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February 15, 2019

LATAM Business Weekly - Issue #5

Spanish company Glovo announces plans to raise funds for Latin American tech center

Spanish delivery startup Glovo has announced plans to raise funds in the first quarter to create a tech center located in Brazil (Reuters).

According to the company’s Brazilian Managing Director, Bruno Raposo,

“Brazil is likely to overtake Spain in terms of Glovo’s deliveries this year, as the startup spreads to some 50 cities across Latin America’s largest economy from 21 urban centers there.”

Glovo has roughly 140 employees in the Brazilian market as of January 2019 and looks to fund further Latin American expansion in the coming year.

“The scramble for the upper hand in delivery in Brazil is part of a wider proliferation of such apps, including Instacart in the United States, which raised $871 mln in its latest fundraising round and Cornershop, a startup operating in Chile and Mexico which Walmart Inc is buying for $225 million"

U.S. government revokes visas of Venezuelan officials serving under authoritarian Maduro regime

The U.S. government announced last Thursday its decision to revoke visas held by government officials serving under the authoritarian leadership of Nicolás Maduro (The Wall Street Journal).

These implementation of these travel restrictions is intended to target Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly: the legislative body convened by Maduro in the 2017 elections that sought to replace Venezuela’s opposition-held General Assembly.

According to U.S.envoy for Venezuela, Elliott Abrams,

“We are imposing visa restrictions and revoking the visas of members of the illegitimate Constituent Assembly… This body has usurped many of the constitutional powers of the National Assembly, the legitimate National Assembly, and embodies Maduro’s destruction of democratic institutions.”

Cabify expanding into Mexico

Spanish ride-sharing company Cabify moves forward with plans to join the Mexican market in 2019 with new brand Movo.

According to El Financiero, Scooter and electric motorcycle services will be available in the coming months, according to Cabify’s new Mexico General Manager Ramón Escobar.

Vicente Pascual, Cabify Spain’s general manager, said

“We want to keep building on the opportunity to provide more (mobility) options to our users through one platform”

Chile ranked third most entrepreneurial country in the world

The recent issue of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) ranked Chile as the third most entrepreneurial country worldwide.

Universidad de Desarrollo reports that entrepreneurial activity in Chile has grown from 13% in 2008 to 25.1%

Maribel Guerrero, academic director for GEM Chile, discussed the importance of the report, as it “places Chile in the same group as other high-income countries such as the United States and other European countries,” (LatAm List).

“Chile, like the other two countries with which it leads the ranking, is an entrepreneurial country, but what sets them apart is the quality of enterprises, that is, if they are driven, for example, by opportunity, necessity or innovation,” (Invest Chile).

Latin American retail giants shift to e-commerce

In 2018, Chilean fashion giant Falabella acquired Mexican e-commerce platform Linio for $138 million in one of the biggest M&As of the year.

Falabella’s new logistics structure also includes a new warehouse in Santiago, Chile and the integration of Google Play in its local market. According to mds, all offers included in Falabella’s stores and Sodimac shops will also be available in Linio markets.

Mexican department store group Liverpool also shifted its focus to e-commerce and improving in-store purchasing experiences for customers.

“The Mexican group announced in July the release of an e-commerce platform for Suburbia, the low-cost fashion chain it acquired from Walmart in 2017 for a price of 15.7 billion Mexican pesos (844 million dollars).”

TriLinc Global Impact Funds announces approved $18 million dollars in financial commitments for Latin American transactions

TriLinc Global Impact Funds announced last Monday that it has approved $18 million in trade finance and term loan transactions in Latin America.

TriLinc is an impact investments fund that provides financial services to small and medium enterprises in developing economies. With the inclusion of the newly announced Latin American deal, the company’s total financing commitments accumulate to “$443.6 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Emerging Europe,” (BusinessWire).

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SoftBank's Brazilian investments, Latin American legislation's benefits for American entrepreneurs, and more...

This week, SoftBank bet big on Brazilian business, Platzi raised $6M USD in a Series A funding round, and President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador invited Mark Zuckerberg to join him in promoting universal internet access in Mexico.

Softbank Vision Fund invests $100M in Brazil’s Loggi, Chinese ride-sharing giant Didi’s future Latin American expansion, PayPal’s Involvement in Mexican SMB lending, and more from Latin America…

This week, logistics startup Loggi became the newest Brazilian unicorn, Didi announced expansion plans for Colombia and Chile, and PayPal kicked off their new partnership with Konfio. 

Rappi announces plans to launch Visa debit card, Brazilan payments startup Celcoin raises $1.5M, Netflix collaborates with Latin American Youtubers to promote engagement, and more from the region…

This week, Rappi entered the neobanking market, Netflix tapped into their Latin American consumer base, and Finnovasta released their Mexican Fintech Report.

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