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Focus Americas News Roundup – Issue #35

Every fortnight we compile a list of important news updates and events covering the Americas FINTECH, MFGTECH, CLNTECH, and AGRTECH sectors.

For a downloadable copy of America’s Issue #35

FINTECH

Brazilian fintech Cora raises $26.7M for SME banking solutions
Cora, a Brazilian fintech, raised a $26.7M Series A funding round led by Ribbit Capital. Kaszek Ventures, QED Investors, and Greenoaks Capital also participated in the round. Cora offers SMEs a variety of financial services from digital checking accounts and Visa debit cards, to various financial management tools such as invoices and a cash flow dashboard.
Igor Senra is the Founder of Cora

Uruguay’s DLocal Valued at $5 Billion After Alkeon and Tiger Invest
DLocal, the Uruguayan global cross-border payments platform, announced a new $150M investment round led by Alkeon Capital. Bond, D1 Capital Partners, and Tiger Global also participated in the round, which brings the startup’s valuation to $5B. dLocal is a 360 cross-border payments platform that connects global merchants to emerging markets in 29 countries. The centralized platform allows over 325 global merchants to accept digital payments and bank transfers in local currency.
Sebastián Kanovich is the CEO at Dlocal

Clocktower Technology Ventures makes $25M bet on Latin American fintechs
locktower Technology Ventures, a Californian investment firm, announced a new $25M fund exclusively for Latin American fintechs. Since its launch in 2015, Clocktower Ventures has invested in 96 fintech companies across North America, Europe, and Latin America. A few major LatAm names appear among these: Flink neobank, Habi, and Kushki.
Steve Drobny is the Founder and CEO at Cocktower Group

Meru.com raises $2.4M funding round for Asia trading platform
Meru.com, an online trade platform, raised a $2.4M funding round led by Mountain Nazca and various private investors. Additionally, the startup announced its acceptance for the 2021 Y Combinator program. Meru.com aims to reduce trade fraud by connecting SMEs in Latin America to reliable manufacturers in Asia.
Manuel Rodriguez Dao is the CEO and Co-Founder at Meru.com

Nubank announces Matt Swann as new CTO
Nubank, the largest independent digital bank in the world and which announced its arrival in Colombia last September, appointed Matt Swann as the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the platform, replacing Edward Wible, co-founder of Nubank and current CTO . Wible will remain linked to NuBank but in the position of general manager of the Common Technology Platforms Business Unit.
Catalina M Breton is the General Manager at Nu Colombia

Nu México to expand hiring, tech, client base with US$135mn investment
Marking its first year of operations in Mexico, digital bank Nubank is injecting US$135mn into its local operations, as it aims to ramp up hiring, develop technology and expand its rapidly growing client base in the country. The investment is the company’s first to be dedicated solely to Mexican operations.
Emilio Gonzalez is the General Manager at Nubank in Mexico

What is the new alliance between Tigo and Amazon about?
Tigo Business signed an agreement with Amazon Web Services and will expand and integrate Amazon’s cloud services to its portfolio of technology solutions. The companies will have access to the fiber optic network of more than 100,000 kilometers of Tigo Business that connects 16 countries, from the United States to Argentina and Chile.
Marcelo Cataldo is the CEO and President at Tigo Colombia

iFood and Domicilios integration approved by Colombia’s Superintendency of Industry and Commerce
iFood, the food delivery super app, and Domicilios.com from Delivery Hero, will join forces after Colombia’s Superintendency of Industry and Commerce approved the move. The decision has been almost an entire year in the pipeline. With the partnership approved, iFood and Domicilios can now move forward with their business negotiations. iFood will have a majority hold in the company at 51%.
Fabricio Bloisi is the CEO at iFood

CLNTECH

The markets driving LatAm renewables growth
South America’s installed renewable energy capacity expanded by more than 4.1% last year despite the crippling effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Brazil led the way, adding 5.5GW in the year, followed by Argentina (1.38GW), Chile (1.3GW) and Colombia (1.19GW).

Mexican unicorn Kavak raises a $485M Series D at a $4B valuation
Kavak, the Mexican startup that’s disrupted the used car market in Mexico and Argentina, today announced its Series D of $485 million, which now values the company at $4 billion. Kavak, which was founded in 2016, is an online marketplace that aims to bring transparency, security and access to financing to the used car market.
Carlos García Ottati is the CEO and Co-Founder of Kavak

Nuvocargo Raises $12M to Modernize US/Mexico Trade, Announces Plan to Add Financial Products for Shippers
Nuvocargo, an all-in-one digital platform for US-Mexico trade, recently raised a $12M Series A funding round led by QED Investors with participation from new investors including David Velez, Michael Ronen, FJ Labs, Clocktower, and others. The platform automates logistics processes involved in cross-border trade between US-Mexico that oftentimes are still operating on analog systems.
Deepak Chhugani is the Founder and CEO at Nuvocargo

Mudango raises $1.4M seed round for Latin America logistics
Mudango, a Chilean logistics startup, raised a $1.4M seed round led by Genesis Ventures. Mudango is a logistics tech company that provides efficient, user-friendly products to help facilitate delivery and maximize efficiency. The platform uses an AI bot for better customer experience, and also connects retailers to a network of truck owners, storage facilities, port operators, and freight forwarders.
Roberto PiconMeleda is the CEO and Co-Founder at Mundango

Electricity inefficiency, tech inequality seen as obstacles to LatAm growth
Inefficient electricity pricing and unequal access to technology could hamper economic recovery in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), the World Bank said. Although the report said the LAC region has the cleanest energy matrix of developing countries due to large hydroelectric power investments, pricing is inefficient.

AGRTECH

Use of technology will contribute to improving crop production
Incorporating digital skills in agriculture requires urgent attention to transform food production and consumption practices in Latin America and the Caribbean, where at least 77 million people live in rural territories. It is estimated that in the region, 16 million people are engaged in agriculture, “an activity that guarantees food and nutritional security” in the area, and less than 37% have connectivity options, a gap of 34 percentage points, in relative to 71% of the urban population.

This Latin American tech giant wants to restore nearly 7,500 acres of rainforest
Latin America’s largest e-commerce marketplace — Mercado Libre, a company with roughly twice the market capitalization of eBay at $78 billion — is putting part of the proceeds from its $400 million sustainability bond toward two forest restoration projects in the remnants of the Atlantic Forest, which once covered 15% of Brazil.
Marcos Galperin is the CEO of Mercado Libre

Agricultural machinery: create the first laboratory to certify international standards
The National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI) and the National University of Rosario (UNR) in Argentina a signed an agreement to create laboratory for testing and technological development of agricultural machinery.  The new enclosure will be located in the annex building of the Institute of Applied Mechanics and Structures (IMAE) of the Faculty of Exact Sciences, Engineering and Surveying of the UNR.

Corteva Agriscience Selects SimbioseAgro for First Biologicals Collaboration in Brazil
Corteva Agriscience and Simbiose Agro, the largest producer of microbiological technologies in Brazil, announced today a multi-year collaboration benefiting Brazilian farmers. Working closely together, the two companies will commercialize and develop Simbiose’s portfolio and pipeline of biostimulants and biological control solutions for crops such as sugarcane, soybeans, corn and other specialties.
Jim Collins is the CEO at Corteva Agriscience

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