Rounds of the Week: Funding Still Flowing into Latin American Startups

Brazilian startups Ali and Cortex raised funds this week, with a Series A and a Series C

São Paulo's financial district, Brazil.
September 30, 2022 | 10:15 AM

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Bloomberg Línea — Despite a report by Atlantico stating that funding in Latin America has halved this year compared to 2021, venture capital is still being disbursed in the region, with a 21% increase during the second quarter of 2022 compared with the second quarter of 2019.

Atlantico’s data also shows that foreign investors are slowing down their investment in the region, but not abandoning it completely. In the second quarter of 2022, 47% of funding came from foreign investors, while 53% came from local investors in Latin America.

These are the startups that raised funds in Latin America this week:

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Ali

Ali, a payroll lending fintech, received a 135-million-reais ($25 million) Series A round to fund a client portfolio led by BoostLAB, BTG Pactual’s business hub.

Proceeds will be used to expand the products, commercial, technology and HR areas, according to the startup. The company expects to reach one million customers by 2023.

Founded in 2018, Ali says it offers lower rates, which guarantees a reduction of about 40% savings over other more popular credits (personal credit and credit cards, among others). Ali operates in private payroll loan credit and solar financing credit.

Cortex

Cortex raised 260 million reais ($48 million) in a Series C investment round led by Lightrock, a global private equity manager that has already invested in Latin American companies such as Creditas, Dock, Frete, Buser, Dr Consulta and Konfio. SoftBank Latin America Funds and Riverwood Capital, which co-led the previous round of investment in the company in 2020, also participated in the investment to avoid them being diluted.

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Cortex operates a Big Data analytics SaaS platform that provides intelligence solutions for the sales, marketing and communication areas. The platform allows non-technical users to configure the product. For example, it says the B2B sales intelligence solution allows sales teams to locate the ideal customers to prospect, as well as quantify the market and plan sales.

The company’s client portfolio includes companies such as Visa, iFood, Vibra Energia, Flash Benefits and Bradesco.

Prestamype

Peruvian startup Prestamype received $2 million from the Inter-American Development Bank’s Innovation Lab (IDB Lab), besides an $800,000 financing from Salkantay, the largest venture capital firm in Peru.

Prestamype pledges to offer access to liquidity to small businesses with more accessible conditions, more flexible requirements and investment opportunities with more attractive rates of return.

Co-founded by Laure Schlesinger and Carlos Ferreyros, its goal is to expand internationally into Mexico and Colombia over the next two years.