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Dealflow.la #17 - AMLO 🇲🇽 asks Bad Bunny 🇵🇷 to perform free CDMX concert, NotCo 🇨🇱 raised $70M Tiger 🇺🇸-backed Series D & 300 Machu Picchu 🇵🇪 tourists stranded as protestors block airport.
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Aviva 🇲🇽 raised a $2.2 Million Pre-Seed round led by Wollef Ventures 🇲🇽 with funding from 500 Latin America 🇲🇽, Newtopia VC 🇺🇸, Seedstars Investments 🇨🇭, and Xtraordinary Venture Partners 🇲🇽 to build an AI-powered digital bank for Latin America’s underserved communities. Determined to fuel Latin America’s ongoing emergence of a new middle class with a fully-fledged portfolio of inclusive financial services, Aviva’s initial go-to-market concentrates on unsecured credit products for individuals and nano-businesses in Mexico.
Celeri 🇦🇷 raised a $2.6 Million Seed round led by FundersClub 🇺🇸 and Commerce Ventures 🇺🇸 with funding from Y Combinator 🇺🇸, TwentyTwo VC 🇺🇸, and Pioneer Fund 🇺🇸 to help financial companies grow their operations while staying compliant. The company's platform offers regulatory interpretation tools to simplify the KYC and AML processes and the monitoring of regulatory obligations, enabling companies to secure their digital information and reduce regulatory risk in the business.
Plenna 🇲🇽 raised a $4.4 Million Seed round led by Urban Innovation Fund 🇺🇸 with funding from Canary 🇧🇷, 500 Global 🇺🇸, 1984 Ventures 🇺🇸, Bridge Latam 🇲🇽, Amador Holdings 🇵🇦, and Collaborative Fund 🇺🇸 to provide of gynecology, mental health, nutrition, and primary care services for women in Latin America. The company has a hybrid model that offers in-person and online services, enabling women to make timely and informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive life.
HUNTY 🇨🇴 raised a $6 Million Seed round with funding from VentureFriends 🇬🇷, Kalei Ventures 🇦🇷, and Cometa 🇲🇽 to help people to get a job through their human resource technology platform. The company connects candidates with mentors, gives them several tools that help them improve the process, and connects them with companies that hire them, enabling job-seeking employees to find suitable jobs.
Tea 🇵🇷 raised a $8.9 Million Seed round with funding from WAX 🇰🇾, StrongBlock 🇺🇸, Round13 Capital 🇨🇦, Betaworks 🇺🇸, and Acuitas Group Holdings 🇺🇸 to facilitate the open-source revolution through their software development toolkit. The company offers a feature-rich, unified package manager and has the vision to fix open source and create the tools that will accelerate its creation, enabling developers to focus on building things and get rewarded for what they build by implementing a blockchain protocol.
Seedz 🇧🇷 raised a $16.5 Million Series A round with funding from Vox Capital 🇧🇷, Volpe Capital 🇧🇷, The Yield Lab 🇺🇸, Partner Ventures 🇺🇸, Parciero Ventures 🇧🇷, Endeavor Scaleup Growth 🇧🇷, Alexia Ventures 🇧🇷, and 10b 🇧🇷 to connect farmers with agricultural dealers & businesses. The company offers coalition programs, redemption currencies of incentive programs, software solutions, loyalty, and cashback, enabling clients to recognize the value of agricultural entrepreneurs and rural producers & boost their agricultural business.
NotCo 🇨🇱 raised a $70 Million Series D round with funding from Jeff Bezos 🇺🇸, Kaszek 🌎, Tiger Global 🇺🇸, Future Positive 🇺🇸, L Catterton 🇺🇸, Princeville Capital 🇺🇸, The Craftory 🇬🇧, Trousdale Ventures 🇺🇸, and Union Square Hospitality Group 🇺🇸 to produce plant-based food products intended to bring animals out of food production while not compromising on taste. The company's products use pineapple, coconut, cabbage, peas, bamboo, beets, chickpeas, and seeds to replicate animal-based products' taste, texture, color, and aroma, enabling manufacturers to discover a new source of fiber, calcium, and proteins from the vegetables.
Argentina’s national carrier scheduled two extra flights from Buenos Aires to Qatar to take soccer fans to the World Cup final. Both Aerolíneas Argentinas flights sold out quickly. The first one leaves from Argentina’s capital on Friday morning, and tickets for that flight were gone within a half-hour of the national team’s 3-0 victory over Croatia in the semifinals on Tuesday. The airline sold 540 roundtrip tickets for the two flights, with each one costing around 2 million pesos (more than $11,000). The flights are 19 hours long with a refueling stop in Rome. Aerolíneas Argentinas has provided a total of 12 flights for the World Cup. (AP)
The streets of Argentina turned into a party Tuesday as the national team beat Croatia by a comfortable 3-0 and earned this soccer-crazed South American country a spot in the World Cup final. Fans poured onto the streets of the capital of Buenos Aires as soon as the match ended, with people waving Argentina flags out of their cars while others jumped and sang in joy amid a sea of wearing the national team’s jersey. (AP)
Adidas rushes to get Messi jerseys in stores ahead of World Cup final. “Due to extraordinary demand for the Adidas Argentina World Cup jerseys across the globe, we have very low stock in some countries,” a company spokesperson said. “We are working to get more jerseys to fans so they can celebrate an incredible journey for the national team.” (Bloomberg)
Tito the lost cat becomes a matter of state in Bolivia. Several government agencies have been tasked with finding a beloved pet that disappeared from a plane’s cargo hold during a short domestic flight. Tito is three years old and weighs 13-15 pounds. His fur is white and gray, and he has a distinctive mark on his face. Owned by Andrea Iturre, the pet’s disappearance has aroused widespread indignation among Bolivian animal lovers. Bolivian Minister of Public Works Edgar Montaño’s press conference was broadcast live to the nation by the state-owned television network. The news he wanted to announce? “Tito is still alive and could be living in some of the houses near the airport.” Montaño informed viewers that he had instructed the fire department and staff from four different state agencies to join the search for Tito. “We have placed food and water everywhere for the cat, who likes tuna fish. We remain hopeful that Tito will be found,” said Montaño. (El País)
Supporters of Brazil's outgoing far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, tried to attack the headquarters of the federal police in Brasilia on Monday. Tension escalated after police arrested a pro-Bolsonaro indigenous leader. They set alight several vehicles and blocked a number of roads, police said. Police said the protesters "attempted to invade" the federal police building, where José Acácio Serere Xavante was being held. Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes had ordered that the indigenous leader be detained for 10 days for "alleged anti-democratic acts". (BBC)
Brazil’s Federal Police began serving dozens of search warrants Thursday targeting supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro for blocking highways after his election loss, according to a statement. The operation was ordered by Supreme Court justice Alexandre de Moraes, who also presides over the nation’s electoral authority. He is responsible for two investigations into Bolsonaro supporters regarding allegedly anti-democratic acts and the spread of fake news on social media regarding the election. (ABC)
On Wednesday, Brazil's incoming Finance Minister Fernando Haddad said fiscal expansion would not help the economy at the moment and that the government needs to organize its finances to allow lower interest rates, tamping down fears of a public spending spree. (Reuters)
Brazil to resume diplomatic relations with Venezuela under Lula. Incoming left-wing president Lula has signaled he will seek to repair relations with the Maduro government. (Al Jazeera)
Chile's political parties agree to draft a new constitution. The agreement comes three months after voters rejected a replacement for the current, Pinochet-era Magna Carta. (Al Jazeera)
Colombia’s peace tribunal has revoked a controversial amnesty it granted to three alleged IRA members accused of training Colombia’s largest guerrilla group in bomb-making. Colombia’s Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) pardoned the trio in April 2020 providing they fully divulge the truth about a trip they made to Colombia in 2001 at the height of the country’s six decades of conflict. But after more than two years of reviewing evidence submitted by the defendants’ lawyers, the court – which was formed out of the country’s 2016 peace accord –concluded that the Irishmen had not come clean about their trip to South America. (The Guardian)
The leftist governments of Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia threw their support behind Pedro Castillo, the Peruvian leader impeached last week, adding a new twist to the crisis that has paralyzed swathes of the country and left several protesters dead. The three countries, as well as Bolivia, issued a joint statement late Monday calling on Peru to respect the rights of Castillo, who they refer to as Peru’s president even after he was ousted by congress. (Bloomberg)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
Costa Rica has told the United States it is interested in joining the North American trade pact between the United States, Mexico, and Canada, President Rodrigo Chaves said on Wednesday. (Reuters)
Costa Rica, one of the world’s great refuges for people fleeing persecution, is tightening its generous asylum policies in the face of an overwhelmed system. President Rodrigo Chaves, who took office in May, said Costa Rica’s system is being abused by economic migrants. The changes he decreed took effect this month. Despite having only 5 million citizens, the Central American country trailed only the United States, Germany, and Mexico in the number of asylum applications it received last year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. (AP/Yahoo News)
Ecuador has fully financed its budget for next year and is not looking for a new credit agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country's economy minister said on Friday, adding that the government will maintain close ties with the fund. The IMF this week concluded the latest review of its $6.5 billion financing agreement with Ecuador, opening the way for a final disbursement of $700 million to the South American nation. (Reuters/Yahoo News)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
El Salvador's crackdown could prompt gangs to ‘adapt and reshuffle.’ The government’s eight-month state of exception has seen civil liberties suspended and tens of thousands imprisoned. (Al Jazeera)
El Salvador has arrested 2% of its adult population – or roughly 100,000 people – in its war on gangs. Other countries are taking note. And Bukele himself is now enjoying renown many leaders can only dream of – with an 86% approval rating in an October survey of 12 Latin American countries by CID Gallup, making him the most popular leader in the region, despite the alleged rights violations. (CNN)
Mexico's president is hoping Bad Bunny can save the day after another Ticketmaster snafu shut hundreds of ticket-holding fans out of his concerts last weekend. Andrés Manuel López Obrador is calling on the Puerto Rican reggaeton star to perform for free in Mexico City's Zócalo square, saying in his daily briefing Wednesday that the government could pay for the lights, stage, and sound system — and even install a zip line in the central plaza. (NPR)
Mexico to level massive fine against Ticketmaster after Bad Bunny ticket disaster. The Beating Heart of Mexico’s entertainment industry lies at the Estadio Azteca, the largest stadium in Latin America. Hundreds of thousands of fans throughout its history have cheered on the giants of sports, music, and culture from its grandstands. Over the weekend, what should have been the triumphant end to Bad Bunny’s World’s Hottest Tour was drowned out by the complaints of hundreds of distraught ticket holders who were left stranded outside its gates. In response, Mexico’s PROFECO, the government body charged with consumer protection, has announced it will be fining Ticketmaster as much as 10 percent of Ticketmaster Mexico’s 2021 revenue. (Rolling Stone)
One of Mexico’s most prominent news anchors has survived an apparent assassination attempt near his home in the capital, in one of the most brazen attacks against a journalist the country has seen in recent decades. Ciro Gómez Leyva, a news anchor for the national news network, Grupo Imagen, was driving a bulletproof SUV when the pillion rider on a motorcycle opened fire on him late on Thursday. 42 journalists have been killed during Amlo’s term. (The Guardian)
Uber Eats unveiled the six-wheeled robots for the first time on Thursday to customers in Miami. It’s part of a new partnership between Uber Eats and the robotics firm Cartken. The robots have cameras and sensors to help them choose routes and avoid crashes. Customers, who use the new service, were alerted to meet the robot on the sidewalk. They then unlocked a compartment on the robot with their phone to retrieve their order. Uber Eats said customers can opt out of the service if they would rather have a human deliver their order. Noah Zych, Uber’s global head of autonomous mobility and delivery, called it, the latest collaboration with Cartken “another important milestone for our efforts in automated and autonomous technology.” (Local 10)
Timeline: Peru’s political crisis since the removal of Pedro Castillo. Protesters are demanding Castillo’s release, dissolution of Congress, and early elections in the South American nation. (Al Jazeera)
About 300 tourists from around the world have been left stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu, according to the mayor, after Peru was plunged into a state of emergency following the ousting of the country's president. Former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and subsequently arrested in early December after announcing his plan to dissolve Congress. The unrest sparked by his arrest has prompted international warnings about travel to Peru. (CNN)
Peru’s ousted former president Pedro Castillo will remain in pretrial detention for 18 months, the country’s Supreme Court ordered on Thursday, as crowds of his supporters protested outside the courthouse and around the country. Castillo, a former teacher and union leader from rural Peru, was impeached and removed from office last week after he attempted to dissolve Congress and install an emergency government – a tactic that lawmakers slammed as an attempted coup. He has since been accused of rebellion and conspiracy, which he denies. The lengthy detention reflects the complexity of the case and possible flight risk, Supreme Court Judge Juan Carlos Checkley said, after prosecutors warned that the ex-president might seek asylum outside the country and said 18 months would cover the duration of their investigation. Castillo’s lawyers say that the former leader is not a flight risk. (CNN)
Peru’s new government declared a national emergency Wednesday as it struggled to calm violent protests over President Pedro Castillo’s ouster, suspending the rights of “personal security and freedom” across the Andean nation for 30 days. Acts of vandalism, violence, and highway blockades as thousands of Peruvians are in the streets “require a forceful and authoritative response from the government,” Defense Minister Luis Otarola Peñaranda said. The declaration suspends the rights of assembly and freedom of movement and empowers the police, supported by the military, to search people’s homes without permission or judicial order. Otarola said it had not been determined whether a nightly curfew would be imposed. (AP)
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico
The House voted on Thursday to allow Puerto Ricans to decide the political future of the territory, the first time the chamber has committed to backing a binding process that could pave the way for Puerto Rico to become the nation’s 51st state or an independent country. The measure, which has the support of the White House, has little chance of becoming law in the short term. It is all but certain to fall short of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster in the Senate, where most Republicans are opposed, and there is little time left under this Congress before the G.O.P. takes control of the House in early January, likely burying the effort for at least the next Congress. (New York Times)
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Monday announced his intention to fully open the border crossings with Colombia starting Jan. 1, a measure repeatedly postponed following the restoration of diplomatic and commercial ties between the South American neighbors. Relations between the countries were broken off in 2019, but Maduro has said the environment is conducive to improved ties with the election of Gustavo Petro as Colombia’s first leftist president. The neighbors resumed diplomatic relations in September. (AP)
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was not invited to a summit of Western Hemisphere leaders in June. But by October, he traveled to Egypt for a conference where he joked with French President Emmanuel Macron and shook hands with John Kerry, the U.S. government’s climate envoy. The encounters, with a towering Maduro graciously smiling throughout, were carefully captured on video, posted on social media, and broadcast on Venezuela’s state television. (AP)
Mondelez International Inc. is increasing production in Venezuela and bringing back some iconic brands that it stopped making years ago during a period of economic chaos that forced many of its competitors to abandon the country. One of the largest snack makers left in the country, Chicago-based Mondelez plans to spend $5 million to $8 million next year as it aims to capitalize on an increase in consumption, said general manager Rubén Echeverri in an interview in Caracas. While the investment would be small for most markets, it’s significant in Venezuela, where multinationals have been cutting back or shuttering. (Bloomberg)
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