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Dealflow.la #50 - Loft 🇧🇷 and Klar 🇲🇽 both raise $100 Million+ rounds, right-wing presidential candidate Milei 🇦🇷 outperforms in primary, & Iranian drones 🇮🇷 in Bolivia🇧🇴.
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Cashbanx 🇧🇷 raised a $4.1 Million Venture round led by SRM Ventures 🇧🇷 to build an affiliate B2B platform that allows banks and fintechs to offer cashback incentives to their customers.
Loft 🇧🇷 raised a $100 Million Series D round with funding from Silver Lake 🇺🇸, QED Investors 🇺🇸, Monashees 🇧🇷, Fifth Wall 🇺🇸, DST Global 🇺🇸, D1 Capital Partners 🇺🇸, Close 🇺🇸, Citi Ventures 🇺🇸, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board 🇨🇦, BTG Pactual 🇧🇷, Baillie Gifford 🇬🇧, Andreessen Horowitz 🇺🇸, Altimeter 🇺🇸, & Valor Capital Group 🇺🇸 to continue building their online property searching platform intended to buy, sell and rent residential and commercial properties. The company's platform has a searchable database that lets users find, browse, rate, and purchase domestic and commercial properties based on feedback and reviews from registered customers, enabling property buyers and sellers to handle real estate deals in a transparent and unambiguous manner.
Klar 🇲🇽 raised $100 Million in Debt financing from Victory Park Capital 🇺🇸 to fund their challenger bank intended to offer deposit and credit services for Mexican customers. The company provides instant credit and no commission cashback and withdrawal services via a card and mobile application, enabling customers to avail themselves of secure, lower-cost alternatives to traditional credit and debt services.
Hospitales MAC 🇲🇽 raised a $160 Million Private Equity Round led by General Atlantic 🇺🇸 to continue building their chain of hospitals intended to serve individual clients. The company manages several hospitals featuring orthopedics and traumatology center, dermatologists, cardiologists, ambulances, medical units, diagnosis units, surgery rooms, delivery rooms, intensive care units, and other medical care units to offer medical services, thereby enabling clients with private medical service at an affordable price.
In Argentina's primary elections, right-wing libertarian economist, Javier Milei, unexpectedly secured 30.5% of votes. The main conservative opposition trailed with 28%, and the ruling Peronist coalition had 27%. Discontent due to a 116% inflation rate and rising poverty levels has shifted support away from traditional political parties. The outcome anticipates the October presidential elections, crucial for determining policy on Argentina's significant agricultural exports, the peso, bond conditions, and a potential $44 billion IMF debt deal. Amid economic disillusionment, Milei's promises of change resonated, especially among younger voters. (CNN)
In Argentina, a surprising primary vote outcome led to significant financial moves. The Argentine government devalued its peso by nearly 18% and raised the benchmark interest rate to 118%. This comes after libertarian Congressman Javier Milei secured approximately 30% of primary votes, surpassing expectations. Milei's platform includes abolishing the central bank and transitioning to the U.S. dollar. The official exchange rate will remain at 350 pesos per dollar until October's presidential elections, despite the parallel informal peso reaching a record low. The country's financial instability persists, amid high inflation and dwindling central bank reserves. (Reuters)
Bolivia has expressed interest in acquiring Iranian drone technology following meetings between Iran and anti-American allies, including Bolivia and Belarus. Bolivia's intent is to use the drones to monitor its border regions. Experts warn that Iranian technology and training could accompany these military systems, potentially impacting regional security. Argentina, sharing a border with Bolivia, seeks more transparency regarding Bolivia's drone intentions and has looked into purchasing Israeli drone systems in response. (VOA)
Brazil's Amazon Summit ended with a plan to protect tropical rainforests but was criticized for lacking measurable goals and timeframes. Eight Amazon nations signed a declaration outlining intentions but offered no concrete commitments to end deforestation. Some environmental groups praised the efforts, while others expressed disappointment at the absence of specific solutions. The meeting aimed to unite voices in global environment talks and revive the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO), yet failed to align fully on key issues. (AP)
Brazilian police raided the homes of aides to ex-President Jair Bolsonaro over allegations they sold jewelry gifts from Arab governments. Police suspect Bolsonaro's team misused state resources for personal gains by selling these gifts abroad. Investigations revealed Bolsonaro received sale proceeds via intermediaries. The probe follows a separate inquiry into $3 million jewelry from Saudi Arabia, unreported by Bolsonaro. (Reuters)
The Amazon Summit in Belém, Brazil discussed deforestation, illegal mining, and carbon credits. While President Lula aims for zero deforestation by 2030, the booming carbon credit market has brought both opportunity and exploitation to local communities. Some see carbon credits as support for sustainable forestry, while others express concerns over transparency and potential land grabs. (BBC)
Brazilian President Lula has introduced a $200 billion infrastructure initiative for energy, transportation, and infrastructure development over four years to spur economic growth in Brazil. Despite the ambitious proposal, analysts and investors express reservations, referencing past programs plagued by corruption and inefficiencies under the governance of the Workers' Party. (AP)
Chilean Social Development Minister Giorgio Jackson resigns amid corruption investigation, impacting President Gabriel Boric's administration and efforts to advance reforms. (Bloomberg)
Manuel Ranoque, father to two Indigenous children who survived a tragic Amazon plane crash, was arrested by Colombian authorities. While the reasons remain undisclosed, media reports suggest allegations of abuse. The children remain under Colombia’s child protection agency's custody post-recovery from the accident. (AP)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
A new ferry service connecting El Salvador and Costa Rica launched, aiming to reduce shipping times and bypass border issues, especially with Nicaragua and Honduras. The service will move goods directly between the two nations, avoiding potential border closures and delays at two extra border crossings. Officials delicately avoided directly referencing political tensions in the region, especially with Nicaragua. Some transport companies remain skeptical about the ferry's viability, noting it might be costlier than land transport. The ferry can carry about 3% to 5% of the region's total commerce. (AP)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
An explosion at a bakery in San Cristobal, near the Dominican Republic's capital, killed at least 11 people, injuring over 50, with 10 more missing. The blast affected the "Old Marketplace" area, spreading fire to adjacent stores. Emergency responders are investigating the incident, with concerns over business operation standards. President Luis Abinader and other officials have visited the site and victims, offering aid and ensuring safety measures. The exact cause remains undetermined. (NBC)
The assassination of Ecuadorian presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio is a significant concern for democracy, said successor Andrea González Náder. Villavicencio, an anti-corruption advocate, was killed during a rally 10 days before elections. His widow blames the state for failing to protect him. The suspected assailant died in police custody, and six Colombians, believed to be part of a crime group, were arrested. Villavicencio had previously mentioned threats from a notorious jailed drug trafficker, José Adolfo Macías Villamar. (CNN)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
In El Salvador, as the free press faces challenges, pro-government social media influencers are gaining prominence. President Nayib Bukele has been criticized for suppressing dissenting voices, but influencers like Douglas Guzmán support him on platforms such as TikTok. These influencers amplify the government's narrative, often with content filled with misinformation. As Bukele's government restricts traditional media, it has embraced this digital echo chamber, bolstering his image and silencing critics. Experts worry this trend erodes democracy and places journalists at risk. (AP)
Guatemalans will vote in a run-off between progressive Seed Movement's Bernardo Arevalo and conservative National Unity of Hope's Sandra Torres amidst concerns of election interference and rising living costs. (Al Jazeera)
A federal survey revealed 80% of Texas' floating Rio Grande barrier to deter migrants lies in Mexican territory. The Biden administration's lawsuit challenges the barrier's legality. Concerns arise over the structure diverting migrants to dangerous river areas, potentially causing drownings. The barrier is part of Texas' controversial Operation Lone Star, initiated to counter perceived federal inaction on illegal crossings. (CBS)
Ticketmaster Mexico is transitioning to digital ticketing to counteract reselling, duplicates, and counterfeits. Users will employ the SafeTix app, which generates a frequently-changing barcode to hinder forgery. The change follows an incident with counterfeit Bad Bunny concert tickets. CEO Ana María Arroyo anticipates a swift shift to digital, emphasizing consumer choice. SafeTix offers enhanced features and is already operational in the U.S. and Canada. (MND)
Mexico shut 23 pharmacies in Caribbean resorts for selling fake opioids to tourists. This action followed a U.S. State Department alert about counterfeit pills in Mexican pharmacies containing fentanyl. (Fox)
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador faced backlash after suggesting criticism against him was "gender-based violence," amidst Mexico's high rates of violence against women and a growing feminist movement. (The Guardian)
Nicaraguan authorities froze the bank accounts of the Jesuit-run Central American University (UCA), a leading private institution. UCA educated many protesters against President Daniel Ortega in 2018. The government previously targeted Catholic entities, including freezing accounts and arresting priests. (Reuters)
A prolonged drought in Panama has caused significant delays at the Panama Canal, limiting the number of vessels that can traverse this vital global trade route daily. The Panama Canal Authority introduced these restrictions due to the drought, which has decreased the water required for ships to navigate the canal's locks. This has caused a surge in waiting ships, leading companies to seek alternative routes. The situation demonstrates the growing impact of the climate crisis on global trade and business. (The Guardian)
Santiago Pena was inaugurated as Paraguay's new president, with leaders including Taiwan's Vice President William Lai attending. Paraguay maintains formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, unlike most countries. Pena aims to forge alliances, ensure ethical governance, and maintain ties with Taiwan. He also plans to combat state corruption, improve public welfare, and bolster relations with the U.S., navigating allegations against his political mentor, former President Horacio Cartes. (Reuters)
A newly discovered Peruvian snake species is named Tachymenoides harrisonfordi in honor of Harrison Ford's environmental efforts. Despite Indiana Jones' snake fear, Ford appreciates reptiles. The actor previously had an ant and spider named after him. (BBC)
Peru renews a 20-year-old air security agreement with the US to combat drug planes. The deal includes intelligence support, training, helicopter upgrades, and radar enhancements. Nonlethal airspace interdiction methods are emphasized following a past misidentification incident. (The Guardian)
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico
Activists and environmental groups sued Puerto Rico's government, opposing renewable energy projects on ecologically sensitive, agriculturally valuable lands. They argue for alternative locations and highlight concerns about Puerto Rico's food security and transparency issues. (AP)
Uruguay experiences its worst drought, leaving Montevideo nearly dry and forcing the use of brackish water. The crisis challenges perceptions of Uruguay's abundant freshwater resources, impacting daily life and health. (New York Times)
Venezuela opposes a court-mandated auction of Citgo Petroleum shares to settle over $10 billion in creditors' claims from expropriations and debt defaults. Creditors include Crystallex International, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon Mobil. The proposed auction's value might exceed Citgo's estimated market value of $10-$13 billion. Officials criticize the auction process as it complicates repayment negotiations. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claims the U.S. "kidnapped" Citgo and criticizes its management. (Reuters)
33 men were arrested at the Avalon Club, an LGBTQ venue in Valencia, Venezuela, sparking accusations of discrimination. Authorities charged them with "lewd conduct" and "sound pollution," but backlash led to their release. Activists link the arrest to President Maduro's efforts to gain support from anti-LGBTQ evangelical Christians. Despite legal protections against discrimination, Venezuela remains conservative on LGBTQ rights, with limited recognition for same-sex couples and transgender individuals. (Al Jazeera)
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