Rounds of the Week: From a New Unicorn to Early-Stage Funding in LatAm

The semi-annual Transactional Track Record (TTR) report reveals that Brazil and Mexico had an increase in their investment rounds of 15% and 9%, respectively.

From late-stage to early, LatAm companies received funding this week.
July 15, 2022 | 11:26 PM

Bloomberg Línea — This week was of good funding winds for Latin startups. Mexico has a new unicorn, the credit provider fintech Stori, and the e-commerce solution for companies DEUNA managed to raise a Series A for $30 million, one of the largest for this stage.

The company with Latin DNA, founded by the Honduran Roberto Kafati and the Ecuadorian José María Serrano started operations at the end of 2020, in Colombia, Ecuador and Chile and now takes advantage of this financing to reach Mexico and thus accelerate its growth in Latin America.

Also Preply, a platform that was created in Ukraine but has operations in LatAm, raised $50 million in a Series C round, reaching a total funding to more than $100 million. The company connects native students and tutors online through the learning of more than 50 languages. The round was led by Silicon Valley’s Owl Ventures, and co-led by previous investors such as Diligent Capital, Hoxton Ventures, Educapital, Evli Growth Partners, and Przemyslaw Gacek, who is co-founder of Grupa Pracuj, and new investors Swisscom Ventures and Orbit Capital.

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This companies managed to fundraise in a time where capital is becoming more expensive, and more scarce. This week was published the semi-annual Transactional Track Record (TTR) report, which noticed a 54% drop in venture capital investment in Latin America in the second quarter of 2022 when compared to the same period in 2021.

The economic turbulence is affecting the confidence of venture capitalists who are taking more caution when investing. However, that does not mean that investments will come to a standstill.

In fact, TTR itself revealed that in the first six months of 2022 Brazil and Mexico had an increase in their investment rounds of 15% and 9%, respectively.

Brazilian startups captured 375 investment rounds and accumulated capital of US$ 3.1 billion (R$ 17 billion). Meanwhile, Mexican startups registered 84 venture capital operations valued at $1.7 billion, although this represented a 14.35% decrease in the capital mobilized with respect to the same period last year.

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Here are this week’s early-stage rounds in LatAm:

Appito

Appito, a Brazilian startup that operates indoor soccer arenas, raised R$ 27 million ($4.9 million) in a round with Brazilian early-stage fund Iporanga, Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Inteligo Bank. Although Appito offers vests, balls, and materials needed to practice the sport, the startup’s “tech” is in the app for booking times and arenas.

Former SoftBank executives Marcelo Claure and Paulo Passoni had already invested in the startup, which was founded by two Frenchmen: Rodolphe Timsit and Alexandre Delepau.

Eolo Pharma

The Uruguayan startup Elo Pharma raised $3 million in a Seed investment round that closed this month to fund early clinical trials of a compound to treat obesity and diabetes, CEO and co-founder Pia Garat told Bloomberg News.

Eolo Pharma has received investments more than $7 million in funding.

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