Bloomberg Línea — At a time when large venture capital rounds (from Series B upwards) are increasingly rare in Latin America, Brazilian fintech Solfácil has rowed against the tide, and four months after its $100 million Series C, has extended the round by $30 million (157 million reais) with funding from the Fifth Wall fund.
The company also recently entered into a debt transaction to fund its loans for customers who require credit to install solar panels.
Solfácil CEO Fabio Carrara says that with the war in Ukraine and energy prices rising, the fintech business has become more attractive to investors.
“We saw an opportunity to be prudent and raise a little more capital than we were originally imagining,” Carrara said in an interview with Bloomberg Línea.
The idea is to be capitalized to deal with the scenario in the coming years where the window for financing will likely be “a bit more difficult” with high interest rates, he said.
When interest rates rise, the cost of money increases and discounted cash flows from future projections lose value. However, Carrara says Solfácil has managed to maintain its valuation, but without disclosing the value.
The company said it has grown eight-fold annually since its founding in 2018, and has funded more than 1.5 billion reais ($285.8 million) in solar energy loans.
Last month, the company launched Solfácil Store, its own outlet for solar equipment that connects PV panel installers to distributors and brands, and also launched Ampera, hardware for PV system monitoring.
Seed rounds remain strong
Apart from Solfácil’s unprecedented Series C extension in the second half of this year, seed phase rounds remain strong in the region. This week the industries that attracted investment were B2B marketplaces, data analytics, climate technology, fintech and e-commerce.
Founders of early-stage startups say that while it is a tough time to raise capital, innovative business models driven by experienced entrepreneurs can receive rounds.
These were the Latin American startups that raised capital this week:
Amicci, a Brazilian startup that develops white-label products for large companies, raised 40 million reais ($7.6 million) in a round led by Brazilian early-stage firm Astella Investimentos. DGF and Endeavor Scale-Up Ventures accompanied the round.
Holiday and short-term rental property management proptech Naya Homes has raised $5 million in an initial round as it continues its expansion in Mexico.
With a primary focus on generating value for investors, developers, and landlords, Naya Homes leverages its technology to maximize profitability and provide visibility into the financial performance of stays in real-time.
The round was led by Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from Primary Venture Partners, Clocktower Technology Ventures, K50 Ventures, Carao Ventures, Trip Ventures, Colibri Equity Ventures, Derive Ventures, as well as several former Uber team executives from Latin America.
The round is a follow-on from a $600,000 pre-seed led by Primary Venture Partners in March.
Peruvian education startup uDocz raised a $2 million round led by GSV Ventures and Salkantay VC, which were also joined by Latitud, founders of Crehana, Crosscut VC, and other Latin American angel investors.
GSV is one of the largest education investment funds in the country, and which has companies such as Coursera, Masterclass, and Domestika in its client portfolio.
In its first round, the edtech was backed by local angel investors, friends, and family, Utec Ventures, and xEdu, a Finnish fund.
Founded in 2018 by Carlos Effio and Ricardo García, uDocz is a learning platform that offers university students access to educational resources such as lecture notes, textbooks, guides, and books for all university careers.
Globant Ventures, the accelerator of Argentine unicorn Globant, has invested around $1 million in Uruguayan startup Bunker DB, dedicated to data analysis and marketing process automation.
According to a Globant statement quoted by Bloomberg News, the company will use the capital to expand its operations in Mexico and Colombia, and to enter the United States and Europe.
The Uruguayan startup presents itself as an improvement platform for companies’ marketing departments in search of greater efficiency in implementing their strategies. Its clients include Unilever, Walmart, Ab Inbev, L’oreal, Nestlé, Scotiabank, and KFC.
Bendo is a Mexican mobile app that allows anyone to start a business in five minutes. The startup closed a $1.1 million pre-seed investment round led by Canary and with participation from Seedstars, Angel Hub and a number of angel investors.
The company, founded by Agustín García and Miguel Navarro, launched in 2021. The new funds will be used to enable its coverage across Mexico and allow people to initiate sales on social media.
HelloSafe, a Mexican fintech that develops comparison solutions for insurance, investment, savings, credit, and telecom services has closed an 60-million-peso ($2.96 million) seed funding round led by OneRagtime and Kima Ventures.
With the round, HelloSafe aims to strengthen its teams, improve the user experience on its platforms and expand into new financial product categories in Mexico.
Launched last year, HelloSafe offers more than 60 comparison tools for financial products, such as credit, insurance, and cryptocurrencies, and has more than one million users.
Mexican startup Heru closed a $6 million seed round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s artificial intelligence-focused venture fund.
The round also featured the participation of SOMA Capital, GFC, Moving Capital, and Mike Shoemaker, COO of Roofstock, in addition to existing investors such as Flourish Ventures and Magma Partners. Heru previously received a $1.2 million pre-seed round led by Mexican fund Nazca.
The artificial intelligence-based tax company solves the need for digitization in tax payments.
Founded by Colombians Stiven Rodríguez and Mateo Jaramillo, the startup is present in Mexico and Colombia and has clients such as Uber, Rappi, Terapify, Borzo, UberEats, Mercado Livre’s Mercado Envios operation, Cornershop and Beat.