooms, is behaving quite well, lifting $8.7 million from Kaszek Ventures this month. Ayenda is a internal chronicle of Oyo Rooms, one of SoftBank’s biggest bets in India, that has looked to enhance into Mexico notwithstanding a financial break final month. In fact, a account recently came underneath inspection by The Wall Street Journal for appropriation identical smoothness competitors Uber, Rappi and Didi, suggesting a dispute of interest. 

Most recently, SoftBank invested $125 million in Mexico’s lender, Alphacredit, and they reportedly devise to continue investing in that niche. The organisation now oversees some-more than 650 companies in Latin America, mostly clever in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Mexico, and skeleton to deposit $100-150 million in 17 firms and dual VCs by a finish of a year. To date, over 50% of SoftBank’s investments have been into Brazil, many of that exist in a fintech sector. 

Mexican neobank Stori raises $10 million Series A

In a self-fulfilling prophecy, Mexico’s neobank marketplace became all a some-more rival this month with a further of a new player: Stori. Within a past few months, both TechCrunch and Business Insider forked to Mexico’s neobank marketplace as a one to watch in Latin America as startups like Albo, Klar and Nubank conflict for marketplace share. In February, digital bank Stori assimilated a review with a $10 million Series A from Bertelsmann Investments (BI) and Source Code Capital, along with an existent investor, Vision Plus Capital.

This turn of funding, led by Chinese investors, is partial of a flourishing trend of unfamiliar supports waking adult to a Latin American startup ecosystem, Asian VCs in particular. Tencent has invested in Brazil’s Nubank, that has given stretched to Mexico, and in Argentina’s Uala, that is deliberation a identical move. SoftBank has investments in a largest lending and credit startups in Brazil and Mexico, as well. 

Stori will use a investment to urge a AI record as it tries to strech over 100,000 Mexicans by a thorough digital banking services. The neobank has lifted over $17 million from investors given it was founded in 2018.

Grow Mobility pulls out of 14 cities

In January, Rappi and Lime pulled behind their operations in Latin America in sequence to concentration on record over fast growth. Brazil’s tip mobility startup, Grow Mobility (which rose out of a merger between e-scooter companies Grin from Mexico and Yellow from Brazil) also pulled back. The startup, that provides e-scooters and bikes shares opposite Brazil, took bicycles out of operation and private a scooters from 14 cities. 

Grow also restructured a operations by layoffs that influenced employees opposite Brazil, nonetheless they did not criticism on how many people were affected. Grow Mobility’s scooters will now usually work in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Curitiba. 

This settlement of pull-back following bomb enlargement has turn some-more common among Latin America’s biggest startups, pulling these early-stage companies to concentration on technological solutions that boost revenue, rather than blitzscaling measures that usually buy marketplace share.

Amazon Web Services doubles down on Brazil

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it would deposit $236 million (R$1 billion) into São Paulo over a subsequent dual years to strengthen a Latin American infrastructure. This bid might be a partial of Amazon’s work to connect marketplace share in Latin America’s increasingly rival e-commerce market, where bequest players like MercadoLibre still dominate. This investment will capacitate Amazon to enhance a Brazilian information centers and urge internal use offerings to both private and open partners. 

Amazon also announced that it would build a new placement core in Pernambuco in a north of Brazil to support sales opposite a country. Brazil accounts for roughly 40% of Latin America’s e-commerce market, creation a nation critical to Amazon’s positioning in a region.

News and Notes: Weel, Global 66, Yuca and Memed 

Weel, a Brazilian accounts-receivable government platform, announced an $18.4 million investment from Banco Votorantim, Brazil’s seventh-largest bank, in Feb 2020. This investment was Banco Votorantim’s second in a startup after a $6 million grant in 2019. Weel will use a investment to try enlargement opposite Brazil, as good as exploring Chilean and Mexican markets. 

Chilean general send startup Global 66 perceived $3.25 million in Feb from U.K. financier Venrex, to continue a enlargement opposite a region. The startup now offers rates adult to 8 times improved than existent send services, generally for a Latin American region. Global 66 recently non-stop new offices in Peru and skeleton to enhance to Colombia, Argentina and Mexico within a subsequent dual years. Within only dual years of operations, Global 66 has processed exchange for over 25,000 users opposite 60 cities worldwide.

Yuca, a Brazilian proptech, lifted $4.7 million from Monashees, ONEVC and Creditas to assistance quarrel housing crises in Brazil’s largest cities. As Brazil’s cities stretch — São Paulo is one of a largest in a universe — Yuca creates executive co-living spaces for immature people that wish to digest their commutes. Inspired by Chinese startup, Ziroom, Yuca now manages 18 apartments for 80 students and skeleton to scale to 500 apartments by a finish of a year.

Brazil’s digital medication startup, Memed, recently lifted $4.5 million from DNA Capital and Redpoint eVentures to urge a internal medication complement for doctors and patients alike. Today, Memed has over 80,000 purebred doctors who have combined over 10 million prescriptions value some-more than $237 million. Memed’s 100% digital prescriptions are pronounced to urge confidence and potency in Brazil’s complex, official medical system.

While Brazil is still during a forefront of Latin America’s tech ecosystem, Mexican fintechs are circumference up, generally with additional support from general investors. 2020 is off to a clever start, hinting during another intensity record-breaking year for Latin American tech investment.

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