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Dealflow.la #18 - Aprova Digital 🇧🇷 raised $4M to reduce municipal bureaucracy, Argentina erupts in celebration 🇦🇷, & Miami 🇺🇸 to hit 50ºF/10ºC initiates dangerous winter weather protocol.
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Infinia 🇺🇾 raised a $500,000 led by Y Combinator 🇺🇸 to build their account-to-account payment platform that processes payments between bank accounts without the need for intermediaries. Infinia makes it easy for consumers to pay by bank, facilitating merchants to enable this payment method. With this feature, they help merchants/apps save up to 80% on credit card fees, enabling account-to-account payments across Latin America.
Spotlar 🇧🇷 raised a $1.16 Million Seed round led by Terracotta Ventures 🇧🇷 with funding from TM3 Capital 🇧🇷 to offer personalization of finishes and apartment interiors to apartment buyers. The company's platform allows buyers of apartments under construction to assemble their property in a digital and interactive way from project models and a catalog of pre-defined products, enabling users to manage the execution and transform the digital project into reality for the end customer.
Aprova Digital 🇧🇷 raised a $4 Million Seed round led by Vox Capital 🇧🇷 and Astella 🇧🇷 to reduce the bureaucracy of city halls. The company's platform has a system that digitizes the flow of processes such as building and renovation licensing, environmental licensing, and internal communication and integrates with the legacy systems of the secretariats, automating the processes and creating an interface of contact with the citizen, enabling municipal governments to minimize corruption and ensure sustainable development of cities.
Cubos Academy 🇧🇷 raised a $4.48 Million Seed round led by Vox Capital 🇧🇷 with funding from Solum Capital 🇧🇷 to offer online classes for individuals related to IT consulting and services. They offer technology courses in several areas such as Android, Backend, Frontend, UX/UI Design, software development, and product management.
Welbe Care 🇲🇽 raised a $5 Million Seed round led by Volpe Capital 🇧🇷 and Nazca Ventures 🇨🇱 with funding from SV Latam Capital 🇺🇸, Kortex Ventures 🇧🇷, and Green Rock 🇧🇷 to manage workers' health through data collection and artificial intelligence. The company's platform helps to take care of collaborators, providing them with a comprehensive health ecosystem, through an intelligent occupational management system added to a minor medical expenses program with no deductible or copayment, enabling companies to locate problems and improve the quality of life and productivity of their employees.
Pods 🇧🇷 raised a $5.6 Million Seed round with funding from Tomahawk.VC🇨🇭, Republic 🇺🇸, IOSG Ventures 🇭🇰, Framework Ventures 🇺🇸, Fourth Revolution Capital 🇺🇸, and Alexia Ventures 🇧🇷 to build a decentralized protocol platform intended to hedge crypto using decentralized finance. The company's platform offers tailor-made Defi options, put options, and call options, enabling users to hedge crypto and protect a portfolio with pods protocol.
Kunoa 🇲🇽 raised a $6 Million Seed round led by Comenta 🇲🇽 with funding from FEMSA Ventures 🇲🇽 and Seaya Cathay Latam 🇲🇽 to automatically optimize product prices, promotions, and inventories with their AI platform. The company's platform tracks the prices of competitors and receives notifications for frequent price changes and provides real-time pricing and promotional information from grocery retailers, enabling consumer companies and retailers to efficiently optimize pricing and inventory to maximize profit or increase market share.
With social media footage showing some fans trying to jump onto the team's bus when it passed under a bridge, the planned eight-hour journey was cut short due to security fears. The players were transferred from their parade bus and into helicopters. "The World Champions are flying over the entire route in helicopters because it became impossible to continue on land due to the explosion of popular joy," presidential spokeswoman Gabriela Cerruti wrote on Twitter. (ESPN)
As Argentina’s national soccer team touched down in Buenos Aires on Tuesday after winning the World Cup, millions of Argentines flocked to greet the players. The government declared their homecoming a national holiday, and the team began a 50-mile victory parade through the capital. (New York Times)
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Thursday announced a new set of future cabinet members ahead of his Jan. 1 inauguration, including Vice President-elect Geraldo Alckmin as minister of development, industry and trade. Lula also said economist Esther Dweck would lead the newly created Management Ministry, while business-friendly congressman Alexandre Padilha was appointed institutional affairs minister. (Al Jazeera)
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had congratulated him on his recent election win and talked of stronger relations between the two countries. Lula also governed Brazil from 2003 to 2010, during Putin's first stint as Russian president. (Reuters)
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday morning signed a bill into law that establishes a complete regulatory framework for the trading and use of bitcoin in the country. (Bitcoin Magazine)
Chile plans to open an embassy in the Palestinian territories, President Gabriel Boric said late on Wednesday, which could make the Andean country one of only a handful to have an embassy-level office in the territories that are contested with Israel. (Yahoo/Reuters)
A fuel tank exploded into flames in Colombia's Caribbean city of Barranquilla early on Wednesday, killing a firefighter who fell during the explosion, local authorities said. (Reuters)
Colombia’s largest remaining rebel group has announced a unilateral ceasefire over the end-of-year holiday period, a week after the National Liberation Army (ELN) and the Colombian government concluded a first round of peace negotiations. The ceasefire only covers the “military forces and the state police” said the spokesperson, saying ELN fighters reserve the right to defend themselves if they are attacked. (Al Jazeera)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
On Wednesday, Dominican Republic Foreign Affairs Minister Roberto Alvarez asked the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to send a multinational military force to Haiti to combat criminal gangs. "In our opinion, the threshold of good intentions has already been crossed," he said, demanding the UNSC to consolidate this multinational force "as soon as possible." Alvarez said that the Haitian government and police "are making considerable efforts" against the armed gangs but they need foreign support because that is the "only viable path in the short term to redeem the Haitian people from their current horrendous situation."At the UNSC held in New York, Haiti's Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Victor Geneus held a similar position, emphasizing the need for international assistance. (TeleSUR)
US seeks to bolster Ecuador ties as China expands regional role. Joe Biden says the US will seek to expand its relationship with Ecuador as President Guillermo Lasso visits the White House. Lasso’s visit to Washington, DC, on Monday comes as his nation is on the verge of completing a trade agreement with China, the US’s strongest economic competitor, which this year surpassed the US as Ecuador’s top trading partner on non-petroleum goods. The already fragile economy in oil-exporting Ecuador was battered by the COVID-19 outbreak. One of Lasso’s top priorities when he took office last year was to sign a free trade agreement with the US. Ecuador wants to join Colombia and Chile as the only other countries in South America to enjoy such privileged status. (Al Jazeera)
The Quito Metro, Ecuador's first subway transportation system, was inaugurated today in its first phase of user induction and training, which will run from December 22 to January 4, 2023. The mayor welcomed the inauguration of the Quito Metro, "a masterpiece" that "will revolutionize mobility throughout the city," said Guarderas. At a cost of $2.1 Billion dollars, the system will be operated by the consortium formed by the companies Metro de Medellín, from Colombia, and Transdev, from France, until 2028. Construction began in 2010 by the Spanish company Acciona. From January 5 to March 4, test trips will begin, which will be free for users. Operations will start as planned on March 5, when the fare will be charged, at 45 cents. (TeleSUR)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
El Salvador's Congress on Tuesday approved reforms to increase pensions and create a state entity to supervise the retirement income system, despite criticism from experts who argued the measures were insufficient. Among the reforms, proposed by President Nayib Bukele, are a 30% rise in pensions and a cap of $3,000 a month. The minimum will rise to $400 a month from $304, according to a government statement that noted that 100,000 people past working age had not left their jobs due to the inadequacy of pensions. (Reuters/US News)
The United Nations and the European Union have condemned attacks on prosecutors and the weakening of anti-corruption efforts in Guatemala. Volker Turk, who heads the U.N.’s human rights office, criticized the Guatemalan government for the charges it brought against former prosecutors and whistleblowers like Virginia Laparra. “The judicial branch is being undermined and judicial authorities continue to be criminalized,” Turk said Tuesday. (AP)
Honduras and the United Nations on Thursday signed an agreement that paves the way for a new international anti-corruption commission in the Central American nation, where widespread graft has fueled violence and spurred mass migration. (Reuters)
The family of Peruvian ex-President Pedro Castillo has arrived in Mexico, where they will receive political asylum, a senior Mexican foreign ministry official said on Wednesday. "In the name of the Mexican government, I welcomed the Castillo family to Mexico, where they are protected by political asylum," the official, Martin Borrego, said on Twitter. (Reuters/Yahoo Finance)
Electric carmaker Tesla (TSLA.O) could announce the construction of a "Gigafactory" in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon as soon as Friday, with an initial investment of between $800 million and $1 billion, local newspaper Reforma reported Monday. The total investment, taking into account future expansions, could eventually reach $10 billion, sources told the newspaper. The announcement would follow Chief Executive Elon Musk's visit to the state, which borders Texas, in October. A source told Reuters then that Musk had met with Nuevo Leon Governor Samuel Garcia and U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar. (Reuters)
Sun-loving South Floridians who enjoy the heat will have to deal with Saturday morning temperatures around 50 degrees with wind chills making it feel like it is in the 40s. As a result, the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust has opened its shelters for the homeless population and activated its Cold Weather Emergency Plan. In Broward, dozens of new blankets and additional items like socks and toiletries will be distributed to unsheltered homeless individuals to provide some warmth. Miami-Dade's Department of Emergency Management has some tips to help residents weather the chilly temps. (CBS)
Paraguay’s ex-President Horacio Cartes, who is blacklisted by the US for alleged corruption, tightened his grip on the ruling party in primary elections that delivered a decisive victory to his handpicked presidential candidate. (Bloomberg)
Police in Paraguay are searching for six members of a criminal gang who broke out of prison through a hole in the ground. The escapees belong to Brazil's largest criminal gang, First Command of the Capital (PCC), which has been expanding to neighboring Paraguay. (BBC)
Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, who has said she is leading a transitional government, urged the country's Congress to pass a proposal to bring forward general elections in a news conference from the presidential palace on Saturday. Boluarte, formerly Peru's vice president, assumed the presidency earlier this month after leftist then-President Pedro Castillo tried to illegally dissolve Congress and was arrested. (Reuters)
Peru orders Mexico’s ambassador to leave the country in the latest escalation of tensions. The Peruvian government’s decision came hours after Mexico’s top diplomat announced that his country had granted asylum to the family of the ousted president, Pedro Castillo. (NBC)
Peruvian authorities have airlifted vulnerable stranded tourists from the Inca mountain-top citadel of Machu Picchu to the city of Cusco. Hundreds had been stuck there for almost a week after the train line that many tourists take to the 15th Century site was cut by protesters placing boulders on the track. (BBC)
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico
Report finds that Puerto Rico’s short-term rental growth is exacerbating their housing crisis. A new study on the impact of short-term rentals in Puerto Rico, where the proliferation of Airbnb listings played an outsized role in its tourism recovery following Hurricane Maria, found that a 10 percent increase in short-term rental density in relation to the total number of housing units, led to a 7 percent increase in median rents and a 23 percent jump in housing unit prices. (Yahoo)
Two senior US senators asked the Biden administration to start trade-agreement talks with Ecuador and Uruguay, using a pact with Mexico and Canada as a template to expand export opportunities with “trusted partners” in Latin America as China’s influence grows. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and fellow committee member Rob Portman — a former US trade chief and an Ohio Republican — asked Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Secretary of State Antony Blinken to capitalize on the success of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement and expand relations in the Western Hemisphere. (Bloomberg)
American Airlines, starting December 16, 2022, has begun connecting Miami, United States's Miami International Airport (MIA), with Montevideo, Uruguay’s Carrasco International Airport, with its Boeing 787s. This provides the South American capital city once again with direct flights to a United States hub airport while American Airlines increases connections to other Latin American cities. (Simple Flying)
Venezuela opposition weighs overhauling 'interim government.' A group of opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is looking to strip Juan Guaidó of his authority as the internationally recognized head of the country's so-called interim government. (ABC)
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