dataPlor Launches LATAM Regional SMB Dataset

dataPlor announced the launch of its licensable Latin American dataset, while Google and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have set aside over $12 million USD to support Latin American microfinance institutions. Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has approved rules for a spectrum auction for fifth-generation networks this year. Brazil-based fintech RecargaPay announced this morning that they’ve closed their $70 million Series C. Statistics agency DANE confirms the Coronavirus crisis bankrupted 500,000 of Colombia’s small businesses.

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dataPlor Launches LATAM Regional SMB Dataset with Over Five Million Verified Records

On Monday, dataPlor announced the launch of its licensable Latin American dataset; an offering that expands dataPlor’s regional coverage from Mexico to include millions of new verified data records across Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Peru (Cision).

Using a novel approach to data gathering and validation–including AI bot calling and human-powered quality assurance–dataPlor expands its delivery of rich datasets to meet the commercial data needs of global enterprises.

“Business datasets in emerging markets are notoriously inaccurate and incomplete,” shared Geoffrey Michener, dataPlor CEO. “Yet, this data powers everyday consumer experiences, like map and ride-sharing apps, as well as expansion strategies for multinational corporations.”

Michener noted how demand is surging for multi-country, regional datasets as companies seek to capitalize on burgeoning emerging market economies, growing consumer classes, and widely-available broadband and mobile technology. Notably, by 2025, the geospatial data market is expected to surpass $90 billion.

“Our Mexico dataset is licensed to some of the largest companies in the world and across multiple industries. We also recognize that enterprises are eager for more. While single market access is nice, pan-regional datasets are ideal to fit land-and-expand product and service models,” shared Michener.

As dataPlor expands the breadth and depth of its dataset offerings, new enterprise use cases emerge. The company sees strong demand from a variety of service providers from insurance and financial enterprises to ecommerce, mapping, and GIS companies.

“Rich, reliable data is a competitive advantage,” shares Aldo Bucio, dataPlor Head of LATAM & APAC Operations.“Companies need wide-reaching regional data for everything from underwriting and risk assessment, to firmographic sales insights.”

dataPlor is actively generating new datasets for other global markets and expects to announce additional regional product availability in Q2 2021.

Google and IDB Pump Money into LATAM Microfinance Institutes

Google and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have set aside over $12 million USD to support Latin American microfinance institutions reeling from the economic devastation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearshore Americas reports that Google and the IDB will give $8 million and $4.5 million, respectively, to Locfund Next, a regionally managed institution dedicated to providing financing in local currency.

Microfinance institutions across Latin America have been caught in a whirlwind of liquidity crunch.  Their funding sources have dried up and their loan books have been growing relentlessly. Worst still, the increasing volatility in forex exchanges has left them clueless as to how to deal with currency mismatches, according to the IDB.

Brazil Regulator Approves 5G Spectrum Auction Rules; No Huawei Ban in Place

Brazil’s telecoms regulator Anatel has approved rules for a spectrum auction for fifth-generation networks this year, without any limitations on China’s Huawei Technologies Co. as an equipment supplier.

Reuters reports that telecom companies will also be required to build stand-alone networks with the latest versions of 5G technology to be operating in state capital cities by July 30 next year, which will involve heavier investments that they had wanted.

Industry representatives said Huawei, the world’s biggest telecoms equipment maker, could not be excluded from Brazil’s 5G market because, aside from the cost, it would set the country back three to four years in technology.

Telefonica Brasil and Claro had been pressing for a 5-year transition to migrate to the more advanced stand-alone networks.

RecargaPay Closes $70 Million Series C

Brazil-based fintech RecargaPay announced this morning that they’ve closed their $70 million Series C. The company, which operates solely in Brazil, allows users to top off their prepaid cell phones online. The company was launched in 2010 by Miami-based serial entrepreneur Rodrigo Teijeiro, who is Co-Founder and CEO.

According to TechCrunch, unlike in the U.S. (where most people have a cell phone plan through a major carrier), in Brazil — a country where the minimum wage is currently $1,100 reais per month (roughly $202 USD) — many people must buy calling cards at local shops to add credit to their phones, which allows them to avoid a monthly recurring bill.

The company, which is EBITDA positive according to Teijeiro, has raised just over $100 million in capital to date and plans to use the $70 million to “expand its financial services offerings to small businesses and consumers, including further development of its popular subscription program Prime+,” the company said in a statement.

“RecargaPay is a pioneer in the payments sector as one of the first all-in-one platforms to serve such a wide array of everyday needs of Brazilians,” said Maggie Vo, Fuel Venture Capital Managing General Partner and Chief Investment Officer, “We are thrilled to back a company that is actively improving the lives of so many people by giving them more control over their finances, all the while challenging the status quo of banking systems.”

Coronavirus Crisis bankrupted 500,000 of Colombia’s Small Businesses

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic destroyed almost 9% of Colombia’s small businesses, according to a government poll. Statistics agency DANE said Wednesday that its annual small business poll indicated the existence of almost 5.4 million firms with less than 10 employees between January and October last year.

According to Colombia Reports, this represents roughly 509,000 small businesses less than the statistics agency registered in the same period in 2019. Between business owners and employees, the bankruptcies destroyed approximately 13% of the 7.7 million jobs provided by small businesses in 2019.

Almost 88% of these small businesses have no employees. Notwithstanding, small and medium sized businesses provide most employment in Colombia and were the most affected by the pandemic, according to the DANE.

Almost three out of ten of the small businesses registered in 2019 were shops that were hit particularly hard by an economic shutdown ordered by President Ivan Duque in March last year.

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