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Dealflow.la #51 - Ecuador's 🇪🇨 bloody election, Nomad 🇧🇷 raises a $61 Million Series B, and BlackRock 🇺🇸 seeking to restructure $9 Billion of Puerto Rico's Debt 🇵🇷.
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Autolab 🇨🇴 raised a $4.1 Million Venture Round led by Vertical Venture Partners 🇺🇸 and Haven Ventures 🇺🇸, with funding from Proeza Ventures 🇲🇽, Polymath Ventures 🇨🇴, Interplay 🇺🇸, and Bullpen Capital 🇺🇸 to provide multi-brand car service centres intended to connect car owners with repair shops for affordable and reliable car repairs. The company offers vehicle repair services, real-time updates of the repair and an extensive warranty on all mechanical workshops at affordable prices, enabling customers to get quality maintenance and repair services.
Botanical Solutions 🇨🇱 raised a $7 Million Series A led by Otter Capital 🇺🇸 to produce a next generation biopesticide to assist in protecting crops against botrytis effectively with no residues while taking care of field workers' safety, enabling growers to implement integrated pest management programs and meeting final customers' demands for quality and healthy food.
Cobre 🇨🇴 raised a $13 Million Series A led by Kaszek 🇧🇷 with funding from QED Investors 🇺🇸 and Atlantico 🇧🇷 to be a developer of workplace banks designed to connect companies to their employees. The company's platform allows users to make payments and allows various financial transactions as well as pay for various services, enabling businesses to connect with their employees and employees with their money.
Wonder Brands 🇲🇽 raised a $15.5 Million Series A led by Nazca Ventures 🇨🇱 and IDB Invest 🇺🇸 with funding from SilverCircle 🇺🇸, Korify Capital🇨🇭, Infinitas Capital 🇨🇭, GBM 🇲🇽, CoVenture 🇺🇸 to partner with successful digital brands and provide growth opportunities through digital services. The company specializes in establishing alliances with brands adding value in the areas of technology, support from different data science & analytics teams, marketing digital, supply chain, administration, and finance, enabling clients with responding to the needs of the consumers and diversifying their products and audiences.
Nomad 🇧🇷 raised a $61 Million Series B led by Tiger Global 🇺🇸 with funding from Stripes 🇺🇸, Spark Capital 🇺🇸, Propel 🇺🇸, Monashees 🇧🇷, Globo Ventures 🇧🇷, and Abstract 🇺🇸 to continue developing their fintech platform designed to offer the opening of current accounts and financial services in the USA to non-residents. The company's platform allows users to sign up and create a customized account, transfer money, and pay bills as well as provides a virtual card for online shopping without fees, enabling Brazilian residents to get access to financial services in a hassle-free manner.
Amid Argentina's fiscal turmoil, right-wing economist Javier "El Loco" Milei emerges as a leading presidential candidate. Milei advocates for dollarizing the economy, abolishing the central bank, and dissolving the health, education, and environment ministries. Though his extremist views might not gain full legislative support, his presidency may stabilize the economy by aligning with traditional conservative fiscal principles and prioritizing debt payment. Despite the challenges, dollarization and creditor-friendly restructuring might be Argentina's best option. (Axios)
Brazil's President Lula advocates for Argentina's entry into BRICS amid Argentina's economic woes and IMF loan criticisms. Lula envisions BRICS as inclusive, mentioning potential members like Indonesia, and emphasizes its goal isn't to challenge G7 or G20, but to organize the Global South. Over 40 countries have shown interest. (Reuters)
Brazilian hacker, Walter Delgatti Neto, alleges ex-President Jair Bolsonaro asked him to hack the country's electronic voting system before the 2022 election. Despite no concrete evidence presented, the testimony intensifies allegations against Bolsonaro. Bolsonaro's lawyers refute the claims and plan legal action against Delgatti. (AP)
Brazil excludes West Ham's Lucas Paqueta from their World Cup qualifiers squad amidst potential betting rule breach investigations. Although Paqueta denies involvement, interim coach Fernando Diniz advises resolution. Neymar, post ankle injury, rejoins the team for upcoming matches. (Reuters)
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro faces escalating legal challenges as police investigate his finances and alleged involvement in a Rolex-selling scheme. Amidst multiple allegations, the Supreme Court allows access to Bolsonaro's confidential records, intensifying the scrutiny he is under. (Reuters)
Brazil plans to rejuvenate trade and political ties with Cuba, as announced by an aide to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Relations soured under former President Jair Bolsonaro but are being revived under Lula's leadership. (Reuters)
Japan will restart chicken imports from Brazil's Santa Catarina after an avian flu outbreak. The ban, begun on July 17, was lifted when Santa Catarina was confirmed disease-free. (Reuters)
Heavy rains in Chile's central-southern region killed two and left thousands homeless. President Gabriel Boric declared a catastrophe state, with risks of further flooding and landslides anticipated. (Reuters)
Chile's economy contracted less than expected in Q2 due to mining sector growth, mitigating retail downturn effects. GDP decreased 0.3% quarterly, with a year-on-year drop of 1.1%. Mining, a major contributor, increased 1.1%, while other sectors declined. Amid inflation and stringent monetary conditions, Chile anticipates near-zero annual growth, lagging behind most Latin American nations. Central bank rate reductions commenced in July, aiming to stabilize monetary conditions. The country now navigates global economic challenges and domestic policy reforms, targeting a modest 0.2% annual expansion. (Bloomberg/Yahoo Finance)
LATAM Airlines flight LA505 from Santiago, Chile, diverted to Panama due to a pilot's in-flight medical emergency. Sadly, the pilot later passed away. (CBS)
A 6.3 magnitude earthquake and subsequent 5.7 aftershock hit Colombia, impacting the capital and other cities. The tremors caused panic, one death, damages to the congressional chamber, and was felt in Medellín and Cali. (ABC)
Colombia's President Gustavo Petro has announced intentions to renegotiate the free trade agreement signed with the United States in 2012. Petro highlighted concerns that the current agreement is stifling the nation's output and job opportunities, particularly in the corn industry. He emphasized that the Andean nation could potentially create an additional 1.2 million jobs if it were allowed to produce the amount of corn it currently imports from the US. This announcement was made during an interaction with coffee growers in Huila province. (Bloomberg)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
Dominican Republic's government will give families of the 32 victims killed in a recent San Cristobal plastics factory explosion nearly $900 each, plus monthly payments of $350 until December. An ongoing investigation aims to determine the explosion's cause. Over 50 were injured. (ABC)
Ecuador's presidential and legislative elections have been overshadowed by political assassinations and drug-related violence. On election day, cyber-attacks affected the voting platform. Notably, presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio was killed, drawing international attention to Ecuador's escalating crime. Outgoing President Guillermo Lasso's waning popularity led to early elections. The results could be influenced by the violence, with voters possibly seeking change amid insecurity and economic challenges. If no candidate gains a majority, a runoff will take place in October. The new president will serve until 2025. (CNN)
After the assassination of Ecuador's Construye party presidential candidate, Fernando Villavicencio, his vice-presidential running mate, Andrea González, wears a bulletproof vest constantly, highlighting escalating violence in Ecuador's politics. González believes they are nearing a narco state and sees Villavicencio's death as a political assassination. (BBC)
In a surprising victory, Guatemala's center-left, anti-corruption candidate, Bernardo Arévalo of the Semilla party, wins the presidency by over 20%. Once relatively unknown, Arévalo's win signals a shift against entrenched elites and offers hope for reversing Guatemala's democratic decline. (NPR)
Illegal roads traverse Honduras' Moskitia rainforest, endangering its existence by 2050. Driven by drug traffickers laundering money through cattle ranching and land speculation, deforestation intensified. The Indigenous Tawahka community faces displacement and cultural erasure. Conservation efforts face challenges from powerful interests. (The Guardian)
Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to place a buoy barrier in the Rio Grande to deter migrants has faced criticism from both the Biden administration and the Mexican government. A survey by the International Boundary and Water Commission found nearly 80% of the buoys are on Mexico’s side, giving Mexico legal ground to remove them. However, Mexico has refrained from doing so, preferring the U.S. to address the issue legally. The U.S. Department of Justice is challenging Abbott’s barrier in court, while experts highlight the importance of the U.S.-Mexico relationship and warn against actions damaging it. (Spectrum)
The U.S. has intensified its disagreement with Mexico over restrictions on genetically modified (GM) corn imports. The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) office requested a dispute resolution panel under the North American trade pact, asserting Mexico's curbs violate the USMCA trade agreement from 2020. Washington claims Mexico's ban on GM corn for human consumption isn't science-based. If the U.S. wins the dispute and Mexico doesn't comply, the U.S. could impose tariffs, potentially leading to a trade conflict. Mexico believes GM corn affects native varieties and may harm health. (Al Jazeera)
Newmont Corp., the world's leading gold miner, is reconsidering its investments in Mexico due to a three-month-long workers' strike at the country's main gold mine. CEO Tom Palmer is in Mexico City discussing the dispute with senior officials but refuses to negotiate further payments. (Bloomberg)
Lionel Messi's spectacular goal helped Inter Miami secure their first Leagues Cup trophy, defeating Nashville on penalties (10-9) after a 1-1 draw. Messi, along with Barcelona legends Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, has revitalized Miami, leading them to an unbeaten run since his arrival. Messi has scored 10 goals in 7 matches for his new club. (Al Jazeera)
The Nicaraguan government, led by President Daniel Ortega, has confiscated the Central American University in Managua, accusing it of being a “centre of terrorism.” This move was condemned by the UN for infringing on the right to education. Critics claim this action further demonstrates Ortega's ongoing attacks on education and the Catholic Church. (Al Jazeera)
The U.S. sanctioned 100 Nicaraguan officials over human rights violations, including the closure of a Jesuit university and imprisonment of Bishop Rolando Alvarez, a critic of President Ortega. (Reuters)
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's bankrupt utility, aiming to restructure $9 billion in debt, nears a deal with bondholders BlackRock and Taconic Capital by a Friday deadline. (Bloomberg)
In Montevideo, Uruguay, rugby sessions occur within prison walls, fostering values and healthy competition among inmates. The "Pelota al Medio a la Esperanza" initiative, started in 2010, now collaborates with the national rugby team, benefiting 350 prisoners. (France 24)
The Biden administration negotiates with Venezuela for potential sanctions relief in return for ensuring fair elections next year. Discussions involve senior officials from both countries, including Venezuela's congress head, Jorge Rodríguez. (Bloomberg)
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