International appetite to invest in Latin American startups has grown significantly since 2013. 25 global investors made debut investments in LatAm in 2017 alone, and the total number of global investors into LatAm startups has more than doubled since 2013 (from 36 in 2013 to 80 in 2017).
Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names are active in LatAm, including Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners, Founders Fund, Sequoia Capital, and Y Combinator. These players are investing opportunistically across financing stages and sectors, with a preference for deals in Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia.
Global corporate investors are making some of the biggest investments into LatAm startups, including Naspers, American Express Ventures, FEMSA Comercio, and Qualcomm Ventures, which is the most active corporate VC in the region.
Appetite from Asian investors is growing, with landmark investments from SoftBank and Didi Chuxing into Brazilian rideshare company 99, and significant deals from Tencent, Singaporean sovereign wealth funds GIC and Temasek, and blockchain investors Digital Finance Group and FGB Capital.
Of note, SoftBank and Didi Chuxing’s US$200m investment in 99 with Riverwood Capital in 2017 represents the largest public round of venture capital into a startup in Latin America. 99 became the first Brazilian unicorn (with a valuation of over US$1B) later that year when Didi acquired a majority stake in the company. The transactions speak to the larger significance of Latin America’s rideshare market on a global scale.
Investments took place during the period 2013-2017 and include verified LAVCA Industry Data on fund manager transactions, as well as other investor types from public sources.
This information has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable and from secondary sources that were checked whenever possible, but its accuracy and completeness are not guaranteed. LAVCA shall not be responsible for any inaccuracy unintentionally included in this publication. Readers should consult and rely solely on their own advisers regarding all pertinent information, legal, and accounting issues.
*Investments include the following stages:
- Seed/Incubator: Startup capital for companies to incubate an idea into a company or product.
- Early Stage: Startup capital for companies.
- Expansion Stage: Capital for companies that have reached a sustainable level of development and may be shipping products.
- Growth Financing: Non-control equity investment in an existing company to finance growth strategy.