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Dealflow.la #10 - Elon Musk in Monterrey 🇲🇽, UK Hedge Funds 🇬🇧 sue Argentina 🇦🇷, and President Castillo's 🇵🇪 Coup allegation.
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Faster 🇧🇷 raised a $1.5 Million Seed round with funding from DOMO Invest 🇧🇷 to allow high growth startups and companies to hire gig workers in 24hs.
Vixtra 🇧🇷 raised a $3 Million Seed round with funding from Valor Capital Group 🇺🇸 and QED Investors 🇺🇸 to build their foreign trade fintech platform that works as a payment method between importers and exporters, allowing international suppliers to offer extended payment terms and importers to pay their purchases over time. The platform allows importers to release working capital, get confidence and data related to its suppliers, in addition to providing other financial services and visibility of the import processes.
Kukun 🇲🇽 raised a $4.5 Million Seed round with funding from FJ Labs 🇺🇸, Bridge Partners 🇺🇸, and View Capital GP 🇺🇸 to provide boutique vacation apartments in vibrant locations across Mexico, currently with properties in five neighborhoods in Mexico City.
Menta 🇦🇷 raised a $6 Million Seed round with funding from Pear VC 🇺🇸, Base10 Partners 🇺🇸, Gilgamesh Ventures 🇺🇸, and MatterScale Ventures 🇺🇸 to help B2B companies become fintechs. Menta is a plug-and-play solution that provides financial services to B2B companies. Its platform is open and collaborative, making it possible for companies to integrate all types of solutions, like utility bills payments, credits, investments, crypto payments, and loyalty programs, among many others.
Cariuma 🇧🇷 raised a $16.5 Million Venture round with funding from Shanghai Capital 🇨🇳, Madrone Capital Partners 🇺🇸, Innova Capital 🇵🇱, and East Ventures 🇯🇵 to sell direct-to-consumer sneakers made from ethically sourced natural materials. For every pair of sneakers purchased, Cariuma plats a pair of trees in Brazil.
Muncher 🇨🇴 raised a $18.9 Million Early Stage Venture round with funding from Glisco Partners 🇲🇽 and Amador Holdings 🇵🇦 to help restaurants succeed at off-premise dining with their end to end dining platform. They help restaurants strategically chose new locations, build out their kitchens, design optimized windows for the dispatch of delivery orders, and more. The firm has a presence in Colombia, México, Perú, and Brazil.
Covalto 🇲🇽 raised a $200 Million Debt Financing round with funding from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation 🇺🇸 and FIRA 🇲🇽 to continue building the technology infrastructure to leverage digital tax, e-invoice and other financial data to underwrite and service SMEs at scale. The company has built a one-stop solution for SMEs by bringing together a multi-product credit offering, banking services and a full suite of business analytics tools. In 2021, Covalto became the first fintech in Mexico to acquire a regulated bank, supporting the expansion of its digital SME banking and services platform.
Hedge funds tell UK court that Argentina manipulated economic data. The four hedge funds suing Argentina over payments they claim are due on instruments linked to the country’s GDP told a London judge on Monday the country had a “propensity” to manipulate economic data to save billions of dollars. The funds claim the South American republic owed them payments under euro-denominated securities linked to Argentina’s gross domestic product in 2013. As a trial began at London's High Court, lawyers for the four funds said economic statistics were “the subject of political direction” in Argentina under former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, who served from 2007 to 2015. They are seeking damages of up to $635 million. (Reuters)
On Wednesday, Argentina's lower house of Congress passed President Alberto Fernandez's 2023 budget bill after a lengthy, overnight session marked by heated debates with the opposition that led the government to concede on some points. The 2023 budget estimates Argentina's economy will grow 2% next year, while the annual inflation rate was pegged at 60%. It still needs approval by the Senate. The budget expects GDP growth of 4% this year as consumer prices rise by nearly 95% at an annualized rate. (Nasdaq)
Bolivia's government said on Wednesday it will temporarily suspend exports of food products including soy and beef amid protests in the key farming region of Santa Cruz. The move is aimed at safeguarding food security in Bolivia, said the minister of Productive Development and Plural Economy, Nestor Huanca, adding that the export suspension will include soybean grain, soybean flour, soybean meal, sugar, oil, and beef. (US News)
Bolivian government supporters and protesters who want the 2024 national census brought forward by a year clashed Saturday in the country's economic hub of Santa Cruz, leaving one person dead. (France 24)
Claims about corruption, Covid, deforestation, and even cannibalism have grabbed attention on the campaign trail ahead of Brazil's presidential election vote this Sunday. President Jair Bolsonaro is being challenged by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a second-round run-off. (BBC)
Money rains on a Chilean highway after burglary. A shop burglary ended in a car chase and money being showered onto a highway in Chile. According to local media, the alleged burglars tried to steal nearly 10m Chilean pesos ($10,300). The money was recovered by police and six people have been arrested. (BBC)
Colombia's Congress on Wednesday approved a law to allow President Gustavo Petro to seek peace deals with leftist rebels and criminal groups tied to drug trafficking via negotiations and processes of surrender. Petro, the country's first leftist president, has proposed a process of "total peace" to bring Colombia's internal armed conflict of almost six decades to an end. (Nasdaq)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
The American Dream is over for Venezuelans stranded in Costa Rica. Biden policy shift traps thousands in Mexico, Central America. Repatriation flights are open, but some don’t want to go home. (Bloomberg)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has approved a request by a trading firm to export 20,500 gallons of diesel to Haiti for use principally in hospitals, according to letters seen by Reuters, as gangs continue blocking a key fuel terminal in Haiti. (VOA)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
El Salvador President Bukele’s reelection bid stokes L.A. immigrants’ fears of new civil war. (LA Times)
Prison deaths mount in El Salvador’s gang crackdown. (AP)
Why was Elon Musk in Monterrey? It wasn’t “by chance”, according to NL governor García. The technology magnate is reportedly considering building a new electric vehicle plant in the metropolitan area. (Mexico News Daily)
Same-sex marriage is now legal in all of Mexico's states. In 2015, the country’s Supreme Court declared state laws preventing gay marriage unconstitutional, but some states took years to comply with the ruling. (NBC)
Mexico falls back but won’t spring forward as summer time abolished. Mexico’s congress votes to scrap daylight savings and just keep standard time, meaning end to changing clocks twice a year. (The Guardian)
U.S. imposes sanctions on to target Nicaragua’s gold industry & impose visa restrictions on 500 backers of President Daniel Ortega. (Wall Street Journal)
Venezuelans stranded in Panama by U.S. policy change return home. “The only news that arrived to us was that they had closed the border...it destroyed us," a Venezuelan who crossed the Darien Gap into Panama said. Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced that it would accept up to 24,000 Venezuelans at airports while returning those who attempted to cross the southwest border to Mexico. The policy change shut the door on Venezuelan asylum seekers. (NBC)
A new report from Paraguay's Congress is the latest to connect former President Horacio Cartes to crimes ranging from cigarette smuggling to money laundering, although it remains unclear if this will lead to immediate legal consequences for him. (InSight Crime)
The leader of a small but violent left-wing rebel group which has been terrorising rural communities in Paraguay has been killed in a clash with soldiers, officials say. Osvaldo Villalba was the leader of the Paraguayan People's Army (EPP), which has carried out a string of killings and kidnappings in Paraguay. Among those being held by the EPP is the country's former Vice-President, Óscar Denis, who was kidnapped in September 2020. Army officials told reporters that soldiers had come across the rebels on Sunday after they heard gunshots while on patrol in Amambay province. (BBC)
A court in Peru on Monday ordered the release of the sister-in-law of President Pedro Castillo almost two months after she was imprisoned while being investigated for her participation in an alleged money laundering scheme involving the president and first lady. (AP)
The Organization of American States (OAS) has adopted a resolution to send a mission to Peru to “analyze the situation” in the country, a week after President Pedro Castillo accused officials investigating him of a “coup d’etat.” Castillo announced late on Wednesday that he had sought the regional body’s help to foster a national dialogue in a bid to prevent “a serious alteration of the democratic order in Peru.” (Al Jazeera)
Venezuela is allowing partners in state oil company PDVSA's joint ventures to leave - by selling their shares to others or returning them - so long as they forgo payment for past debts and unpaid dividends. (Reuters)
Venezuelan politicians are discussing proposals for a fund that could release over $3 billion to provide humanitarian aid to Venezuela through the United Nations, in a process that also involves officials from the U.S. State and Treasury Departments. (Reuters)
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Friday urged the United States and Venezuela to restore relations, saying an agreement may be on the horizon as he pressed the United States to allow more Venezuelans to enter. (Reuters)
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