Discover more from Dealflow.la
Dealflow.la #52 - Nationwide looting in Argentina 🇦🇷, Iran 🇮🇷, Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦, and others to join BRICS 🌎, Google Cloud expands to El Salvador 🇸🇻, & Arco Educação 🇧🇷 raises $1.5 Billion.
Latin America is rising. Subscribe to Dealflow.la to keep up.
Vendah 🇧🇷 raised a $2.47 Million Seed round led by Y Combinator 🇺🇸 and Lanx Capital 🇧🇷 with funding from Goodwater Capital 🇺🇸, EquitasVC 🇧🇷, DOMO Invest 🇧🇷 to build an e-commerce platform intended for reselling products in a single application. The company's platform provides new products, promotional materials, payment, and logistic tools and makes it convenient for people to sell and make extra money, enabling users to earn commissions on the products they sell and their customers to gain access to products at reasonable prices.
Coala Saúde 🇧🇷 raised a $2.5 Million Seed round led by Owl Ventures 🇺🇸 to build a health tech software designed to provide the support that schools need in order to boost the full development of children. The company offers virtual doctor calls, psychology, and nutrition consulting, expense coverage for accidents, control of diseases, allergies, and vaccines, and health education based on prevention, care, and information, enabling parents to care for their generation's health.
Cumbuca 🇧🇷 raised a $3 Million Seed round from Lightspeed Venture Partners 🇺🇸 to build a digital account platform designed to share expenses. The company's platform helps split monthly bills, supermarket expenses, or any other cost and it also offers shared accounts with visibility of individual balances, enabling users to organize shared recurring expenses.
Leadsales 🇲🇽 raised a $3.7 Million Seed round led by Ulu Ventures 🇺🇸 and BluePointe Ventures 🇺🇸 to build a customer relationship management software designed to assign status to leads and develop the right strategies to improve business processes. The company's software manages all the sales leads and creates new convertible leads on social platforms, enabling clients to easily increase sales, improve customer service and automatically centralize contacts.
Prestamype 🇵🇪 raised a $5 Million Seed round led by Oikocredit International 🇳🇱 and Acumen LatAm Impact Ventures 🇨🇴 with funding from Salkantay Ventures 🇵🇪, Inca Ventures 🇵🇪, and AVP Ventures 🇵🇪 to build an online financing platform intended to offer access to digital loans, online factoring, and digital currency exchange services. The company's platform offers home equity loans, custom schedules, quick payout, and personalized advice, enabling entrepreneurs to connect with investors through home equity loans.
Principia 🇧🇷 raised a $10.3 Million Series A led by Valor Capital Group 🇺🇸 with funding from Supera Capital 🇧🇷, Spectra Investments 🇧🇷, FJ Labs 🇺🇸, ARC Capital 🇧🇷 to build a financial platform designed to manage the financial processes of universities. The company's platform specializes in financial management by taking over the entire billing and collection process while ensuring timely payment with zero defaults, providing students with flexibility in payment methods.
Arco Educacao 🇧🇷 raised $1.5 Billion in Post-IPO Equity led by General Atlantic 🇺🇸 and Dragoneer Investment Group 🇺🇸 to continue providing a complete pedagogical system with technology-enabled features to deliver educational content to private schools in Brazil. Its turnkey curriculum solutions provide educational content in both printed and digital formats delivered through its platform to improve the learning process. Its operating segment includes Core Curriculum and Supplemental Solutions. It generates maximum revenue from the Core Curriculum segment. The Core Curriculum business segment provides solutions that address the Brazilian K-12 curriculum requirements through a personalized and interactive learning experience.
Looting incidents have surged across Argentina, leading to numerous arrests, amid tensions exacerbated by over 100% inflation and an upcoming general election. Authorities believe the looting is coordinated. The country, facing an inflation rate of 113%, is in a contentious presidential race, with front-runner Javier Milei addressing the inflation concerns and rising poverty. Milei and other candidates have commented on the situation, emphasizing the need for stability and order. (Reuters)
Argentina's upcoming presidential election sees a clash between Javier Milei, an anarcho-capitalist and former tantric sex coach who derides Pope Francis as a "communist," and the Pope's championing of social justice. Milei promotes capitalist reforms, including legalizing organ sales and reducing social assistance, while Pope Francis expresses concern over such policies. Milei's surge in popularity, capturing 30% in open primaries, is attributed to Argentina's economic crisis. Critics worry about Milei's potential governance, fearing economic turmoil and social unrest, especially with proposals to involve the military in domestic issues. (The Guardian)
Argentina's presidential front-runner, Javier Milei, plans to scrap the peso currency and cut grain taxes if elected, but advisers say these reforms will take time. Milei, who recently surprised many with a primary win, aims to dollarize the economy within two years. Despite his campaign promises, his team urges voters to have realistic expectations about the pace of change. Due to potential congressional hurdles, Milei may use executive decrees to enact these changes. His policies resonate with voters facing 113% inflation and economic struggles. (Reuters)
Indigenous groups in Argentina's "lithium triangle" protest against lithium mining, citing environmental concerns and threats to their traditional land rights. They've set roadblocks and marched to Buenos Aires, while the industry advocates for the mining's economic and climate benefits. (BBC)
BRICS economic bloc announced the inclusion of six new members: Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Argentina, Egypt, and Ethiopia, starting from 2024. This expansion comes as the bloc represents around 40% of the world's population and over a quarter of global GDP. Questions arise about BRICS' potential anti-Western stance influenced by China and Russia. The inclusion of nations previously at odds, such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, shows shifting geopolitics and China's increasing mediation role. The decision is significant for Ethiopia, looking for global engagement after recent conflicts, and signals BRICS' intent to amplify the voice of the Global South. (CBS)
Chinese oil giant CNOOC signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Brazil's Petrobras to deepen collaboration in refining, green energy, and crude oil trade. (Reuters)
Brazil's President Lula stated that BRICS will select new members based on geopolitical importance, not government ideology. The bloc aims to increase its influence by expanding membership; over 40 countries have shown interest. (Reuters)
In September, Brazil plans to issue its inaugural sustainable sovereign bonds, aiming to raise around $2 billion. These bonds, backed by green and social projects, support Brazil's ecological transition plan. The bonds are a significant part of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's broader initiative to bolster Brazil's environmental track record and establish a regulated carbon credit market. (Reuters)
Brazil is poised to surpass the U.S. as the world's leading corn exporter this year due to a robust harvest and improved logistics, particularly in northern export routes. The consolidation of these routes enhances Brazil's global grain competitiveness. Enhanced infrastructure and a new trade agreement with China have positioned Brazil for a potential prolonged dominance in corn exports. These advancements have also filled global market gaps caused by disruptions in Ukrainian exports and U.S.-China trade tensions. (Reuters)
The global popularity of acai berries, promoted as a superfood by celebrities, has economically benefited traditional Amazonian farmers in Brazil. However, the rapid expansion of single-crop acai palm fields is threatening the Amazon's biodiversity, with areas seeing a decrease in native plant species and the associated pollinators, ultimately impacting acai's productivity. Environmentalists and local leaders emphasize the need for stronger conservation laws, diversification, and compensation for preserving the rainforest. (Al Jazeera)
Rising homelessness in São Paulo, exacerbated by the pandemic, sees increasing numbers sheltering under the city's elevated highway. To address this, city authorities introduced micro-houses: 18 sq m container-like structures. While providing temporary shelter for desperate families, critics argue they risk creating concentrated ghettos and emphasize the need for comprehensive housing policies. (BBC)
A 42-year-old man from Virginia, Jimmy Thyden, reunited with his Chilean birth mother, María Angélica González, 42 years after being stolen at birth. Believed dead by González, Thyden was one of many children taken from families during the Pinochet era, a period marked by numerous human rights abuses. With the assistance of Chilean nonprofit Nos Buscamos, Thyden learned of his true origins and family, which led to an emotional reunion in Valdivia, Chile. Nos Buscamos and similar organizations work to reconnect stolen children with their biological families, revealing a dark chapter in Chile's history. (ABC)
Heavy rains in Chile's farming region caused an estimated $1 billion in losses, leading the government to declare a state of catastrophe and agricultural emergency. (Reuters/US News)
US declassified documents reveal President Nixon was briefed on Chile's 1973 coup, indicating knowledge of the military takeover that began Pinochet’s 17-year dictatorship. Chile's transition to democracy remains contentious. (The Guardian)
Chile investigates deadly accidents at Anglo American and Minera ACF mines that killed three. Mining Minister Aurora Williams oversees inspections; safety and causes being probed. (Reuters)
Colombia intensifies LNG imports to safeguard hydroelectric operations against El Niño-induced dryness, increasing imports by almost 60% from last year, says power generators’ association. Colombia’s added imports will compete with Europe and Asia’s demand. (Bloomberg)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
President Biden met with Costa Rica's President Rodrigo Chaves to address rising Western Hemisphere migration. They discussed trade, organized crime, and fostering migrants' in-country protection applications. Biden pledged $36 million to aid Costa Rica's migration and crime issues. (New York Times)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
Tropical Storm Franklin hit the Dominican Republic, causing severe flooding that led to one death and affected over 670 homes. Authorities assess damages, with 24 communities isolated by rains. (Al Jazeera)
In Ecuador's upcoming presidential run-off election, left-wing Luisa Gonzalez faces centre-right Daniel Noboa. The country, grappling with rising crime and political violence, seeks change after the assassination of an anticorruption candidate. Both candidates promise security and economic reforms, but the electorate remains wary. (Al Jazeera)
Ecuador's presidential candidate, Daniel Noboa, campaigns for the October runoff, focusing on the country's rising lawlessness and drug trafficking. He proposes using prison ships for violent criminals and emphasizes the urgency of addressing the security crisis, citing recent high violence rates. (Yahoo News)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
Google Cloud and El Salvador's government have formed a seven-year strategic partnership to establish an office and provide Google Distributed Cloud services, targeting digital government, healthcare, and education sectors, pending legislative approval. (Reuters)
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele is favored to win the 2024 elections with 68.4% support, per a poll, despite questions about his constitutional eligibility. The poll indicated his nearest rival from Arena had 4.3%, with FMLN candidates at 2.8%. Bukele's crime crackdown has earned significant domestic backing despite international criticism. (Reuters)
Guatemala's top electoral tribunal confirmed Bernardo Arevalo as the presidential election winner with 60.9% votes. However, his Seed Movement party was suspended due to alleged irregularities. Despite the turmoil, Arevalo, known for his stance against corruption, remains officially recognized as the victor. (Al Jazeera)
Guatemala arrested anti-corruption lawyer Claudia Gonzalez, previously affiliated with the UN-backed International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG). Her arrest faced international criticism, including U.S. condemnation and concerns from the UN Secretary-General. Critics suggest the Guatemalan government targets anti-corruption professionals to consolidate power. Gonzalez had defended others facing similar allegations and had earlier represented CICIG. (Al Jazeera)
Honduras arrested Mayor Wilmer Manolo Wood of Brus Laguna on charges of smuggling 90 tons of cocaine to the U.S., collaborating with three cartels: Los Piningos, Los Yanez, and Los Amador. Authorities claim Wood began trafficking over 15 years ago. The arrest follows increased anti-crime efforts by President Xiomara Castro. (Reuters)
The FBI is investigating migrants who entered the U.S. across the US-Mexico Border after traveling with a smuggler linked to ISIS. No specific ISIS plot was found, but the incident heightened concerns about border security, especially amid political debates. The U.S. responded by investigating the migrants and working with international partners to dismantle the smuggling network. (CNN)
Mexican fans warmly welcomed Taylor Swift's "Eras Tour" in Mexico City, integrating local culture with playful inscriptions like "Taynochtitlan" on friendship bracelets. Swift showed appreciation with Spanish-language interactions during her performances. The singer's tour will continue through Latin America, with upcoming shows in Argentina and Brazil. (NBC)
Ahead of Mexico's 2024 presidential election, experts caution against a surge in fake news online, some reportedly from the ruling party and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Disinformation campaigns have targeted various candidates, further polarizing the political atmosphere. (AP)
Following a surge in cartel violence in Michoacan, Mexico, the government dispatched an additional 1,200 troops to restore order. Cartel activities, including setting vehicles on fire and extorting local businesses, have disrupted daily life and increased the cost of goods. (ABC)
Canada joins as third party in the U.S.-Mexico dispute over GM corn imports for tortillas, expressing concerns about Mexico's restrictions and seeking science-backed compliance under USMCA terms. (Reuters)
Lionel Messi's move to Inter Miami has resulted in huge media attention, prompting MLS and the club to adjust interview protocols. Due to the overwhelming media presence and venue constraints, special measures, like setting up tents, have been taken to ensure safety and manage post-game interactions. Messi's limited media accessibility has caused concerns, with some citing violations of MLS media policies. (Miami Herald)
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has halted his 2024 Republican presidential campaign after not qualifying for the initial GOP primary debate. Despite previous claims of meeting the Republican National Committee's benchmarks, Suarez admitted his failure to make the stage. His campaign, marked by several blunders and unusual strategies, was launched in June. (ABC)
Nicaragua's government, led by President Daniel Ortega, declared the Jesuit religious order illegal and will seize its properties. This follows the recent confiscation of the Jesuit-run University of Central America, labeled a "center of terrorism." This move intensifies Ortega's authoritarian stance against the Catholic Church and other opponents. The Jesuits and numerous universities have been targeted, with 26 universities closed and assets confiscated since December 2021. The government has also cracked down on civic groups, NGOs, and opposition figures. (NBC)
Due to drought-induced low water levels, the Panama Canal, handling 6% of global maritime trade, extended transit restrictions for an additional 10 months, leading to a vessel backlog. The canal's deputy administrator, Ilya Espino, highlighted increased arrivals as December approaches. The drought has reduced the canal's capacity, prompting ship owners to adjust cargo or seek alternate routes. The current vessel backlog is approximately 115. The canal's average daily crossings dropped to 32 from 40 in 2022, with wait times now averaging 11 days. President Laurentino Cortizo refuted claims that the canal is closed. (Al Jazeera)
Paraguay has reduced its benchmark interest rate from 8.5% to 8.25%, the first cut in over three years, after July's inflation fell below the central bank's target. This move aligns Paraguay with other Latin American nations lowering borrowing costs. (Bloomberg)
Peru reduced its 2023 and 2024 growth forecasts due to adverse weather, decreased mining investments, and past anti-government protests. The 2023 economy growth projection is now 1.1%, down from 2.5%. Copper prices have fallen, impacting the world's second-largest copper producer. Despite metals mining expected to rise 7%, private mining investments might decrease 4.5%. The El Nino phenomenon threatens Peru's fishing and agriculture sectors. The fiscal deficit is projected at 2.4% of GDP, but the government remains optimistic. (Reuters/Yahoo)
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico's federal oversight board proposed a plan to reduce the island's power company's debt from $10 billion to $2.5 billion, an 80% decrease. This third debt-restructuring attempt aims to conclude the Electric Power Authority's financial challenges since its 2017 bankruptcy declaration. The plan, which requires federal bankruptcy judge approval, could increase electric bills for Puerto Ricans due to an added "legacy charge." Consumers using less than 425 kilowatt-hours monthly may be exempt. The board aims to finalize the largest public sector bankruptcy in U.S. history. (NBC)
Uruguay's bankers' pension fund plans to sell $400 million in local bonds to address its deficit. The rescue plan, aiming to raise $1.15 billion, awaits congressional approval. (Bloomberg)
U.S. officials are considering easing sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector in exchange for steps toward a democratic presidential election. This move would allow increased global imports of Venezuelan crude, contingent upon Venezuela's progress toward fair elections. President Joe Biden's administration expressed willingness for sanctions relief, provided Venezuela takes significant actions toward restoring democracy. Initial proposals have faced resistance due to concerns over Maduro's commitment to democratic processes. (Reuters)
If you were forwarded this email and enjoyed it, make sure to subscribe at Dealflow.la :)