Discover more from Dealflow.la
Dealflow.la #20 - Opposition President Guaidó 🇻🇪 replaced, Nilus 🇦🇷 raises a $3.5M Series A to eradicate food insecurity, & Peru chaos continues as tourism bookings plummet 🇵🇪.
Latin America is rising. Subscribe to Dealflow.la to keep up.
Sales Journey 🇧🇷 raised a $115,000 Venture Round led by MedBeauty 🇧🇷 to improve sales and account management processes through account-based selling technology. The company offers private digital collaboration spaces where a sales team and a customer team can work together, engage key decision-makers, invite colleagues, quickly reach consensus, and more, thereby enabling organizations with faster consensus-build and decision-making.
Kultua 🇧🇷 raised a $150,000 Pre-Seed round with funding from Sororité 🇧🇷, JUPTER 🇧🇷, and FEA Angels 🇧🇷 to build a people management platform intended to provide a focused corporate environment. The company's platform provides diagnostics, automation of customizable rituals, and people analytics, enabling clients to exercise employee engagement and reinforcement of the culture goal practices in the company, in a playful and humanized way.
UpDairy 🇧🇷 raised a $200,000 Pre-Seed round from Grid Exponential 🇦🇷 to create animal-free milk ingredients more sustainably.
ilog Tecnologia 🇧🇷 raised a $500,000 Venture Round led by Stark 🇧🇷 to develop of software for human capital management focusing on corporate education, knowledge, people management, and strategic management.
Velocity 🇨🇴 raised a $2 Million Seed round led by Güil Mobility Ventures 🇨🇱 with funding from Vertical Partners 🇨🇴, Imagine Ventures 🇨🇱, and AngelHub Ventures 🇿🇦 to build their micro fulfillment dark store that delivers through digital channels.
Nilus 🇦🇷 raised a $3.5 Million Series A round with funding from VX Ventures 🇲🇽 and Preface Ventures 🇺🇸 to eradicate food insecurity by streamlining inefficiencies in the supply chain. The company's services include creating a marketplace and logistical tools to manage offerings and distributing healthy food at discounted prices to low-income communities, enabling low-income groups to have access to healthy food markets at affordable prices.
Klubi 🇧🇷 raised a $5.75 Million Venture round led by Vivo Ventures 🇧🇷 with funding from Igah Ventures 🇧🇷 to help people with their credit and offer a new way of consortium. The company provides access to credit and helps to plan achievements in a digital, transparent, and secure way, enabling clients to achieve their financial goals through a fully digital, educational, simple, transparent, and secure experience.
Argentina president seeks impeachment of Supreme Court chief. Fernandez’s statement did not specify what conduct was at issue. Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez has said he will seek the impeachment of the country’s Supreme Court chief for “repeatedly engaging in conduct” that constitutes “poor performance of his duties.” But the move comes after the president clashed with the court over a December decision to allocate more state funds to the capital Buenos Aires, which right-wing opposition leader Horacio Rodríguez Larreta leads. (Al Jazeera)
A federal U.S. court sentenced former Bolivian Interior Minister Arturo Murillo to nearly six years behind bars on Wednesday for conspiracy to commit money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. Murillo pleaded guilty in October to receiving at least $532,000 in bribes from a Florida-based company in exchange for helping the company secure a lucrative tear gas contract with Bolivia's defense ministry. (Reuters)
Investors fret over Lula’s approach to Brazil’s state-controlled companies. Shares in several of Brazil’s large state-controlled companies, including Petrobras and Banco do Brasil, have endured a week of swings as investors worry that the new administration of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will take a more interventionist approach. Petrobras, Latin America’s largest energy group, at one point plunged more than 10 percent on the São Paulo stock exchange after Lula used one of his first decrees as president to end plans for the privatization of the $60bn oil and gas producer. The move followed Lula’s nomination of Jean Paul Prates, a senator in his Workers’ party, to be the next chief executive of Petrobras. Prates has backed Lula’s calls for the hydrocarbon producer to change how it charges for fuels and play a greater role in the clean energy transition. (FT)
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's loss of broad protections from prosecution when he stepped down on Sunday leaves him more exposed to criminal and electoral probes that could lead to his arrest or prevent him from running for office. (Reuters)
Chilean President Gabriel Boric on Thursday announced a new package of social spending worth $2 billion as his approval levels fall and the economy shrinks. The measures include doubling an annual cash transfer made to the poor and middle class every March to 120,000 pesos ($140) while also creating another handout to help families buy food. Officials will expand a subsidized school lunch program and give discounts on medicine. The government will also provide 50 billion pesos in state guarantees for loans to the construction industry. The package will cost about $2 billion and be financed from the 2023 budget as well as with additional resources to be announced next week, Finance Minister Mario Marcel said during a televised press conference. Marcel, a former president of the central bank, denied the extra spending would pressure inflation. (Bloomberg)
A Spanish lawmaker said Wednesday he was formally kicked out of Bolivia as he was getting ready to leave the South American country after he had traveled there to demand the release of opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho. The foreign affairs ministry said it filed diplomatic complaints against the Spanish lawmaker and a Chilean counterpart accusing them of meddling in Bolivia’s internal affairs. They came to demand the release of Camacho, the governor of the Santa Cruz region who was detained a week ago on “terrorism” charges. (AP)
Why Colombia was forced to backtrack on a promising ceasefire announcement. What began as a hopeful announcement of a six-month ceasefire with the National Liberation Army (ELN) and other armed groups in Colombia, has ended in a political entanglement that casts doubts on the armed groups’ desire for peace – and raises questions about Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s future announcements regarding the ongoing peace process. (CNN)
Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso said on Tuesday the country has sealed a free trade deal with China, an agreement expected to increase exports and boost growth in the South American country's industrial sector. With the deal, Ecuadorean exports will have preferential access to China, and the South American country's manufacturers will be able to acquire machinery and inputs at lower costs, Lasso added. (Reuters)
The UN Security Council Tuesday welcomed new members Ecuador, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, and Switzerland. Five of them–China, France, Russia, the UK and the US–are permanent members with veto powers. The other ten members are elected by the 193-nation General Assembly for two-year terms, allocated by whatever global region the countries are located in. (Jurist)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
Murders in El Salvador tumbled 56.8% in 2022 amid a widespread crackdown on gang violence, the government said on Tuesday, extending a sharp drop in killings in a nation that for years had one of the world's worst murder rates. Authorities registered a total of 496 homicides last year, down from 1,147 in 2021, Defense Minister Francis Merino said. The tally does not count deaths of gang members killed in encounters with security forces, which would raise the total to 600. (Reuters)
Honduras declares war against gangs – and for control of popular narrative. President Xiomara Castro’s crackdown on gangs is also an attempt to counter allegations the government hasn’t done enough to combat crime. The example was set by the hardline policies of neighboring El Salvador, where President Nayib Bukele has led a controversial crackdown on gangs that has led to the detention of more than 2% of its adult population. (The Guardian)
The operation to detain Ovidio Guzman, the son of imprisoned drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, unleashed firefights that turned the northern city of Culiacan into a war zone with 30 dead, authorities said Friday. In a blow-by-blow description of the battles Thursday that killed 10 military personnel and 19 suspected members of the Sinaloa drug cartel, Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval said cartel gunmen opened fire on troops with a half-dozen .50-caliber machine guns. The army responded by calling in Blackhawk helicopter gunships to attack a convoy of 25 cartel vehicles, including truck-mounted cartel gun platforms. The running shootouts also killed one Culiacan policeman and wounded 17 police officers and 35 military personnel. The cartel then opened fire on the military aircraft, forcing two of them down with “a significant number of impacts” in each of the two aircraft, Sandoval said. The gang then sent hordes of gunmen to attack fixed-wing aircraft, both military and civilian, at the city’s international airport. (AP)
Video: Mexican government better prepared in 2nd arrest of El Chapo's son: Expert. (Global News)
The 2022 midterms saw Republicans win Miami-Dade County for the first time in 20 years. Now, the Democratic infighting has begun. Ten party officials in Florida’s most populous county are asking the statewide Florida Democratic Party to audit the county party over alleged campaign finance “improper activity.” The request comes after Republicans won nearly every race in the county, which Hillary Clinton won by nearly 30 percentage points just six years ago. The county has long been held up as an overwhelming Democratic home turf. (Politico)
Paraguay would cut diplomatic ties with Taiwan and open relations with China if the opposition wins the election in April, its presidential candidate Efrain Alegre told Reuters, hoping to boost soy and beef exports that are its main economic engines. The ruling party candidate, meanwhile, told Reuters he would maintain ties with Taiwan, a self-governed island that China considers one of its provinces and not a county, making the geopolitical question a center-piece of the election race. Paraguay is one of only 14 nations globally that retains diplomatic ties with Taiwan and the only South American country to do so. China has convinced a number of the island's allies to shift allegiance in recent years, the last being Nicaragua. (Reuters/US News)
Weeks of deadly protests in Peru after the ouster and detention of President Pedro Castillo have taken a toll on the country's economy, particularly its tourism sector, a minister and industry representatives said. Up to 60% of travel bookings for the first half of the year have been canceled since the protests began, Peru's minister of foreign trade and tourism said. More than two dozen people have died due to clashes and accidents linked to roadblocks. "We had really expected tourism to take off this year," Minister Luis Fernando Helguero said in an interview on local television station Canal N late on Wednesday. "The worst part are the cancellations in the first half of the year, some 50% to 60%.” (Reuters)
Peru roadblocks resume as president urges ‘peace, calm, unity.’ Protests reignite in Peru after a holiday pause, with many demonstrators demanding the removal of new President Dina Boluarte. (Al Jazeera)
A scandal over fake passports in Uruguay has ballooned into accusations of political espionage and corruption that could threaten the nation’s reputation as a beacon of stability in Latin America. It started in September with the arrest of a personal bodyguard to president Luis Lacalle Pou, Alejandro Astesiano, on charges that he led a criminal ring that for a fee issued counterfeit Uruguayan passports to foreigners, including possibly Russians fleeing their country after its invasion of Ukraine. Astesiano has denied the charges against him. Since then, the scandal has expanded, after online chats obtained from Astesiano’s phone during the probe were published by a local newspaper, La Diaria. One set of exchanges suggested that Astesiano leveraged his government contacts to sell software developed by the interior ministry to wealthy business executives, who then used it to track opposition senators — an allegation he has denied. These controversies have raised questions about whether corruption within Uruguay’s political system has gone unnoticed. (FT)
Colombia and Venezuela on Sunday opened a key bridge linking the countries that had been closed for almost seven years amid political tensions, launching an era of improved relations under Colombia’s new leftist president. Construction of the bridge ended in 2016, but it was never inaugurated because of the political crisis between the South American countries. The bridge, which cost more than $32 million to build, was designed to ease congestion on the two other binational bridges in the area and facilitate trade. In 2019, Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolás Maduro ordered more than a dozen cargo containers placed on the bridge to symbolically block it to protest attempts by the opposition to bring humanitarian aid into Venezuela from Colombia. (AP)
Venezuela’s opposition has selected an all-female team of mostly unknown exiled former lawmakers to replace the beleaguered Juan Guaidó as the face of its faltering efforts to remove socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Last week, politicians who were elected to the National Assembly in 2015 voted to oust Guaidó from his role as “interim president,” a title he claimed as head of what was widely considered the South American nation’s last democratically elected institution. (AP)
Analysts warn censorship is on the rise in Venezuela. With more than 100 radio stations closed in the past 12 months and proposals to regulate social media, Venezuela’s journalists brace for a tough time. (VOA)
Venezuela owes $20.7 million to U.S. law firms handling litigation against creditors seeking to collect unpaid debts from bond defaults and nationalizations carried out more than 15 years ago, according to a document seen by Reuters. The South American nation owes bondholders and companies more than $60 billion over companies nationalized under then-President Hugo Chavez as well as over defaulted bonds from the country and state oil firm PDVSA. Some U.S. courts have granted creditors rights to negotiate the sale of Venezuelan assets abroad in order to collect debts, such as the Citgo refinery, the crown jewel of Venezuela's overseas assets, and a subsidiary of PDVSA. (Reuters/US News)
If you were forwarded this email and enjoyed it, make sure to subscribe at Dealflow.la :)