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Dealflow.la #54 - Two shoot at CDMX 🇲🇽 airport, Lula 🇧🇷 backtracks on Putin 🇷🇺 arrest at Rio G20, Coca cultivation at unprecedented levels under Petro 🇨🇴, & Bukele 🇸🇻 bonds rally +90%.
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Casalit 🇪🇨 raised a $120,000 Pre-Seed round led by Techstars 🇺🇸 to increase real estate agents' monthly revenue by powering them with a tool that leverages advanced prospect profiling. This solution enhances the matchmaking between clients and properties, ensuring curated lead prospecting, faster deal closings, and a more efficient sales and lease processes.
Gabu 🇲🇽 raised a $120,000 Pre-Seed Round led by Techstars 🇺🇸 to build a gaming platform designed for young gamers. The company's platform offers games in private zoom sessions with children their age and a teacher who guides and cares, enabling children to play in a safe environment.
Fuddis 🇲🇽 raised a $120,000 Pre-Seed round led by Techstars 🇺🇸 to build a social food marketplace and e-commerce that enables food creators in LATAM to sell, send, manage, schedule, and publish their products in an “Etsy for Food”-type B2C marketplace.
Databits 🇪🇨 raised a $600k Pre-Seed round with funding from Winnipeg Capital 🇵🇪, Stonks 🇺🇸, CREAS Ecuador 🇪🇨, B Venture Capital 🇧🇷, Buen Trip 🇪🇨, 500 Startups LatAm 🇲🇽 to build a corporate training platform intended for the development of skills in data science and artificial intelligence. The company's platform offers specialized data programs to help people learn the basics of programming languages like Python and R and understand the fundamentals of data analysis and machine learning.
Balam 🇲🇽 raised a $400,000 Seed round led by Rockstart 🇳🇱 to facilitate instant cross-border payments across Latin America. The company allows customers to quickly receive their money in minutes across more than five countries, far shorter than the traditional days-long processing time using legacy payment rails.
iRancho 🇧🇷 raised a $1.4 Million Venture round led by BB Ventures 🇧🇷 to build a livestock management system designed to simplify the management of livestock ranches, increase productivity, and ensure control of the herd. The company's system offers a free trial, remote tracking, financial management, organized farm information, a flexible management system, graphs, and reports, enabling users to increase their productivity and profitability.
Rocketfy 🇨🇴 raised $7 Million in Debt Financing from Aluna Partners 🇬🇧 to fund their online selling platform designed for businesses to have their own online store. The company's platform integrates virtual payments, shipping management, customer management, virtual courses, online sales training, and catalogs in one place, enabling businesses to sell products online easily and freely.
Ahead of the October 22nd election, Argentina's Economy Minister Sergio Massa announced a significant income tax exemption targeting workers earning below 1.7 million pesos monthly, a move aiming to bolster his electoral prospects despite potential fiscal repercussions. (Bloomberg)
Shell intends to expand oil production in Argentina's Vaca Muerta shale, despite existing investment restrictions and price controls. CEO Ricardo Rodriguez emphasized the region's quality, but noted that Argentina's financial and regulatory environment currently hampers further investment expansion. (Reuters)
Francisco Zalles, who assisted in Ecuador's dollarization in 2000, states that Argentina can transition to the dollar despite the scarcity of reserves, anticipating that dollars will flow back post-switch. Presidential frontrunner Javier Milei supports this to curb hyperinflation and economic distress, but critics foresee potential massive recession and challenges in executing monetary policies post-dollarization. (Business Insider)
World Rugby and France 2023 organizers apologized for the overcrowding chaos before the England vs Argentina match in Marseille, promising improvements to matchday protocols to prevent future safety concerns and delays, including increased volunteer assistance and earlier stadium plaza openings. (The Guardian)
In the 2026 World Cup qualifiers, Argentina secured a 3-0 victory over Bolivia even without Lionel Messi in the lineup, marking their second win in the campaign. Meanwhile, Brazil narrowly defeated Peru 1-0, joining Argentina at the top of the South American standings with six points each. The next round of qualifiers is scheduled for October. (AP)
Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, retracted his guarantee that Vladimir Putin won't be arrested at the Rio G20 summit under an ICC warrant, stating that the decision lies with the judiciary. Lula also questioned Brazil's ICC membership, noting that several major nations aren't members. This comes amid a warrant from the ICC for Putin over suspected war crimes in Ukraine. (Al Jazeera)
Neymar Jr. surpassed Pelé's Brazilian goal record, scoring his 78th and 79th goals in a match against Bolivia. Neymar, who recently moved to Al-Hilal from Paris Saint-Germain, highlighted that he doesn't consider himself better than Pelé, but is proud to make history in Brazilian football. (CNN)
Escaped Pennsylvania prisoner Danelo Cavalcante, also wanted in Brazil for a 2017 murder, was recaptured after 12 days on the run. Previously, he fled Brazilian authorities, entering the US illegally in 2018. Cavalcante had escaped Chester County Prison, where he was serving a life sentence for a 2021 murder. (ABC)
On Brazil's Independence Day, President Lula urges unity and democracy, distancing from predecessor Bolsonaro's politicization of the military. The celebration saw tightened security, avoiding significant protests from Bolsonaro's supporters. (Reuters)
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is scheduled for two surgeries stemming from a 2018 stabbing, amidst facing potential criminal probes. The procedures will happen in a Sao Paulo hospital, with a third planned for later. (Reuters)
Brazil and Saudi Arabia intensify economic ties, fostering strategic partnerships, notably in mining and meatpacking sectors. Aiming to align with Saudi's Vision 2030 program, this cooperation attracts investments into Brazil and bolsters Saudi Arabia's global connections. Despite the current political controversy in Brazil regarding gifts from Saudi Arabia, the burgeoning relationship, underscored by recent significant investments and bilateral visits, is expected to thrive based on economic pragmatism amidst changing global economic dynamics. (Al Jazeera)
Chilean retail giant Falabella, struggling to compete with online platforms Amazon and MercadoLibre, faces potential credit downgrade to junk status. After investing heavily in e-commerce, the company's market value dropped to a third of its peak, exacerbated by social unrest, the pandemic, and economic downturns. Despite substantial investments in digital strategies, Falabella hasn't seen clear benefits, experiencing a 50% profit plunge in the second quarter of 2023. Following CEO Gaston Bottazzini's resignation, the company, now seeking new leadership, is planning asset sales to reduce debt, amidst pressure to retain its investment grade. (Bloomberg)
On the 50th anniversary of Chile's military coup, President Gabriel Boric and his progressive government initiated the National Search Plan to investigate the disappearance of 1,469 individuals during General Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship, aiming to provide justice and closure to families. Despite efforts to reconcile, deep societal divisions persist, with some still defending Pinochet's rule and criticizing the present administration's actions as fostering polarization. The initiative represents an attempt to confront Chile's painful past and strengthen its democratic foundations amidst ongoing debates about the legacy of the coup and dictatorship period. (BBC)
Coca cultivation in Colombia reached an unprecedented level last year, increasing by 24% since 2021, according to a UN report. The most significant growth was observed in border regions, with Putumayo experiencing a 77% surge. Despite Colombian officials asserting a decline in growth rate, the UN warns of rising cocaine production potential due to crop maturation. President Gustavo Petro urged for a shift from militarized anti-drug efforts to a public health approach, emphasizing tackling poverty and inequality. Colombia remains the world's leading coca cultivator, significantly contributing to global cocaine supply. (BBC)
In 2022, Colombia was the most perilous country for environmental activists, with 60 individuals killed, according to a report by Global Witness. The report highlighted that the majority of the attacks were in Latin America, accounting for 88% of the global total. This spike in violence reverses a previous downturn, posing a challenge for President Gustavo Petro's government, which had committed to curtailing such attacks. The Colombian government is urging for the approval of the Escazu agreement to enhance the protection of environmentalists. (Reuters)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro suggests a Latin American alliance to shift the 'war on drugs' from a militarized approach to a public health framework, emphasizing education and poverty reduction. The proposal aims to unify Latin American voices in countering drug trafficking and its associated violence and social issues. (Reuters)
In Colombia, human smugglers are offering migrants "VIP routes" to the US, bypassing perilous terrain by travelling through the Caribbean waters, largely centered around the San Andrés area. The Colombian Navy and Coast Guard have stepped up patrols, as these journeys, marketed as safer alternatives to crossing areas like the Darién Gap, have grown in popularity. Despite being sold as a safer option, these routes have numerous risks, with many migrants disappearing during the journey. Authorities struggle with limited resources to police these routes, as smugglers disguise operations as tourism and sometimes collaborate with corrupt officials. (Al Jazeera)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic threatens to seal its Dajabon border with Haiti due to a dispute over a canal project initiated by Haitians on the shared Massacre River, citing security concerns and treaty violations. The potential closure, escalating tensions, would also halt new visas for Haitians and reinforce military presence at the border. Talks are sought to find a lasting solution. (Reuters)
Ecuador faces significant revenue losses, estimated at billions of dollars, due to recently voted bans on mining in the rich Chocó Andino region and oil drilling in a part of the Amazon, stirring economic and employment concerns. The upcoming government may need to implement tax reforms and reduce fuel subsidies to manage the fiscal gap. The bans, supported by about 68% and 59% of voters respectively, mark a departure from the outgoing president's investor-friendly approach, potentially affecting foreign investment and development in the mining sector, despite environmental groups and some citizens praising the move for protecting the environment and indigenous communities. (FT)
Ecuador's recent suspension of environmental consultations has stalled $2 billion in industrial and mining project investments, sparking protests and concerns over job losses and dwindling foreign investments, according to business leaders and industry groups. The move came after a court ruling supported an Indigenous group's opposition to the consultation processes initiated by the outgoing government. (Reuters)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
El Salvador's bonds are experiencing a significant rally, with returns surpassing 90% this year, following the government's agreement with local private banks to extend the maturity of short-term debts amounting to about $1.45 billion. This move, coupled with a promising seven-year partnership between President Nayib Bukele's government and Google Cloud to digitize governmental operations, has boosted investor confidence. Improved relations with the US further fuel the positive outlook, with potential future growth linked to the nation's rapport with the International Monetary Fund. (Reuters)
Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo has temporarily halted his participation in the governmental transition due to what he perceives as a coup attempt involving investigations into his recent electoral victory by the prosecutor's office. The recent raids on the nation's main electoral tribunal facilities have been labeled as crimes of authority abuse for electoral purposes, violating Guatemala's constitution. Arevalo intends to resume transition activities once stability is restored. The move, which comes amid a period of heightened scrutiny and tension surrounding the electoral process, has been met with concern from the Organization of American States. (Reuters)
Mexico's supreme court decriminalized abortion nationwide, acknowledging women's human rights and potentially expanding federal healthcare services to include abortion provisions. This verdict follows slow progress in repealing penal codes since the 2019 ruling in Coahuila, which found criminal penalties for abortion unconstitutional. Although welcomed by women's rights groups, it may face opposition from conservative politicians and the Catholic Church in Mexico. The ruling aligns with a broader trend towards easing abortion restrictions in Latin America. (BBC)
Claudia Sheinbaum, former Mexico City mayor and close ally of current president López Obrador, has secured the Morena party's nomination for the upcoming presidential election, making her potentially the first female president of Mexico. Sheinbaum, known for her strong stance on environmental issues and commitment to sustainable policies, leads in the polls and enjoys significant advantage for the June elections. This development marks a significant milestone in Mexican politics, as she edges closer to becoming the country's first female leader. (NBC)
Tesla and its suppliers plan to invest $15 billion in a yet-to-be-constructed factory in Mexico's Nuevo Leon state, a significant increase from the initially announced $5 billion, according to the state governor Samuel Garcia. This investment is part of Tesla's strategy to expand its global presence. (Reuters)
Two individuals were injured in a shootout involving a suspected robber near Mexico City International Airport. The city's security ministry confirmed the situation is under control and the suspect has been arrested, ensuring no disruption to the airport's operations or passenger safety. (Reuters)
Panama intensifies measures to curb migrant crossings at the perilous Darien Gap, announcing increased deportations, heightened entry requirements, and reduced tourist stay duration. Despite efforts to "end" migration through a U.S.-led agreement, record numbers risk the dangerous trek, fleeing poverty and violence, with a significant percentage being children. Critics argue these policies encourage riskier journeys. (Al Jazeera)
The Panama Canal may further decrease daily vessel transits due to persistent drought, exacerbating current backlogs and potentially increasing freight costs. This comes as part of efforts to conserve water, amidst lower water levels at Gatun Lake, the canal's main water source. Officials are contemplating infrastructural changes to secure adequate water supply and prevent future disruptions. (Reuters)
The workers' union at First Quantum's Cobre Panama mine threatens to strike from September 9 due to an impasse in wage and profit-sharing negotiations. The mine, significant to both the company's earnings and Panama's GDP, has witnessed a decline in First Quantum's shares amidst ongoing discussions. The company urges for continued negotiations to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. (Reuters)
🇵🇷 Puerto Rico
Due to record-breaking heatwaves and inadequate cooling systems, Puerto Rico's public schools canceled classes to protect students. Amid consistent temperatures above 80°F, the government struggles to find solutions, including possibly changing school hours to avoid peak heat times. The Puerto Rico Teachers Association advocates for earlier release times to shield students from the relentless heat, mirroring measures taken in several US states. Meanwhile, efforts to install air conditioning in all schools are stalled due to financial constraints and a battered power grid. (NBC)
Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro visits Beijing amidst China's strained relations with the West, likely discussing energy and debt repayment. China, Venezuela's largest creditor and significant player in its oil and gas sector, regularly buys Venezuelan oil through intermediaries, branding it as Malaysian to evade U.S. sanctions. Since 2019, China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) has paused new investments in Venezuela, maintaining existing projects instead. Venezuelan oil development has largely been financed through Chinese loans-for-oil agreements, with Venezuela currently owing over $10 billion to China. (Reuters)
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