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Dealflow.la #41 - Messi 🇦🇷 to Miami 🇺🇸 MLS team, Mexico 🇲🇽 downgraded to category 2 air safety rating by FAA 🇺🇸, and Ceibo 🇨🇱 raises a $30 Million Series B.
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AllProperty 🇲🇽 raised a $1 Million Seed round led by Grupo BeOne 🇲🇽 to help landlords manage properties by facilitating payments, communicating with tenants, digitalizing documents, as well as creating and signing digital contracts.
HackMetrix 🇨🇱 Raised a $1.3 Million round led by Daedalus Ventures 🇨🇱, with funding from MatterScale Ventures 🇺🇸, and Bridge Latam 🇲🇽 to develop a cybersecurity platform designed to detect and prevent the possibility of hacking web pages. The company's platform performs automatic penetration testing with more vulnerability checks, based on the main scanners of the market, enabling businesses to get access to a clear report of their web application's security issues and developer-friendly insights to solve them.
Fanki 🇨🇴 raised a $6 Million round with funding from Marathon Capital 🇺🇸, Broom Ventures 🇺🇸, and Tenacity Venture Capital 🇺🇸 to develop blockchain applications for the sports industry designed to make the interaction between fans and clubs possible. The company offers a mobile application, digital property, cryptocurrencies, and non-fungible tokens, enabling federations, leagues, and sports clubs to create new sources of income and deepen the relationship with fans through tokens.
MERU 🇲🇽 raised a $6 Million Seed round led by FJ Labs 🇺🇸 to build a one-stop-shop marketplace intended to facilitate the Asian wholesale market. The company's B2B wholesale marketplace allows small business owners to grow by providing access to inventory and fair financing and develops cross-border technology and infrastructure to digitize trade and sourcing for all parties across the supply chain, enabling clients to save import costs with the help of a pricing algorithm.
nocnoc 🇺🇾 raised a $14 Million Series A led by PayPal Ventures 🇺🇸, with funding from Quona Capital 🇺🇸, Mouro Capital 🇬🇧, IGNIA 🇲🇽, Caravela Capital 🇧🇷, and Broadhaven Capital Partners 🇺🇸 to develop an online selling software designed to connect global sellers with Latin America's marketplaces. The company's technology and a team of local experts analyze seller's supply and match markets demand to let sellers and brands optimize pricing, and conversion rates and increase sales, enabling sellers around the world to easily access multiple marketplaces through one single platform offering their products to over millions of consumers every month.
Onfly 🇧🇷 raised a $16.5 Million Series A led by Left Lane Capital 🇺🇸 and Cloud9 Capital 🇧🇷 to develop a travel and expense management platform designed to reduce the company's travel, hotel, and reimbursement expenses. The company's application aids in booking hotels, tickets, and renting cars for trips, within a pre-configured travel policy, enabling travel companies to maximize travel management and bring comfort and productivity to employees.
Sami 🇧🇷 raised an $18 Million Series B round led by Redpoint Ventures 🇺🇸 and Mundi Ventures 🇪🇸, with funding from Alumni Ventures 🇺🇸, Digital Horizon 🇬🇧, Tau Ventures 🇺🇸, Valor Capital Group 🇺🇸, and Endeavor Catalyst 🇺🇸 to operate an online health platform intended to provide medical consultations and guidance around the clock. The company's platform lists doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals with specialized experience to focus on making healthcare efficient and friendly, enabling patients to receive proactive, preventive, and coordinated treatment.
Ceibo 🇨🇱 raised a $30 Million Series B led by Energy Impact Partners 🇺🇸 with funding from Unearth Capital 🇺🇸, Orion Resource Partners 🇺🇸, Khosla Ventures 🇺🇸, CoTec 🇨🇦, and Aurus 🇨🇱 to help mines deal with waste without as many negative externalities and improves the recovery of minerals and minimizes the environmental impact of current operations, enabling mining industry clients to optimize processes, reduce costs, and ensure the conservation of the environment with zero waste activity.
Digibee 🇧🇷 raised a $61.5 Million Series B led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management 🇺🇸 with funding from Vivio Ventures 🇧🇷, Kinea Investimentos 🇧🇷, K Fund 🇪🇸, and G2D Investments 🇧🇷 to build a hybrid integration platform designed to connect businesses to the digital world. The company's platform features faster integrations, automation of operations, digital transformation, modern architecture, connecting with the ecosystem, and real omnichannel, enabling businesses to turn ideas into meaningful customer digital experiences efficiently.
Movie mogul James Cameron unwittingly stumbled into a lithium mining controversy during his recent Argentina visit, transforming the 'Avatar' director from environmental speaker to unexpected advocate for indigenous rights. Tricked into an optics game, Cameron now pledges his Avatar Alliance Foundation's resources to aid South American Indigenous communities in their fight against lithium mining. (AP)
Argentina’s increasingly desperate government is trying to stave off a currency crisis by going cap in hand to China and the IMF, presenting the Washington-based lender with a dilemma over how to support its largest debtor. Inflation in the South American nation is expected to reach 145 percent this year, a recession is looming and the central bank’s net reserves of hard currency are negligible. The peso has fallen almost 40 percent against the US dollar on the black market this year. The Peronist government is striving to avoid a big devaluation or a lapse into hyperinflation during the politically turbulent season before presidential and congressional elections in October — and economy minister and would-be presidential candidate Sergio Massa has emerged as a central figure. (FT)
Lionel Messi and his Argentina teammates were temporarily “trapped” in their Beijing hotel at the weekend after large numbers of fans gathered outside to see the star, Chinese state media reported, as police warned of scammers attempting to cash in on “Messi mania.” Messi, who led Argentina to World Cup glory last year and is widely regarded as one of soccer’s greatest ever players, received a rapturous welcome from fans Saturday after landing at the Beijing airport ahead of a friendly match against Australia in the Chinese capital. “Messi” soon became the top trending topic on Chinese social media platform Weibo, while video footage showed hundreds of fans swarming the team’s hotel entrance in the hope of catching a glimpse of their idol. Argentina’s pre-match training session was delayed for safety reasons Sunday after “outrageously passionate” fans made it impossible for the team to leave their hotel, Global Times reported, citing game organizers. Photos and videos show the team eventually trained on Sunday night. One fan was so eager to meet Messi that he spent 10,000 yuan ($1,400) on rooms at multiple Beijing luxury hotels in the hope of seeing the star, the state-run outlet said. (CNN)
U.S.-based oil major Chevron will invest more than $500 million to develop the Trapial block in western Neuquen province, home to the massive Vaca Muerta shale basin, Argentina's economy ministry announced on Friday. (Reuters)
Analysts polled by Argentina's central bank forecast annual inflation this year at 149%, above the 126% expected in the previous poll, according to the monthly survey released on Friday. For May, the analysts polled expect prices to have risen 9% in the month. Inflation in April was 8.4%. Argentina's economy, strained by a historic drought that has worsened an ongoing currency crisis, is expected to shrink by 3% in 2023 from 2022, the survey found. (Reuters)
Discussions are underway for the opening of Chinese banks in Bolivia as La Paz officials consider following the controversial path already taken by Brazil and Argentina to trade with China in its currency, the yuan. The Chinese ambassador to Bolivia, Huang Yazhong, made the announcement earlier this month. "We are working to encourage Chinese commercial banks to open offices in Bolivia." In his mid-term report in May, Bolivian President Luis Arce referenced Brazil and Argentina as two close countries that have agreements with China to trade in the yuan rather than in dollars, a path that he said Bolivia would follow because "the region is shifting towards that." A date has yet to be announced as to when that could happen. The president of Santa Cruz Department of Businesses, Oscar Justiniano, assured that progress was being made in the opening of Chinese banks in Bolivia to promote foreign trade. (VOA)
Brazil's Lula approval rating dips despite better economic news. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who left office with record popularity in 2010, is not doing so well in his new term, and his approval ratings are slipping steadily, a new poll showed on Friday. Despite some recent good news on the economic front, the number of Brazilians who rate his government as great or good has dropped to 37% this month from 39% in April and 41% in March, according to a poll by IPEC published in the O Globo newspaper. (Reuters)
Brazilian economists have reduced their long-term inflation expectations, putting an end to months of unchanged projections that the central bank had cited as a cause for concern. According to the median forecast of a weekly central bank survey on Monday, 2025 inflation projections now stand at 3.9%, down from the previous estimate of 4.0% calculated since March 24. The expectation for 2026 has also decreased to 3.88% from the previous 4.0% forecast since March 17. The central bank has consistently expressed concern about increased inflation expectations for long-term horizons in its justifications for the need to keep the benchmark interest rate at a 13.75% cycle-high, which has remained steady since September despite cooling inflation. This policy stance has faced frequent criticism from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who sees it as hindering economic growth. (Reuters/US News)
Brazil is seeking to mend ties with Africa, largely ignored by the Bolsonaro administration, as the government prepares for two rounds of official trips to the continent. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who in previous administrations sought to strengthen Brazil-Africa relations and visited 23 countries in the region over two terms, wants to visit at least eight African countries in the next months, local newspaper O Globo reported, citing government officials with knowledge of the preparations. (Bloomberg)
The administration of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has announced its plan to eliminate deforestation by 2030 as part of an international pledge to protect the environment. (Al Jazeera)
Visa Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire Pismo, a Brazilian financial technology firm that provides cloud-based payment and banking platforms, according to people familiar with the matter. Visa could announce a deal as soon as this month for the Sao Paulo-based company, said the people, who asked to not be identified because discussions aren’t public. A final agreement hasn’t been reached and talks could still fall through, they added. (Bloomberg)
The Chilean peso slumped about 2% on Monday after the country announced steps to boost international reserves, while most other Latin American currencies were subdued as investors braced for a slew of major central bank decisions this week. The peso fell 2.2% against the dollar by 1427 GMT and was set for its biggest one-day percentage drop in nearly three months, dragging the broader Latam currencies index down 0.2%. Chile's central bank announced a $10 billion program on Friday to replace and increase the country's international reserves. The bank will run the program for one year starting June 13, it said in a statement, through regular day purchases of $40 million dollars through competitive auctions. "Chile's peso is losing value as its central bank gets out more of its pesos out there to bring in dollars and re-strengthen their foreign currency reserves," said Juan Perez, director of trading at Monex. (Reuters/Yahoo)
Chile regulator seeks further sanctions against suspended broker-dealer for lying to investors. STF Capital, which was suspended last month over 'serious' risk management breaches, could be further sanctioned by Chile's CMF. (CW)
Recordings shake confidence in Colombia's leftist government, jeopardize reforms. A corruption scandal that has shaken Colombia’s first leftist government and undermined its ability to carry out ambitious reforms has grown following the release of several voice messages featuring the nation’s former ambassador to Venezuela. The former ambassador alleges that he raised almost $4 million for the campaign from donors and hints that some of the money came from drug trafficking groups. “I will not let you screw around with me,” Benedetti tells Sarabia in a threatening tone. He compares himself to Osama Bin Laden blowing up the twin towers in New York City and says that he doesn’t care if everyone in Petro’s inner circle goes down with him. “I swear by the life of my children that we are all going to sink, we are all going to jail, this whole damn thing will blow up,” he says in the audio. (ABC)
Colombia's attorney general's office has launched an investigation into reports of the illegal financing of President Gustavo Petro's election campaign last year, it said in a statement on Friday. The investigation is the latest twist in a political scandal that has destabilized Petro's government at a time when Colombia's first leftist president has tried to push a trio of bills for work, pension, and health reforms through the country's Congress. "(The investigation) will establish the possible authors of crimes relating to the financing of electoral campaigns from prohibited sources, violation of electoral finance limits, and others that can be typified," the attorney general's office said in a statement. (Reuters/US News)
4 children who survived for 40 days in the Colombian jungle recover as details emerge. The four Indigenous children who survived 40 days in the Amazon jungle after their plane crashed have shared limited but harrowing details of their ordeal with their family, including that their mother survived the crash for days before she died. The siblings, aged 13, 9, 4 and 1, are expected to remain for at least two weeks in a hospital receiving treatment after their rescue Friday, but some are already speaking and wanting to do more than lie in bed, relatives said. Manuel Ranoque, the father of the two youngest children, told reporters outside the hospital Sunday that the oldest of the four siblings — 13-year-old Lesly Jacobombaire Mucutuy — had described to him how their mother was alive for about four days after the plane crashed on May 1 in the Colombian jungle. (NPR)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
Through the reinforcement of operations against the irregular migratory flow throughout the country, agents of the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) detained 4,603 undocumented foreigners in the country in eight days, being processed and repatriated to their countries of origin. Among those detained from Tuesday, May 30 to June 6, 2023, were an American, a Polish national, and 4,601 Haitian nationals, who were deported to their respective countries after the corresponding procedure was exhausted. (DT)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
Prosecutors in El Salvador say they have evidence that former President Alfredo Cristiani was present at a meeting that approved the 1989 massacre of six Jesuit priests and two others by soldiers. Prosecutors who announced the case against Cristiani last year presented formal charges against the former president at an arraignment hearing late Monday, saying the plot to kill the Jesuits during the country’s 1980-1992 civil war went all the way to the top. Cristiani, who left El Salvador in 2021 and whose whereabouts are unknown, has always denied knowledge of or involvement in the killings, which shocked the world. (AP)
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele Wednesday signed a controversial electoral reform into law that will slash the number of seats in the country’s Legislative Assembly from 84 to 60. President Bukele and his party Nuevas Ideas argue that the measure will cut costs and promote greater efficiency. However, El Salvador’s opposition says that the reforms will make it more difficult for smaller parties to win seats. The bill was passed in a Legislative Assembly vote. The reforms also include a consolidation of the country’s municipalities from 262 into 144 districts. Nuevas Ideas argues that a smaller legislative body will hasten decision-making processes and optimize resources, ultimately benefiting the Salvadoran people. However, critics have voiced their concerns that reducing the number of seats could potentially limit representation for small parties and minority groups while diminishing checks and balances within the government. Civil society organizations and human rights advocates have also expressed apprehension, calling for transparency and inclusivity in the decision-making process. They emphasize the need for thorough public consultations to ensure that any changes to the electoral system reflect the will of the Salvadoran people. El Salvador is slated to have elections in February and March 2024. The country’s supreme court ruled in 2021 that Bukele can seek reelection despite claims that Article 152 of El Salvador’s constitution prohibits presidents from being immediately reelected. (Jurist)
A feel good story :)…Staff at a Guatemala hotel pamper beloved stuffed animal left behind by Chino Hills teen. The stuffed cow was given a vacation of her own by hotel staff; including a trip to the pool, spa, and even her own room after she was left behind at a Guatemala hotel as the owner rushed to get to her next destination. (NBC)
Guatemalan journalist Jose Ruben Zamora faces 40 years in prison. He’s reported on 144 investigative pieces about corruption in the Guatemalan government, led by President Alejandro Giammatei. Now he’s potentially facing 40 years in prison for what Guatemala’s government says is money laundering. The Committee to Protect Journalists has called Zamora’s detention “unwarranted”. And many government critics are saying this is part of a broader crackdown on anyone working to uncover corruption. (Al Jazeera)
Migrant transit centers financed by the United States will be set up in Guatemala to receive applications from Central American citizens seeking to apply for work visas, family reunifications or refugee status, an official said Friday. Both governments have said they will launch a web page Monday on which people will be able to request appointments to apply for entrance to the U.S. The centers are part of a larger migratory strategy aimed at reducing the heavy flow of migrants from Latin American and the Caribbean to the United States. (AP)
Honduras opened an embassy in Beijing on Sunday, Chinese state media reported, months after the Central American nation broke off relations with Taiwan to form diplomatic ties with China. (NPR)
Honduras President Xiomara Castro formally requested the country's admission to the BRICS-led New Development Bank (NDB) in a meeting with the bank's president, Dilma Rousseff, Castro's office said in a tweet late Friday. (Reuters)
One million people in Mexico have opened savings accounts in Brazilian digital bank Nubank one month after the product's launch, the company said on Wednesday, with deposits amounting to 1 billion pesos ($58 million). About 90% of the deposits are being kept in Nubank's so-called "little boxes," a separate space within the accounts where customers can hold funds and get a 9% annual return, it said in a statement. (Reuters)
Mexico's governing party to decide its presidential nomination by polling. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador's governing Morena party has decided that a series of five polls over the summer will decide the party's nomination for the June 2024 presidential election. (ABC)
Canada said Friday it will join a trade dispute panel that the United States requested over Mexico’s proposed limits on imports of genetically modified corn. The U.S. government asked that the dispute process be formally opened on June 2, after talks with the Mexican government failed to yield results.
The panel of experts would have about half a year to study the complaint and release its findings. Trade sanctions could follow if Mexico is found to have violated the U.S.-Mexico Canada free trade agreement. Mexico wants to ban GM corn for human consumption, and perhaps eventually ban it for animal feed as well, something that both its northern partners say would damage trade and violate USMCA requirements that any health or safety standards be based on scientific evidence. “Canada shares the concerns of the U.S. that Mexico’s measures are not scientifically supported and have the potential to unnecessarily disrupt trade in the North American market,” Canada’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food said in a statement. (AP)
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Monday said he told Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador last week any decision to reinstate the country's air safety rating would not be based on politics. "The rating as I emphasized to the president is a safety decision. It's independent of any economic, commercial or political consideration, but I did assure him that there would not be any unnecessary or improper delay in processing that," Buttigieg told Reuters on the sidelines of an event in Washington. (Reuters)
Texas Will Place a Floating Barrier Between U.S. and Mexico. Gov. Greg Abbott said the state will put a 1,000-foot string of buoys in the middle of the Rio Grande to deter migrants from entering the United States. (New York Times)
The Big 12 Conference is extending its reach into Mexico, announcing plans Thursday for men’s and women’s basketball games to be played in Mexico City late next year while also exploring a possible football bowl game in Monterrey. “Mexico is a natural extension to the Big 12 footprint,” Yormark said. “Through Big 12 Mexico, our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in an international setting, and our conference will have the chance to showcase our brand across Mexico.” Kansas and Houston will play each other in men’s and women’s basketball at Mexico City’s Arena CDMX in December 2024. After that, women’s soccer teams and baseball teams from the Big 12 will participate in exhibitions against clubs from the region. (AP)
🇺🇸 Messi’s Miami
Lionel Messi says he’s joining Major League Soccer’s Inter Miami after exit from Paris Saint-Germain. Lionel Messi has pulled off his latest stunning feat: He is headed to Major League Soccer, and joining Inter Miami.
After months — years, even — of speculation, Messi finally revealed his decision to join a Miami franchise that has been led by another global soccer icon, David Beckham, since its inception but has yet to make any real splashes on the field. That likely will soon change. One of Inter Miami’s owners, Jorge Mas, tweeted out a photo of a darkly silhouetted Messi jersey shortly before the Argentinian great revealed his decision in interviews with Spanish news outlets Mundo Deportivo and Sport. It was widely believed that Messi eventually would choose to play for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia, following longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo to a nation where some clubs now are funded by the state’s sovereign wealth fund. Going back to Barcelona, a storied franchise where he spent most of his career, was another possibility. But in the end, he made the call that surprised many. Messi is joining MLS. He said in the interviews Wednesday that some final details still need to be worked out, but that he has made the call to “continue my path” in Miami. “After winning the World Cup and not being able to return to Barcelona, it was my turn to go to the league of the United States to live football in another way,” Messi said. He didn’t take the money. He didn’t choose the memories. He picked Miami instead. (CNBC)
Lionel Messi is coming to Miami, and he’s boosting MLS ticket sales big time. It’s been three days since soccer legend Lionel Messi shocked the soccer world by announcing his move to MLS club Inter Miami FC after parting ways with Paris Saint-Germain, and ticket prices around the league are already soaring. Secondary ticket market StubHub says sales for Inter Miami’s matches beginning in July have increased nearly 28 times since the announcement. (CNBC)
The government of Nicaragua announced Friday it has confiscated properties belonging to 222 opposition figures who were forced into exile in February after being imprisoned by the regime of President Daniel Ortega. Those taken from prison and forced aboard a flight to the United States on Feb. 9 included seven former presidential hopefuls, lawyers, rights activists, journalists and former members of the Sandinista guerrilla movement. The court system wrote in a statement that the opposition figures had been declared “traitors to the homeland.” They are also being stripped of their citizenship, measures that have been criticized as an example of banishment, in violation of international norms. (ABC)
Peru's worst dengue outbreak on record could intensify further as an El Nino climate phenomenon brings torrential rains and mosquitoes, driving the death toll this year past 200 with over 130,000 recorded cases, the health ministry said on Thursday. Most of the deaths have occurred in northern Peru, where hospitals have exceeded their capacity, bringing back recent memories of the health crisis suffered by the country during the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)
A group of indigenous protesters in Peru's remote Amazon region attacked two oil tankers with gasoline bombs apparently because they are angry about changes by the government to social oil funds, the operator of the vessels said on Wednesday. A dozen crew members from both tankers, one of which contained 40,000 barrels of crude, were also kidnapped by the assailants, according to a statement from Canada-based PetroTal. (Reuters)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is set to take off this weekend for a tour to Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua, state media reported Wednesday.
Raisi's tour of "friendly countries" begins Sunday and aims to raise Iran's "level of economic, political and scientific cooperation" with the three U.S.-sanctioned Latin American nations, the IRNA state news agency said.
Iran and Venezuela are both major producers in the OPEC oil cartel, placing them at the center of international discussions on the energy crisis sparked by Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. (VOA)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened an office in Venezuela, prosecutor Karim Khan said on Friday following a meeting with the country's President Nicolas Maduro. The ICC is investigating Venezuela for possible crimes against humanity. With the agreement, the ICC hopes to work "more closely" with Venezuela, and to help in the implementation of judicial reforms, guaranteeing "more justice" in the South American country, Khan said at an opening event. "I am sure that this office will add positive practices (...) It will surely have a very favorable impact," Maduro said. (Reuters/US News)
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