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Dealflow.la #43 - ‘Taylor Swift law’ to criminalize ticket scalping in Brazil 🇧🇷, President Bukele 🇸🇻 registers to unconstitutionally run, & AMLO 🇲🇽 enacts brutal 50% tariff on white corn.
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GoFeels 🇨🇱 raised a $300,000 Pre-Seed round led by Sudamerik Impact Investment 🇨🇱, with funding from DevLabs 🇺🇸 to build hotel management software with a booking engine and payment processing.
Blind Creator 🇲🇽 raised a $500,000 Pre-Seed round led by Amador Holdings 🇵🇦 to help creators manage their business globally. The company platform uses technology to create a site and bank which allows you to check social networks and receive opportunities and payments, helping clients to simplify the management process and hence can focus on creating content.
Vioo 🇲🇽 raised a $1 Million Seed round led by Wollef Ventures 🇲🇽, with funding from Kima Ventures 🇫🇷, Colectivo Jaguara 🇲🇽, and 500 Startups LatAm 🇲🇽 to build a visual content creation marketplace intended to provide visual content for business projects. The company's marketplace matches professionals specialized in photography, video, virtual reality, drone, or rendering based on project requirements, enabling businesses to reduce manhours and expenses and concentrate on core functions.
Nutri Co 🇵🇪 raised a $1 Million Seed round led by MrPink VC 🇦🇷 to create plant-based nutritional products from superfoods intended to re-evolve the way food is made. The company utilizes data science and food algorithms for the accelerated development of tasty, healthy, and accessible products like fitness shakes, kids' superfoods, plant-based meats, and cereals, providing users with nutritious, sustainable, and genuine plant-based products.
Syos 🇧🇷 raised a $2.5 Million Venture round led by Equis Capital Partners 🇺🇸 to develop cooler management technology intended to prevent commercial refrigerators from malfunctioning. The company's technology utilizes the Internet of Things to monitor commercial refrigerators, identify anomalies, view pertinent information for immediate action, get custom reports, and access user data on the application or web dashboard, enabling food, beverage, and retail businesses to improve management of equipment without the cost of replacing it.
Exato Digital 🇧🇷 raised a $3.5 Million Seed round led by Bradesco BBI 🇧🇷 to simplify background checks thoroughly and verifies their customers, suppliers, and candidates in a quick and affordable way by using information from numerous sources, enabling businesses to bring more security and productivity to their day-to-day.
CLIVI 🇲🇽 raised a $10 Million Seed round led by Foundation Capital 🇺🇸 and Dalus Capital 🇲🇽 with funding from Quiet Capital 🇺🇸, Next Billion Ventures 🇺🇸, FEMSA Ventures 🇲🇽, Conexo Ventures 🇪🇸, and 500 Global 🇺🇸 to build their digital clinic intended to improve the treatment of diabetes. The company offers comprehensive treatment driven by digital tools such as the configuration of messaging plan to monitor patients' glucose along with step-by-step consultations provided by specialists, enabling diabetic patients to receive treatment as and when required.
ASAAS 🇧🇷 raised a $21 Million Venture round with funding from TM3 Capital 🇧🇷, Parallax Ventures 🇧🇷, Light Capital Group 🇧🇷, Escala Partners 🇦🇺, and Bradesco BBI 🇧🇷 to generate bills and invoices along with automatically sending invoice charges via email and SMS without a membership fee, enabling individual entrepreneurs and micro companies to accept payments and have financial control of their business.
Superlógica Tecnologias 🇧🇷 raised a $31.5 Million Private Equity round led by Warburg Pincus 🇺🇸 to continue building their financial and technology platform intended for the condominium and real estate markets. The company's software offers collection management, a digital accountability folder, apps for tenants, condominium insurance, and credit for condominiums, thereby enabling clients with seamless integration between day-to-day operations and financial management.
Argentina's presidential election battle lines have hardened after economy minister Sergio Massa entered the race in a dramatic late twist to take on front runners including a conservative city mayor, an ex-security czar, and a libertarian economist. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, a deadline for candidates closes on Saturday night, marking the serious start of a race towards Oct. 22 general elections to choose a leader who can steer the South American country out of an economic crisis, with inflation over 100%, rising poverty, and dwindling foreign currency reserves. (Reuters)
It’s gotten so hard to find US dollars in Argentina that Whirlpool Corp., the American appliance giant, is considering paying with China’s yuan to import parts for a new factory and it’s not alone. Dollars in Argentina are in short supply amid surging inflation and crop failures. Yuan’s share of forex transactions hit a record 28% this month. (Bloomberg)
Argentina has directly asked U.S. President Joe Biden for support in the country's talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revamp its $44 billion debt deal, in a letter signed by regional leaders from Brazil, Mexico, and elsewhere. The South American nation, battling dwindling foreign currency reserves, 100%-plus inflation, and a major drought that hammered its main exports soy and corn, is hoping to accelerate payouts from the IMF and ease some economic targets in the deal. (Reuters)
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s trial on charges of abuse of political power and misuse of public media began in the country’s highest electoral court on Thursday in Brasilia. The charges stem from a meeting Bolsonaro held with foreign diplomats in July 2022, in which he is accused of spreading false information about Brazil’s electoral system and bringing its credibility into question – a strategy the former president used in his reelection campaign. If found guilty, Bolsonaro could be ruled ineligible to run for public office for up to eight years. In Thursday’s court session, a report from Judge Benedito Gonçalves on the case was read aloud and both sides presented their arguments. The trial has now been adjourned until next week. Proceedings could be extended by months if any of the judges request more information. Bolsonaro has said the charges are not justified, and trivialized the proceedings in an exclusive interview with CNN Brazil on Wednesday, describing them as a “storm in a glass of water.” (CNN)
Brazil's Lula calls for 'common sense' negotiations on EU-Mercosur trade pact. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Saturday urged the European Union and the Mercosur to set aside arrogance and negotiate the long-awaited trade agreement between the blocs with common sense. "It's important to remember that we need the EU and they need us very much. So it's important that we put a little bit of arrogance aside and we try to use common sense for us to negotiate. And that goes for us and that goes for them," Lula said to journalists in Paris. (Reuters)
A Brazilian lawmaker has introduced a bill, nicknamed the Taylor Swift law, to address scalpers that many fans say have made obtaining legal tickets for the singer’s "Eras Tour" nearly impossible. Simone Marquetto, a member of the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies representing São Paulo, where Swift is playing three shows, introduced the bill last week that would criminalize ticket scalping with penalties of up to four years in prison and fees up to 100 times the original ticket price. (NBC)
Brazil’s Santos was ordered to play for 30 days without fans after flares were thrown onto the field on Wednesday night during the team’s 2-0 home defeat against rival Corinthians. The referee ended the Brazilian league match in the 88th minute and left the field. Many of the flares were aimed at Corinthians’ penalty area. The 30-day period covers six matches in total — four at Santos’ Vila Belmiro Stadium and two away games. (AP)
No manager, no form, no confidence: what is going on with Brazil? Brazil’s 4-2 defeat to Senegal was a new low for a struggling team. And to make it worse, Argentina are on top of the world. (The Guardian)
Chile has agreed to share criminal records of citizens entering the United States with the country's Department of Homeland Security, its foreign ministry said on Friday, a week after U.S. lawmakers accused migrants of raiding homes and businesses. "We have given assurances to DHS that criminal records will be shared in order to prevent criminal tourism," the ministry said, saying the talks held between officials of the two countries this week had ended "satisfactorily." Earlier on Friday, the ministry said that in a meeting between the countries' top diplomats, Chilean Foreign Minister Alberto van Klaveren and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed "strong interest" in maintaining a visa waiver program between the two countries. U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week threatened to block funding for the program as some lawmakers accused Chileans who arrived on the program of exploiting the waiver to commit burglaries in California. (US News)
Deadly floods in Chile after rains swell rivers. Days of heavy rainfall swelled Chile’s rivers, causing deadly floods as the country sees the worst weather front in a decade. At least two people are dead and three others missing after days of heavy rainfall swelled Chile’s rivers, causing widespread floods. The deluge blocked roads and prompted an evacuation in the centre of the country amid what has been described as the worst weather front in a decade. (Al Jazeera)
Thousands of people marched in Colombia on Tuesday to voice their frustration with President Gustavo Petro’s government and its attempts to make sweeping changes to the nation’s health and pension systems, and its labor laws. The protests were held as Colombia’s first leftist president struggles to keep his coalition in Congress together and sees a slump in his approval ratings as violence between rebel groups grows in some parts of the country. A corruption scandal involving two members of Petro’s inner circle has also put the government on the defensive, with the president now fighting allegations that his campaign was financed with undeclared donations. “This government is going to take us back decades,” said Jimmy Rosero, a retired army officer, who helped carry a 40-foot-long Colombian flag at a march in Bogota. “We don’t want any of its reforms to be approved” by Congress. (AP)
Colombia's Congress approved raising the government's 2023 budget by some 16.9 trillion pesos ($4.1 billion) in overnight votes on Friday, with education and health to receive the biggest boosts to funding. Leftist President Gustavo Petro has pledged to fight deep inequality in the Andean country - where about half of people live in some form of poverty - through sweeping reforms to the healthcare system, pensions, and work rules. Congress initially approved a budget bill worth 405.6 trillion pesos - the highest budget in the country's history - last October, but has now voted to increase that by 16.9 trillion pesos, taking the total to 422.5 trillion pesos. The additional funds, approved during extra sessions tacked onto the end of the normal legislative period, are mostly earnings from a tax reform pushed through by Petro's government last year, which raised duties on oil and coal. Education will receive 2.2 trillion pesos extra, according to a draft version of the bill, while health will receive a little over 2 trillion pesos and housing some 1.5 trillion. (US News)
A labor reform pushed by Colombia's government was shelved on Tuesday after committee legislators in Congress' lower house failed to reach a quorum in a scheduled first debate, dealing a major setback to leftist President Gustavo Petro. The reform aimed to reduce working hours and boost overtime pay to fight poverty. Critics said it could hurt job creation by increasing salary costs, but Petro argued the bill would solve issues like contractual instability which hurt growth. (Reuters)
The Colombian Senate voted against a measure that would have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana and put an end to prohibition policies. The efforts to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana through a series of votes in the Chamber of Representatives and Senate have been curtailed. A recent Senate vote has effectively buried the reform that aimed to end the war on marijuana in the South American country. (Forbes)
Ecuador will lose $1.2 Billion in oil income per year if a proposal to bar production in one of its major oil blocks is successful at the ballot box in August, the energy minister said on Tuesday. Ecuadoreans, who will also choose a new president and legislature in the vote, will decide whether production should be banned at the 43-ITT block in the Yasuni region of the Amazon. State oil company Petroecuador gradually began production at the block, which includes the Ishpingo, Tambococha, and Tiputini fields, in 2016. (Reuters)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
El Salvador's President Bukele registers for reelection despite constitutional objections. Nayib Bukele has registered for reelection in next February’s contest even though legal experts and opposition figures who say the country’s constitution prohibits it. Bukele is popular in El Salvador but considered controversial internationally. He announced in September that he planned to seek a second five-year term. That came after the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court, handpicked by his supporters in congress, ruled in 2021 that his candidacy for reelection was permitted and ordered the electoral court to allow it. Constitutional lawyers, however, have maintained that Bukele’s candidacy would violate at least four articles of the constitution, including article 154, which states: “The presidential term will be five years and will begin and end on June 1, without the person who has held the presidency being able to continue in their functions even one more day.” But Bukele maintains approval ratings above 80%. He led a crackdown on the country’s powerful street gangs that has landed more than 60,000 people in jail on suspicion of gang ties. (ABC)
Guatemala election heads for run-off, leftists in lead amid voter anger. Guatemalans voted for a new president on Sunday in an election headed for an August run-off, with early results putting the center-left in the lead but also appearing to show widespread voter frustration over the exclusion of an early favorite. The contest, dominated by international concern over corruption, will have to be settled in a second round of voting with the leading candidate with former first lady Sandra Torres on track to fall well short of the 50% plus one vote needed for outright victory. But with nearly one in four ballots either spoiled or left blank, Guatemalans expressed discontent at the electoral process and the decision to bar early front-runner, businessman Carlos Pineda. Pineda urged supporters to spoil their ballots after he was ruled ineligible. Opinion polls had not suggested that Semilla's candidate, Bernardo Arevalo, an ex-diplomat and son of former president Juan Jose Arevalo, would make the second round. (Reuters)
The Honduran government announced curfews on Sunday in two northern cities after more than 20 people were killed overnight in separate attacks amid escalating violence in the country. Heavily armed men opened fire on Saturday night in a billiards hall in a neighborhood in the northern manufacturing city of Choloma, killing 13 people and seriously wounding another. President Xiomara Castro announced a 15-day curfew in Choloma between 9 pm and 4 am, effective immediately. (Reuters)
Anti-corruption advocate flees Honduras after receiving threats. Gabriela Castellanos’s departure comes after her organization published a report accusing the government of nepotism. A prominent anti-corruption activist in Honduras has filed a complaint with the Honduran human rights commissioner, claiming that threats forced her and her family to flee the country at the weekend. Gabriela Castellanos, director of the National Anti-Corruption Council (CNA) non-profit group, left Honduras at the recommendation of her security team after a “series of indications in recent days” signaled she was in danger, the council said. (Al Jazeera)
A grisly riot at a women’s prison in Honduras on Tuesday has left at least 41 women dead in an outburst of violence that the country’s president blamed on “mara” street gangs that often wield broad power inside penitentiaries. Most victims were burned but there also were reports of inmates shot or stabbed at the prison in Tamara, about 50km (30 miles) northwest of the capital Tegucigalpa, said Yuri Mora, the spokesman for Honduras’s national police investigation agency. (Al Jazeera)
Mexico’s Supreme Court on Thursday overturned another set of electoral law changes favored by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The 9-2 ruling is likely to further fan the growing dispute between the president and the courts, which have blocked some of his key legal overhauls, including a related change in May. The justices said López Obrador’s Morena party changed the electoral legislation after it was approved in Congress. The reforms would have reduced the spending and size of the country’s independent National Electoral Institute, and limit its authority to oversee political parties and candidates. López Obrador has accused the high court of overstepping its authority by judging whether Congress followed its own rules. In May, the court overturned another part of the electoral changes because Congress rushed the measure through to a vote without debate, or even time to read it. (AP)
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday said he will ask incoming Labor Minister Marath Bolanos to meet with mining company Grupo Mexico and a top union leader to attempt to resolve labor disputes stretching back more than a decade. Grupo Mexico, a conglomerate controlled by one of Mexico's wealthiest people German Larrea, recently clashed with Lopez Obrador over a railway concession and has several mines where production has stalled, at times for years, amid conflicts with workers. (Reuters)
Soaring temperatures in Mexico are driving record electricity consumption that has prompted the country's energy authority to issue a rare alert over grid capacity, as the government played down reports of blackouts. With temperatures reaching above 45 Celsius (113 Fahrenheit) in parts of the country, the grid briefly entered a state of emergency, the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) said late Tuesday, reaching an operating reserve margin of under 6%. (Reuters)
The World Bank said it had approved on Friday a $700 million operation for Mexico to promote public policies to create economic opportunities and expand social security for women. The operation is set to help close gender gaps, provide access to better jobs, and improve safety on public transport and systems to prevent gender-based violence, an urgent issue in a country where on average some 20 women are killed every day. (Reuters)
Mexico's peso currency has reached its highest value versus the U.S. dollar in seven years, as the president celebrates its strength but analysts warn of harmful side effects on exports and remittances. The Mexican peso is among the top-performing currencies this year with a 12% surge against the U.S. dollar, after closing last year up about 5%. The peso's gains are expected to continue, as money flows keep entering the country attracted by higher yields, which have grown more attractive as a consequence of the central bank's rate hiking. (Reuters)
Mexico on Saturday began imposing a 50% tariff on white corn imports, a move the president says looks to boost national production and prevent imports of genetically modified corn. The measure, published late Friday in the Mexican government’s official gazette, will be in force until the end of the year and occurs amid a trade dispute between Mexico and its North American trade partners, Canada and the United States, over genetically modified corn. White corn was among the basic foods that were exempted from tariffs earlier this year in an attempt by the Mexican government to control inflation. But according to the decree, the decision “has not generated a significant impact on the decrease in prices in the national market, so it’s considered appropriate to eliminate it.” At 5.84% in May, the Mexican government considers inflation more or less under control. Mexico imports some white corn — the kind used for human consumption — mainly from the United States and South Africa. But since the tariff goes against the U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, it could complicate the trade dispute that the country already has with the U.S. and Canada over GM corn. Mexico wants to restrict GM white corn for human consumption and eventually also veto GM yellow corn for animal feed. The U.S. and Canada say that would harm trade in the region. Mexico has been importing GM feed corn from the U.S. for years, buying about $3 billion worth annually. Both the United States and Canada have said that Mexico’s fear of the dangers of genetically modified corn is “not grounded in science.” (AP)
A man was killed and another was critically injured Sunday after a boat hit a ferry near Miami, authorities said. Access to PortMiami was limited for 11 hours after the 30-foot yacht struck a Fisher Island Ferry in the channel near Dodge Island around 3 a.m., CBS Miami reported. The ferry crew successfully retrieved one person who was taken to the hospital in critical condition, the station reported. While being taken to the hospital, he told paramedics that his friend was still missing. A Miami police dive team was called in, and the missing man was later found dead, the station reported. The U.S. Coast Guard closed the port while the investigation took place and crews worked to remove the sunken yacht from the waterway. More than 16,000 passengers that were returning to the port on three cruise lines were forced to wait at sea and about the same number of people waiting to board those ships were stuck in the terminal, CBS Miami reported. Nick Pirozzi told the station that he and thousands of other cruise ship passengers were stranded for hours without communication from the cruise line. (CBS)
The Nicaraguan government has confiscated properties belonging to an influential businessman living in exile, the entrepreneur said on Friday, after he was reportedly declared a "traitor" to the country and stripped of his citizenship this year. Piero Coen Ubilla, who heads agribusiness-to-money-transfer conglomerate Grupo Coen, said in a statement that properties registered in his and his wife's names were seized by police early Friday morning. (Reuters)
The Organization of American States (OAS) called Friday on Nicaragua to "cease all human rights violations" and to release its political prisoners, in a resolution adopted unanimously during its annual meeting in Washington. (France24)
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday he would personally lobby Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega to release a bishop who has been imprisoned in the Central American state. Speaking to reporters a day after meeting Pope Francis, Lula said the Nicaraguan president should have "the courage" to recognize that a mistake had been made. "These things are not always easy because not everyone is big enough to apologize." (Reuters)
U.S. trade dominates Panama Canal traffic. New restrictions due to ‘severe’ drought are threatening the future of the shipping route. The U.S. is the largest user of the Panama Canal, with total U.S. commodity export and import containers representing about 73% of Panama Canal traffic. 40% of all U.S. container traffic travels through the Panama Canal every year, and in all, $270 billion in cargo annually. A severe drought has led to water depth and weight restrictions on ships passing through the canal and additional container surcharges imposed by ocean carriers on shippers. The Panama Canal is one of the fastest and least expensive ways to move grain and other agricultural commodities, which leave the Port of New Orleans for China. (CNBC)
Lima’s Central restaurant named world’s best in boost for Peruvian cuisine. Peruvian eateries have been a fixture in top 50 list for close to a decade and now one has claimed the crown. But in the last two decades, Peru’s food – a product of its rich range of crops, ecosystems and a particular history – has become a global brand, with restaurants opening in cities from San Francisco to Sydney. Now, after years of plaudits and prizes, Central restaurant in Lima has been voted the world’s best, crowning the global conquest of Peruvian cuisine. It is the first South American restaurant to win the title, and three other Lima restaurants were in the top 50, meaning the Peruvian capital took more slots than any other city. Central’s fine dining menu showcases Peru’s unique spread of biodiversity by taking diners through “15 different Peruvian ecosystems, categorised by altitude – from 15 metres under the Pacific Ocean to 4,200 metres up in the Andes,” according to World’s 50 Best Restaurants. (The Guardian)
Peruvian police arrested an ex-prime minister on Tuesday for allegedly conspiring against the state and joining an attempted "coup" by ousted former President Pedro Castillo, in the latest criminal case targeting a politician in the country. Former Prime Minister Betssy Chavez was detained at her home in the southern city of Tacna following a court order, according to local television, more than six months after the leftist Castillo was arrested and jailed on rebellion charges. Chavez, a former legislator, and other former ministers of Castillo's 17-month-old government are also being investigated as co-conspirators for the crime of fomenting rebellion. The charges stem from Castillo's announcement last December that he would dissolve Congress and rule by decree just ahead of an effort by lawmakers to vote him out of office. Peru's opposition-led Congress rapidly ousted Castillo and police subsequently arrested him. Castillo's removal sparked months of angry and sometimes violent protests that left over 60 people dead, largely from indigenous groups. The current government led by President Dina Boluarte, Castillo's former vice president, has denied it committed abuses during the protests while pledging cooperation with the investigations. (Reuters/US News)
US Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Roger Carstens quietly traveled to Venezuela this week, a State Department spokesperson confirmed to CNN Wednesday. Carstens traveled to the capital city of Caracas for “discussions about the welfare and safety of US nationals wrongfully detained in Venezuela,” the spokesperson said. “We continue to advocate for the immediate and unconditional release of all wrongfully detained US nationals in Venezuela at every opportunity,” they said. There are four Americans known to be detained in Venezuela: Eyvin Hernandez and Jerrel Kenemore, who have been declared wrongfully detained, and Luke Denman and Airan Berry. The spokesperson said that “US government officials were able to conduct welfare visits with detained US nationals while in Caracas.” The United States no longer has official relations with the government of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and does not have diplomats posted in the country, meaning that access to Americans there is extremely limited. (CNN)
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