Brazil’s MadeiraMadeira Reaches $1B Valuation while LatAm Countries Face Second Wave of Pandemic

MadeiraMadeira, Brazil’s answer to Wayfair and Ikea, is now worth $1B with a new $190 million round in late stage financing.

This week, Brazil’s MadeiraMadeira- an online marketplace specializing in home products- reached a $1B valuation with a new $190 million round in late stage financing. Ford Motor Co. announced it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the country. Chile’s government said it will more than double the number of municipalities under strict coronavirus lockdowns in upcoming days to combat a resurgence in the pandemic. 

MadeiraMadeira, Brazil’s Answer to Wayfair and Ikea, Reaches $1B Valuation

MadeiraMadeira, Brazil’s answer to Wayfair and Ikea, is now worth $1 billion. Tech Crunch reports the company recently raised $190 million in late stage financing; led by SoftBank’s Latin American investment fund and the Brazilian public and private investment firm Dynamo.

MadeiraMadeira is an online marketplace specializing in home products that offers customers roughly 300,000 products. 

Founded in 2009 by Daniel Scandian, Marcelo Scandian and Robson Privado, the company has benefited substantially with Brazil’s shift to online shopping as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recent financing will be used to invest in expanding the company’s logistics capabilities, with the addition of new warehouse facilities to expand on its existing ten locations. The company also intends to add same-day delivery and expand its private label services.

Ford Announces Closing of Brazilian Manufacturing Operations

On Monday, Ford Motor Co. announced it will close three plants in Brazil and stop producing automobiles in the country, where it has been operating since 1919.

The company said in a statement it will cease production immediately at the factories “as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies persistent industry idle capacity and slow sales that have resulted in years of significant losses” (Times Union). 

The automobile giant’s decision has caused political stir in Brazil. The country's lower house Speaker Rodrigo Maia said on Twitter that Ford’s closings are “a sign of the lack of credibility of the Brazilian government.”

Figures of the association of automakers in Brazil said Ford ended 2020 as the fifth highest selling company of the sector, with a market share of 7%.

Chile Locks Down 20% of Population to Combat Second Virus Wave

Chile’s government said it will more than double the number of municipalities under strict coronavirus lockdowns in upcoming days to combat a resurgence in the pandemic. 

Health Minister Enrique Paris said in a televised press conference on Monday that the number of municipalities under full lockdown will increase from 42 to 18. Roughly 3.9 million of a total population of 18 million will now be living under these restrictions, Paris added. 

Chile joins emerging-market peers Colombia and Brazil in grappling with an intense second wave of the virus. Policy makers in Chile have won praise for securing enough vaccine contracts to inoculate the entire population. Still, only about 11,000 health workers have been vaccinated thus far, while daily infections have risen the most since June (Bloomberg). 

Chile’s number of daily virus infections nearly doubled to over 4,000 last week, according to government data. 

Mexican Remittances Set Surprising U.S. Record

Mexicans and Mexican-Americans working in the U.S. sent a record sum of money to the Latin American country despite the staggering blows the U.S. economy took due to the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from Mexico's central bank.

During the first 11 months of 2020, people in the United States sent $36.9 billion to Mexico, WSJ reported, citing data released by the Banco de Mexico ( December 2020 data does not appear to be available). The prior record for a full 12 months of remittances during a calendar year was $36.4 billion in 2019. In just one month — July 2020 — people in the U.S. sent $3.53 billion to parties in Mexico, up from $3.29 billion in July 2019, according to reports.

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