Bloomberg Línea — Latin American startups received $1.1 billion in the first half of 2023, according to Crunchbase data, a decrease of 83% compared to the same period last year. Although significant investments in 2021 and 2022 positioned Latin America as the region with the fastest-growing venture capital in the world, according to Crunchbase, the higher the rise, the greater the fall: there were 56% fewer rounds in the first half compared to the same period the previous year.
However, early-stage rounds sustained the ecosystem, according to Crunchbase. This week, some of the highlights were educational platforms, as well as Foodology, a Colombian cloud kitchen company, which received $17 million from existing investors such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Chimera, and new investors such as 30N Ventures, a Chilean venture capital firm that made its first investment in Foodology.
The company’s platform operates 85 kitchens in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Peru, with a volume of 300,000 orders dispatched monthly, according to a statement from its investors. Foodology is led by founders Daniela Izquierdo and Juan Guillermo Azuero.
Here are some of the companies that received funding in the past few days:
Foodology, a Colombian cloud kitchen startup, received a $17 million investment from existing investors such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Chimera, a private investment firm based in Abu Dhabi, as well as new investors like 30N Ventures, a Chilean venture capital firm.
With this new investment, the company plans to expand its operations in Brazil, replicating its success in Colombia and Mexico.
Preply, an education platform founded by Ukrainians, received a $70 million Series C investment from Horizon Capital, with participation from Reach Capital and Hoxton Ventures. The company, headquartered in the United States, operates in Latin America.
To date, the company has raised $120 million. In July of last year, the platform raised $50 million in a similar funding round led by Owl Ventures.
Preply offers classes in more than 50 languages and aims to use the new investment to grow in artificial intelligence. Portuguese is the sixth most sought-after language on the platform, with an estimated growth of 60%, according to the startup. Over the last three years, the company has seen its revenue increase tenfold. The B2B business segment represented over 200 new contracts signed in the last year.
Apprenty, a Brazilian startup that provides technical education for the digital economy, received an 8-million-reais ($1.67 million) investment led by Canary, with participation from Positive Ventures, Potencia Ventures, and Latitud Ventures, as well as angel investors from iFood, Gympass, and Loft.
The company offers a five-week program to prepare young people for entering the job market, aligning their needs with companies. According to the startup, the funds will help create other educational paths and develop tools based on artificial intelligence for student tracking.
The startup aims to train and place over 1,000 young people in the job market by the end of 2024. Apprenty operates on a B2B business model (with companies as clients) with no cost to students.
Enermatch, a Brazilian platform that helps generators, managers and marketers of clean energy, received almost 2 million reais (around $419,000) in a pre-seed funding round with the venture capital fund Grupo Sai do Papel, SdP Capital.
Two angel investors and an energy sector company also invested in the startup, according to a press release.
Co-founded by Vitor Delphim, who is also the CEO, the startup serves clients with solar farms, wind farms, and biogas companies that need to manage energy generation assets and carbon credits derived from electricity generation, as well as billing to end customers.
The funds will be used for technological development of the solution and in the commercial area. Approximately 500,000 reais ($104,613) will be allocated to a specific project to improve the energy consumption efficiency of a large company in the education sector, according to the startup.
Brazilian startup GrowinCo received an 3.6-million-reais ($753.219) investment from GVAngels, a network of angel investors composed of alumni from FGV, and Harvard Angels, a network of alumni from the American university, to expand in the United States. Urca Angels and Bossanova also participated in the investment.
The company is a platform for outsourcing products and an ecosystem of factories, ingredient suppliers, and packaging. The startup was founded in 2019 by two former executives of Mondelez. GrowinCo has over 100,000 suppliers in its base and connects them with fast-moving consumer goods companies such as Natura, Kelloggs, Mondelez, NotCo, Cargill, Kraft Heinz and Danone.
Augen, a startup focused on water treatment infrastructure, sewage, and artesian wells, received an 4-million-reais ($836,935) investment from KPTL’s GovTech Fund and Cedro Capital, which has an investment from Badesul, a development agency of the government of Rio Grande do Sul. Multilaser and Positivo are also investors in the fund.
Created in 2018, Augen focuses on the digital transformation of the sanitation sector, based at the Technological Park of the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG).