Miami — Chile-based Genesis Ventures, known for its four funds spanning Latin America and Europe, is raising a new fund, and this time it’s out of Miami.
Excel Ventures, as the new $100 million fund will be called, looks to invest in companies in Series A+ that are based in LatAm and who want to expand to the U.S. or vice versa. The company plans to write checks in the amounts of $4-10 million, plus a possible follow-on check for $5 million. Excel Ventures will invest in all types of tech-based companies except for companies in biotech and cleantech.
“We really want to attract American investors and Chilean investors to invest in Series A+,” said Andres Meirovich, managing partner at Genesis Ventures, who recently moved to Miami to set up operations.
“We have more startups in the region than VC’s,” Meirovich added. That being said, money has been pouring into the region lately. But there are complaints that there is an abundance of money for early stage companies, but not for those in growth stage. Genesis Ventures wants to change that.
Chile’s startup ecosystem has been on fire for some time now. Who can forget Cornershop’s frothy exit to Uber, and the latest freshly minted unicorn, NotCo, who is already taking the U.S. by storm. Venture capitalists in the region are sophisticated, but not only in food tech and agtech, but also in biotech, fintech, greentech and many other sectors. It’s impossible to ignore the funding rounds that come out of Chile on a weekly basis.
It also helps that Chile has a government agency called CORFO (which translates loosely to the Corporation that Fosters Production) whose mission is to support entrepreneurship in the country. And they really put their money where their mouth is. As an investor, if you promise to invest in Chilean companies or those with operations in the country, you can have access to a capital that matches the money you put into your investment. Depending on the risk of the investment, CORFO may match at 1/1 or even up to 1/4. If the investment is successful, investors have to pay the money back, but if not, there are no penalties.
So far, Genesis’ first four funds have accepted CORFO money, but Excel Ventures won’t, Meirovich said, since they’ll be expanding their scope.
Excel Ventures says they want to help fuel the growth in Chile and LatAm as a whole. Addressing the demand, Excel plans to write growth stage checks.
“When you are in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Peru, and you want to raise a Series A+, either you go with Kaszek or you go to U.S. investors. We don’t want to replace Kaszek, we want to invest alongside them,” Meirovich said, also citing other large firms such as ALLVP in Mexico, Monashees in Brazil and Softbank, well, everywhere.
Genesis Ventures, which started as a consulting firm in 2006, was looking to expand their footprint. With offices in LatAm and Europe, the U.S. felt like a natural next step. They considered San Francisco, Boston, New York, and Miami, but eventually went with Miami because of all the existing business here as well as the new stardom and support the city has been receiving recently when it comes to tech.
“A lot of family offices have a branch or headquarters in Miami and a lot of VC funds from all over the U.S. have moved to Miami,” Meirovich said, while also giving a shout-out to Mayor Francis Suarez for all he’s done to promote Miami as the next tech hub.
“So in terms of cash flow and deal flow, we decided on Miami over Silicon Valley, Boston and NY,” he added.