Bloomberg Línea — Latitud, a network of entrepreneurs with investment from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), announced that it has completed the initial fundraising (first closing) for a new pre-Seed venture capital fund focused on Latin America. The target size for this first phase of fundraising is $25 million, indicating the amount the fund aims to raise in this phase.
The first closing of a venture capital fund marks the initial point in the fundraising process for the fund. It is the moment when the fund’s managers (general partners or GPs) secure sufficient investment commitments from investors to begin investing in startups and companies.
The announcement was made at a Latitud event held in São Paulo on Thursday (28) and Friday (29), which brought together startups from Latin America.
The investors in Latitud Ventures include some of the region’s leading founders and investors, such as Angela Strange (a16z), Carlos García (Kavak), David Vélez (Nubank), Henrique Dubugras (Brex), Patrick Sigrist (Nomad and iFood), Sergio Furio (Creditas), Sebastian Mejía (Rappi), and Stelleo Tolda (former president and consultant at Mercado Livre).
Institutional investors behind the fund also include Globo Ventures, Galicia Ventures, Industry Ventures, NFX, and FJ Labs.
With Fund II, Latitud aims to lead 40 pre-Seed rounds and co-invest in another 20 Seed rounds over the next three years. Pre-Seed investments will be approximately $250,000 per startup, with 25% of the fund reserved for follow-on investments.
See who secured funding this week:
Nubank announced a significant increase in the A/B loan granted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, a global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. From the initial commitment of $150 million, announced in January 2023, the amount was raised to $265.1 million, the result of a supplementary subscription by the syndicate of B loan composed of commercial banks, for Nubank’s growth in Colombia.
The fintech issued 300,000 cards in the last 10 months in Colombia and has 700,000 customers in the country in two years of operation.
Correcto, a startup that develops an artificial intelligence-based writing tool for Spanish, has secured $7 million in seed funding. Octopus Ventures, Carya Venture Partners, and River Park Ventures contributed to the funding round. Correcto is domiciled in Delaware, USA, and its three co-founders—Abraham López Lee, CEO; Ignacio Prieto Mayorgas, COO; and Antonio Triguero Noriega, CTO—now reside in Spain. Both the CEO and COO also spent years studying in the United Kingdom.
The market for the platform, which operates similarly to Grammarly but for the Spanish language, is substantial in the United States and across Latin America. The USA boasts the second-largest population of Spanish speakers in the world (after Mexico), with 53 million people, of whom 41 million have Spanish as their native language.
According to Correcto, the Spanish-speaking population in the USA is almost equal to the population of Spain. The startup has already garnered over 120,000 downloads in Argentina, Colombia, Mexico, the United States, and Spain.
The team commenced the development of Correcto in 2021, building a proprietary phrase database. By reducing the time required for writing and proofreading and enabling employees to focus on more critical tasks, Correcto pledges to increase writing productivity by 56%.
The startup offers a free consumer version supported by advertising, providing spelling, punctuation, and grammar checking. The paid subscription version also includes an unlimited writing assistant and text statistics
The Gringo app, designed to facilitate the buying or selling of vehicles, financing, or insurance, received a Series C investment of $29.8 million. The round, completed in August, was led by Valor Capital with a smaller ticket than the Series B. It had the participation from existing investors (Kaszek, VEF, Piton, ONE VC, ICU Ventures, and Actyus). The platform provides real-time alerts on fines, annual taxes, points, and driver’s license expiration.
In June 2022, the company raised $34 million in a Series B financing led by Piton Capital and VEF, which was also followed by ADM Venture Capital, ICU, Spectra Investments, Lupa Capital, ONEVC, GFC - Creative Financial Management, Kaszek, and Actyus. In total, the company has raised $79.6 million from investors. Gringo will use the new funds to grow its base of 10 million customers and strengthen its credit and auto insurance products, as well as develop new products.
Data platform Sling Hub raised $735,389 in a Seed investment led by Silvio Genesini (former president of Oracle Brazil), with participation from Urca Angels, reaching a post-money valuation of $6 million. Sling Hub plans to generate $1,7 million in revenue in 2024.
The platform aims to go beyond sector classification and categorize both startups and publicly traded companies by technological maturity and artificial intelligence production. Sling Hub was born in 2018 with the goal of helping startups find investors, but in 2020, it began serving large companies needing to connect with startups. Since then, the platform has won over 50 enterprise clients, including giants like Google and Amazon, banks like Itaú, Bradesco, and Votorantim, as well as companies like Novo Nordisk, Enel, and Renner.
Brazilian online legal services startup Forum Hub received a $238 million angel investment with the participation of members from Uber, Picpay, In Drive, and Loggi. The investment will be used to launch a platform that automates real-time tracking of legal proceedings. According to Patrícia Carvalho, CEO and founder, the platform allows clients to follow the legal process in an inclusive language.
The company expects to reach $99,405 in revenue by the end of the year and have 100 registered lawyers. According to Carvalho, the web portal will reduce 80% of the time spent on process updates, whether by email or WhatsApp.