Rounds of the Week: Beep, Zerezes and Aerialoop Capture Capital

This year looks set to be a record year for seed-stage investment in Latin America, as the amount invested outpaces that of 2021

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November 04, 2022 | 05:16 PM

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Bloomberg Línea — The year 2022 looks set to be a record year for seed-stage investment in Latin America, as the amount invested has been slightly higher than during all of 2021, according to data from the Latin American Private Equity Investment Association (LAVCA).

Early stage startups have also kept up the pace in venture investments in Latin America. Although it has been slightly lower than last year, investors continue to sign tickets for these startups that already have a minimum viable product (MVP) and are gaining traction in the market unlike the later stages where the drop in investment was notable, according to LAVCA.

LAVCA data on venture capital investment in Latin America since 2019dfd

This explains why in the last three months Latin America has not seen a new unicorn emerge, i.e. a startup that reaches a valuation of more than $1 billion.

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Valuations for startups that are on Series D onwards dropped by 27% quarter over quarter.

This week, the startups that raised capital in the region to continue growing in an adverse environment for the global economy included the following:

Beep

Beep Health, a Brazil-based healthtech for home health, has received a Series C investment of undisclosed value led by Mark Zuckerberg’s CZI Initiative fund. Now with its fourth investment, physician Vander Corteze’s company was founded in 2016. After a year of looking for product-market fit, in late 2017 the startup began offering vaccines at home.

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In late 2020, Beep launched its second business unit, offering at-home laboratory tests. Today the company is present in six states of Brazil and in more than 150 cities, heading towards one million home visits already performed.

“Today more than 40 health plan operators have contracts with Beep,” Corteze said in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.

In 2021, the company raised a Series B of 110 million reais ($21.7 million) with Valor Capital Group.

Corteze said that this time he decided not to disclose the amount of the check he received, even to his employees because “the race for checks was causing a generation of entrepreneurs to focus more on fundraising than on building profitable and sustainable businesses”.

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However, the CEO said the round went at a significantly higher valuation than the previous round.

“We were very happy that even in this scenario we can bring in an investor who had never invested in healthcare before.”

The funding is enough to reach breakeven in the first half of 2023, according to the entrepreneur, with a target of reaching 250 million reais ($49.5 million) in annualized revenues next year.

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Zerezes

Brazilian e-commerce eyewear brand Zerezes announced a 20-million-reais ($3.9 million) investment round led by Shift Capital with the participation of Order VC.

“After [10] years in the optical market, we understood the format and functioning of the sector, which in our opinion was very focused on what was good for companies and little on what delivered value to people. We created our own optical model listening to our customers and we understood that we are an alternative that solves a real pain”, said Rodrigo Latini, co-founder and CEO of Zerezes, in a press statement.

Zerezes provides frames and lenses in a direct-to-consumer model through e-commerce and physical stores.

Aerialoop

Aerialoop, an Argentine company that developed an instant on-demand logistics concept using drones, received investment from the Kamay Ventures fund. Although the amount of the transaction was not disclosed for confidentiality reasons, it is likely to be around $300,000, which is the average amount invested by this Latin American fund.

The company launched in response to retailers and large corporations having noticed, since the pandemic, that their customers require fast and secure shipments. However, in many cases, the location of the user is often a problem for easy shipment, for two reasons: the product may take several days or even weeks to be shipped, or because the costs are very high.

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