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Dealflow.la #13 - Argentina 🇦🇷 stays in Doha college dorms 🇶🇦, Short sellers 🇺🇸 send Tiger-backed dLocal 🇺🇾 stock into freefall, and Nicaragua 🇳🇮 approves Caribbean deepwater port.
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Pignus 🇨🇱 raised a $125,000 Pre-Seed round from Magical 🇨🇱 to build a SaaS tool that uses VR and AI in order to detect behavioral deviations in workers, facilitating preventive decisions to reduce accidents and improve productivity. They offer a version for operational workers and one for supervisors, both of which are capable of generating behavioral traceability by identifying competencies and behaviors that affect people's safety and productivity.
Aora 🇪🇨 raised an $800,000 Early Stage VC round from Wayra 🇪🇸 to build their home and office services application designed to solve everyone's day-to-day life problems. Aora's application provides professional services such as masonry, locksmith, technology and cleaning solutions, appliance installation and maintenance, and repairs, enabling users to get their specific service needs fulfilled.
ObraLink 🇨🇱 raised a $2 Million Seed round led by CEMEX Ventures 🇪🇸 and Grúas M10 🇨🇱 with funding from Carao Ventures 🇨🇷 to build construction software designed for remote monitoring and automating control for construction projects. The company's software provides complete access to control data relating to the concreting progress, the advances and delays in real-time, concrete strength at hundreds of points with automatic notifications in order to speed up the formwork stage, key performance indicators (KPIs), and much more, all this information is displayed in the BIM context, enabling clients to reduce the overall construction time and costs.
Pet’s Table 🇲🇽 raised a $2 Million Seed round led by Left Lane Capital 🇺🇸 with funding from Goodwater Capital 🇺🇸 to provide a customizable way for pet owners to feel better about their pet's daily food choices through a pet food subscription service. They produce human-grade and freshly made meals with real ingredients dogs love to eat, tailoring them to their individual nutritional needs and delivering them directly to homes in Mexico.
Approva Facil 🇧🇷 raised a $3.63 Million Seed round from Terracotta Ventures 🇧🇷 to build their real estate marketplace intended for selling low-income properties. The company's platform connects customers, brokers, developers, and banks in a simple, fast, and secure way, enabling customers to streamline the buying of properties.
Refurbi 🇨🇴 raised a $4.4 Million Early Stage VC round with funding from Impacta Fund 🇨🇴, Pygma 🇨🇴, Irie 🇨🇴, Bridge Latam 🇲🇽, Inca Ventures 🇵🇪, and Colectivo Jaguara 🇲🇽 to build their refurbishing company intended for consumer electronics. The company specializes in refurbishing pre-owned consumer electronics and making them widely available and affordable, enabling users and businesses to transition to sustainable consumption.
Yave 🇲🇽 raised a $7.5 Million Seed round from Wollef Ventures 🇲🇽, Vinte 🇲🇽, The Fintech Fund 🇺🇸, Moore Capital 🇺🇸, MetaProp 🇺🇸, Magma Partners 🇨🇱, Goodwater Capital 🇺🇸, Dila Capital 🇲🇽, Cross River 🇺🇸, Better Tomorrow Ventures 🇺🇸, Activant Capital 🇺🇸 to be the first online mortgage originator in Mexico. They provide an alternative to the complicated and traditional procedures of the past, modernizing the experience of their users through an agile and avant-garde service with personal advice and fair rates.
Leasy 🇵🇪 raised a $10 Million Debt Financing round from Percent 🇺🇸 to provide automobile financing to ride-hailing drivers through a subscription model. It uses its algorithm and evaluators to analyze users' profiles and find suitable cars for them and helps customers to enter into a contract to own a vehicle.
N1co 🇸🇻 raised an $18 Million Seed Round from undisclosed sources to allow small and large businesses to accept any type of card, whether credit, debit, links or QR codes and create their own online store. The platform also offers links to make product payments easier and simpler. The payments startup seeks to position itself as the first neobank in Central America.
FEMSA 🇲🇽 acquired the payment aggregator Netpay 🇲🇽. After acquiring in 2019 a minority stake in the company, FEMSA has now reached an agreement with its majority shareholders to acquire the remaining shares. With this deal, FEMSA continues to build an omnichannel portfolio of diverse financial and digital products and services.
Lionel Messi-led Argentina have opted to stay at student halls instead of the 5-star luxury hotels in Qatar so that they can carry on their tradition of having beef barbeques, the Daily Mail reports. Argentina, one of the favorites to lift the trophy this year, arrived in Qatar on Thursday and went straight to the expansive Qatar University campus. Though their accommodation might be modest, the Argentina team will have little reason to complain as it will enable them to have their fillings of asados, Argentina’s traditional barbecues. (IE)
Argentina's rising central bank debt poses a risk to the country's monetary stability, rating agency Moody's said on Wednesday, adding it could further stoke inflation and aggravate any exchange rate shock if savers flee from the local peso currency. (Reuters)
Argentina farmers could reduce the area they plant with soy if more rain does not bring relief to drought-plagued farmlands soon, the Buenos Aires grains exchange said Thursday as it forecast moderate showers in parts of the country's farm belt. A prolonged drought has forced farmers to delay planting soy, which is only 12% complete, versus 29% on the same date last year. The current crop's total planted area is projected at 16.7 million hectares (41.3 million acres), the exchange said. (Reuters/Nasdaq)
Demonstrators are urging a new census in a bid for the Santa Cruz province to receive more funding and Congress seats. Santa Cruz is a stronghold of Bolivia's right-wing opposition against leftist President Luis Arce. (DW)
Bolivian activists push back against the mining industry. Late last month, the Bolivian government approved the gold-mining industry’s demands to update the management plans for three national parks: Madidi, Cotapata, and Apolobamba. By recognizing the rights of miners in these protected areas, the deal drew sharp criticism from opponents and led to debate over the potential environmental fallout. Indigenous communities in several national parks say their way of life is threatened by the encroachment of gold mining. (Al Jazeera)
Brazil's incoming president Lula vows to have zero deforestation by 2030. (ABC)
Brazil’s Lula honeymoon with investors is over before starting. Investors have soured over his public commitment to prioritize social spending over fiscal integrity and delays in naming his economic team. Brazil’s real currency and Bovespa stock index both lost approximately 4 percent on Thursday, as Lula’s brief honeymoon with investors soured over his public commitment to prioritizing social spending over fiscal integrity and delays in naming his economic team. (Al Jazeera)
Brazil’s foreign minister said Brazil and other developing nations have the right to choose the stance they want in global affairs, in a sign of persisting gaps between the North and South regarding the war in Ukraine. “I reject by principle European and US pressure to force automatic alignment on any theme,” Foreign Minister Carlos Franca said in an interview in the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali, where he is the head of the Brazilian delegation. (Bloomberg)
Chile’s millennial first lady, Irina Karamanos, wants to end the job for good. In the months since her husband Gabriel Boric was sworn in as President of Chile, she had worked quietly to overhaul the role. She planned to move the responsibilities — mostly, running six foundations, overseeing programs such as a children’s daycare network, a science museum and a women’s development organization — to the ministries she believed could better lead them and eventually shut the office down. In doing so, she hoped to reshape what it would mean to be the partner of a president, not only in Chile but around the world. (Washington Post)
Chile's President, Gabriel Boric, announced this Friday the creation of a special commission whose mandate will be to propose mechanisms to return to the Mapuche people the lands they have historically demanded. (TeleSur)
Colombia’s new president, Gustavo Petro, has said the world needs an 'immediate withdrawal from the oil and gas industry.' The country’s new president has been vocal about plans to leave fossil fuel extraction behind. But the country faces an uphill struggle to do this in practice. (BBC)
Colombia’s biggest pension fund is seeking refuge in the dollar as the global outlook worsens and President Gustavo Petro’s proposed reforms threaten to undermine growth. Leonardo Mila, the chief strategist at Porvenir SA, which oversees about 180 trillion pesos ($37 billion,) said the dollar has been key to diversifying its holdings away from riskier assets, including the nation’s peso-denominated bonds known as TES. (Bloomberg)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Costa Rica squad being flown to Iraq after immigration issues. (Reuters)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is stepping up deportations of Haitians and is creating a police unit focused on foreigners, fueling tensions between the two Caribbean nations whose relations have for decades been marred by migration disputes. (Reuters)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
China circles El Salvador’s economy as the country edges toward crypto plunge. President Nayib Bukele bet on bitcoin and its tumbling value has put the Central American country in a financially precarious position. (The Guardian)
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele is doubling down on his Bitcoin bet despite the massive price drop, promising to buy one Bitcoin a day starting Friday. (Kitco)
Meet Luis von Ahn, the Guatemalan immigrant behind the world's most popular language app Duolingo. (ABC)
Mexico City is betting big on digital nomads despite concerns that they're driving up rental costs and pricing locals out. Airbnb and the Mexico City government signed an agreement last month that facilitates work-from-home tourism by promoting listings on the platform and incentivizing Airbnb hosts to offer discounted rates for longer stays. The Mexico City government promises the agreement will bring in $1.4 billion a year in tourism spending that will trickle down to local residents. (Axios)
Mexican security and immigration authorities have stepped up patrols, highway checkpoints and raids in southern Mexico since the United States started expelling Venezuelan migrants last month. The Mexican government has not said whether its enforcement actions near its border with Guatemala are related to the U.S. policy change, which effectively shuts the door to Venezuelans trying to enter the U.S. through Mexico. (ABC)
The Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF) warned that the Mexican economy is facing risk from an expected U.S. economic slowdown and global inflation. (TeleSur)
Mexico is in talks with U.S. storage providers to create a strategic gas reserve that could be used in emergencies, an official with the country's state power utility said, after a 2021 cold snap left businesses in northern Mexico without gas. Mexico relies on the United States to meet about 80% of domestic gas demand, and experts and companies have warned President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's government about the need to increase storage before the winter. Lack of infrastructure limits Mexico's ability to maintain enough inventories that could be used for saving surplus gas and draining stocks. "We're aware that a low-temperature event is possible," Aniel Altamirano, deputy chief executive officer of CFE International, a unit of power utility Comision Federal de Electriciad (CFE), said on the sidelines of the U.S.-Mexico Natural Gas Forum in San Antonio late on Wednesday. (Natural Gas World)
The Nicaraguan government is finally moving forward with its plan to build a deep-water port in Bluefields on the country’s Caribbean coast. The deep-water port will reduce Nicaragua’s dependence on ports in Costa Rica and Honduras, and lower costs for its export sector. The port will help the country double its current exports of around US$600mn in five or six years, according to finance minister Iván Acosta. (BNA)
Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo will travel to Houston, Texas on Friday for follow-up treatment regarding the blood disorder he was diagnosed with in July, known as myelodysplasia, the presidency said in a statement Thursday. (Reuters)
The United States has offered a $5m reward for information on anyone involved in the murder of Marcelo Pecci, a Paraguayan organized crime prosecutor who was killed on his honeymoon in Colombia earlier this year. In a statement on Thursday, the US Department of State said it was looking for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any co-conspirators, “including those responsible for financing and ordering the assassination”. (Reuters)
Political dysfunction catches up with Peru’s once stellar economy. Peru’s third finance minister this year tries to steady investors’ nerves. “It is obvious that political stability affects confidence on the part of investors. It makes them doubt,” Kurt Burneo, the South American country’s finance minister, told the Financial Times. (FT)
A former Peruvian congressman who is the son of ex-President Alberto Fujimori was sentenced Tuesday to four and a half years in prison for influence trafficking, though he will remain free pending appeal. Kenji Fujimori, who is also the brother of political leader Keiko Fujimori, was found guilty of a plot to buy votes in Congress in 2018 to avoid the removal of then-President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. A branch of the Supreme Court handed down the ruling, but said he would remain free pending an appeal to another branch of the court. The court said Kenji Fujimori was seeking to block the ouster of Kuczynski over allegations of corruption involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Two other former congressmen and a congressional aide were also convicted, with their sentences temporarily stayed. (AP)
Muddy Waters, one of the world’s best-known short sellers, has unveiled a bet against dLocal, a Uruguayan payments company backed by major investors including General Atlantic and Tiger Global, sending its shares down as much as 30 percent. Muddy Waters CEO Carson Block told the Financial Times that he had built the short position because of concerns about some of dLocal’s disclosures to investors, its “unnecessarily complex” corporate structure, and large amounts of selling by insiders when the company floated last year. (FT)
A company with an office in Houston and another owned by two American citizens appear to be helping Venezuela bypass U.S. sanctions and quietly transport millions in petroleum products aboard an Iranian-built tanker, The Associated Press has learned. The sanctions evasion effort is centered around an idled refinery and adjacent oil terminal on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao that until 2019 was a major shipping hub for Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA. (AP)
Despite an abysmal environmental and human rights record, Venezuela’s president is back on the international stage. After years of being frozen out of international relations the Latin American dictator used Cop27 to clearly – if controversially – demonstrate that he is back on the international stage. (The Guardian)
Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaidó vows to fight on. Once hailed worldwide in his struggle for democracy, the so-called interim president has seen his influence wane as the Maduro regime grows stronger. (WSJ)
According to the President of the National Institute of Civil Aeronautics (INAC), twelve airlines have requested to operate with Venezuela. (Tele Sur)
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