Colombia’s La Haus Raises $35M To Digitize LatAm’s Residential Real Estate and More...

This week, La Haus raises Series B to digitize the region’s real estate ecosystem, LatAm e-commerce giant MercadoLibre sold $1.1 billion in bonds to expand its fleet of electric-powered delivery vehicles. Fintech company MX raised a $300 million Series C, and Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrado vowed to lead an international effort to combat censorship by social media companies that have blocked or suspended the accounts of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Tech Startup La Haus Raises $35M To Digitize LatAm’s Residential Real Estate

Colombia-based real estate tech startup La Haus has raised $35 million in a Series B round. La Haus is working to construct a real estate marketplace for Latin America to facilitate an easier home buying and selling process

While tools like Redfin or Zillow are widely available in the U.S., similar resources have historically been unavailable in Latin America. 

In an interview with Crunchbase News, La Haus co-founder and President Rodrigo Sanchez-Rios explained:

“All of these are fantastic, innovative solutions for the U.S. real estate market,” Sanchez-Rios said. “But it is really important to establish the background against which we’re operating.”

The real estate market in Latin America is not like the United States. Zillow, Multiple Listing Services, or easily accessible public records, tools and services people often take for granted in the U.S. are not available, Sanchez-Rios added. There’s also no licensing or central repository of information in Latin America, which- combined with a lack of MLS- means there is no coordinated platform for listings.

The company currently operates in Medellin, Bogota and Mexico City. With the new funding, the company will be “doubling down” on product development to help address real estate challenges in Latin America. For example, La Haus is working to develop an inventory management system to help developers–who have traditionally managed everything offline– execute tasks such as sending quotes to clients, managing sold properties, and viewing availability in a more efficient manner. 

MercadoLibre To Expand Electric Fleet After $1.1 Billion Bond Sale

Latin American eCommerce giant MercadoLibre has sold $1.1 billion in bonds to expand its fleet of electric-powered delivery vehicles.

Founded in 1999, the Argentina-based e-commerce platform and digital payment solution operates across Latin America. MercadoLibre’s digital ecosystem operates as an integrated regional platform that enables businesses and individuals to trade products and services. Online sales are facilitated via its marketplace platform, which includes classifieds for motor vehicles and real estate. 

PYMNTS reports that MercadoLibre’s bonds started trading on Jan. 7 and are due in 2031. The company's total revenue increased by 59 percent in 2019 to reach $2.30 billion; first-quarter revenue in 2020 went up 38% to $652 million.

Providing A Money Experience: MX Banks On $300M Series C

Fintech data company MX aims to connect people with their financial data in effort to automate users’ “money experience.”

Supported by a $300 million Series C round of funding, the Utah-based company’s goal is to make interacting with money similar to shopping on Amazon, streaming on Netflix, or listening to music on Spotify, Ryan Caldwell, Co-Founder and CEO of MX, told Crunchbase News.

“MX is at the epicenter of leveraging data to create positive money experience...In the financial services industry, they are not using data to help the user come up with what they need to do next with their money. Accounts go down to zero without any warning. We are connecting data, and since we know the nature of the transaction and know the customer concerns, we can prompt them with the right warning,” Caldwell said. 

Founded in 2010, MX is already working with over 2,000 financial institutions and 43 of the top 50 digital banking providers. 

TPG Growth led the investment with $150 million, and was joined by both new and existing investors including CapitalG, Geodesic, Greycroft, Canapi Ventures, Digital Garage, Point72 Ventures, Pelion, along with Regions Financial. The investment quadruples MX’s valuation to $1.9 billion, according to the company.

Mexican President Mounts Campaign Against Social Media Bans

Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrado has vowed to lead an international effort to combat what he considers censorship by social media companies that have blocked or suspended the accounts of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

AP News reports that AMLO’s administration is reaching out to other governments to form a common front on the issue.

“I can tell you that at the first G20 meeting we have, I am going to make a proposal on this issue...Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression,” López Obrador said. 

Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico is starting to build an international campaign around the issue.

“Given that Mexico, through our president, has spoken out, we immediately made contact with others who think the same,” Ebrard explained; noting they had heard from officials in France, Germany, the European Union, Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

“The president’s orders are to make contact with all of them, share this concern and work on coming up with a joint proposal. We will see what is proposed,” Ebrard added.

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