Rounds of the Week: Agrotech Startup Bags Investment from US Fund That Backs Tesla

The founders of Flor e Fruto are just 21 years old and received a funding of two million reais ($382,165), valuing the agrotech startup at 14 million reais ($2.6 million)

Maíz bresileño
May 26, 2023 | 01:30 PM

Bloomberg Línea — Once again, startups operating in the agribusiness sector have received funding in Latin Americas this week.

Last week, Agroboard, a startup for the agribusiness sector that digitizes and assists with commodity risk management and derivative accounting, received 1.8 million reais through Arara Seed. This week, it was the turn of Flor e Fruto and Sensix.

Fintech Onyx Private also secured a significant round of funding: $4.1 million.

Flor e Fruto is a startup founded by 21-year-olds Pedro Iguelka and Michel Lancman, along with 31-year-old Juliana Romeiro. They raised two million reais ($382,165) in a pre-seed round, with a valuation of 14 million reais ($2.6 million) through convertible debt.

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This valuation multiple is relevant, given that, according to a new study by McKinsey, there has been a 30% reduction in value in venture capital portfolios for Latin American companies, and 33% of startups have experienced a down round.

These are the companies that secured funding this week:

Flor e Fruto

Brazil-based Flor e Fruto, a marketplace that connects small producers to businesses, has received two million reais ($382,165) from Newlin, a US-based fund that has invested in Tesla, Angatú Ventures and Darwin Capital, and angel investors Ricardo Vasques (former VP of Danone), Giampaolo Buso (CEO of Paripassu), Sergio Bronstein (founder of BZCP), Julio de Angeli (CEO of medCel), André Szapiro (investor at SRM Ventures), Juliana Bechara (founder of Bioma Food Hub), and 10 other investors.

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“I spent six months on a Kibbutz in Israel, working in the date-palm fields in the middle of the desert, getting my hands dirty. And I had the opportunity to see that it was possible to improve the lives of rural producers here in Brazil, using technological resources to facilitate their daily routines,” Iguelka in a press statement.

“We were able to create an ecosystem to generate income, reduce inequalities in the countryside, and build a sustainable path in supply production,” he added.

Sensix

Brazilian agritech company Sensix received nearly five million reais ($956,825) in funding through Captable, an equity crowdfunding platform, with investors such as DOMO Invest, SLC Agrícola, and 454 other investors.

With the goal of raising four million reais, Sensix surpassed the target within eight hours.

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Due to high demand, Captable launched overfunding, a procedure created in the latest regulation by CVM (Securities and Exchange Commission) that allows for an excess of up to 25% over the initial fundraising target. In total, 4,919,000.00 reais ($942,188) was raised.

Founded in 2015, Sensix develops agricultural monitoring solutions and currently oversees nearly two million hectares in five countries, including Argentina, Paraguay, Colombia, Guatemala and Brazil.

The company saw revenues 1.77 million reais ($339,717) last year, an increase of 80% compared to 2021.

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Onyx Private

The high-net-worth-focused digital bank Onyx Private, led by Victor Santos in Miami, has received $4.1 million in funding from Village Global, Y Combinator, Global Founders Capital, One Way Ventures, 186 Ventures, and Olive Tree Capital.

Onyx Private offers a banking and investment experience with a 24-hour active concierge service. Since its launch in August 2022, the fintech has reported a monthly growth of 30%, processing over $4 million in payments per month.

As part of its commitment to continuous improvement, Onyx Private will soon unveil a human financial advisor within the app, providing affordable financial, estate, and tax planning advice with minimal entry barriers.