Dealflow.la #65 - NFL 🇺🇸 to stage 1st regular-season game in Brazil 🇧🇷 in 2024, Solvento 🇲🇽 raises $53.5 Million, China 🇨🇳 5G spying in 🇨🇷 & Supreme Court 🇲🇽 lifts bullfighting ban.
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Diimo Tech 🇸🇻 raised a $1.2 Million Seed round led by Endless Ventures 🇺🇸 to build a money-lending platform designed to help small and medium enterprises in El Salvador. The company's platform gives access to capital advances in a fully digital way, giving people the possibility of requesting a loan at any time from anywhere, enabling Salvadorans to avoid requesting loans from informal lenders who charge them very high interest.
Uncover 🇧🇷 raised a $1.5 Million Seed round led by ABSeed Ventures 🇧🇷 to build a marketing data platform designed to empower businesses to harness their full potential. The company offers a platform that integrates data sources and utilizes artificial intelligence models to facilitate ROI analysis, media optimization, and forecasting, enabling businesses to understand the reach and impact of their marketing strategies.
Letrus 🇧🇷 raised a $7.3 Million Venture round led by Crescera Investimentos 🇧🇷, with funding from Owl Ventures 🇺🇸, Fundação Lemann 🇧🇷, and Altitude Ventures 🇺🇸 to build an education literacy program intended to reduce functional illiteracy in the Portuguese language by improving practice opportunities. The company's platform tracks the writing skills and linguistic intelligence of individual students to generate reports that are delivered to teachers for further assessment, enabling teaching organizations to diagnose texts and propose didactic sequences based on learning as well as improve the pedagogical, writing, and cognitive skills of students.
Nonco 🇲🇽 raised a $10 Million Seed round led by Valor Capital 🇺🇸 and Hack VC 🇺🇸, with funding from Theta Capital 🇳🇱, Morgan Creek Capital Management 🇺🇸, and Lvna Capital 🇲🇽 to build a digital asset brokerage platform designed for organizations to have wide options of investment. The company's platform offers institutional digital asset brokerage services like electronic spot trading and gets a quote via their dedicated trading chat, enabling organizations to access a wide range of markets and investment opportunities with speed, security and transparency.
Vammo 🇧🇷 (formerly Leoparda Electric) raised a $30 Million Series A led by Monashees 🇧🇷, with funding from Maniv Mobility 🇮🇱 and 2150 🇩🇰 to become a manufacturer of electric motorcycles intended to provide technologically advanced mobility products. The company offers end-to-end motorcycle services including resale, maintenance, and insurance of electric motorcycles, along with easily available charging stations, enabling users the leisure to exchange their discharged batteries for recharged ones at their convenience.
Solvento 🇲🇽 raised $53.5 Million; a $3.5 Million Venture round led by Quona Capital 🇺🇸, Zenda 🇺🇸, Proeza Ventures 🇲🇽, Ironspring 🇺🇸, and Dynamo 🇺🇸 as well as $50 Million in Debt Financing from Lendable 🇰🇪 to build a digital financial platform intended to extend credit lines to truckers so they can collect invoices the minute the goods are delivered. The company's platform specializes in providing integration with TMS, GPS, and ERP systems, liquidity services, and billing services, enabling clients to seamlessly automate payment processing and streamline operations to alleviate revenue.
In Argentina, President Javier Milei begins "economic shock therapy" by devaluing the peso against the dollar and announcing deep cuts in public spending. This move aims to address the country's severe economic crisis, characterized by soaring inflation, high debt, and widespread poverty. The IMF supports these bold measures, which include reducing fuel and transport subsidies, freezing government contracts, and cutting public sector jobs, to stabilize the economy and foster private sector growth. (BBC)
Argentina initiates a drastic economic remedy by devaluing its peso by 54% and introducing further monthly devaluations. The plan, aimed at eliminating the deficit, is seen as a positive step but potentially insufficient. These measures are part of a broader strategy to address Argentina's deep financial crisis. (Bloomberg)
Argentina's President Javier Milei has formally requested OECD accession talks, aiming to quickly resume the process initiated in 2016 but paused in 2019. This move signifies Argentina's commitment to aligning with developed nations' standards. (Reuters)
Argentina's President Javier Milei faces resistance from the left as he implements sharp budget cuts, including halving government ministries and reducing subsidies, to balance the budget by 2024. These austerity measures, part of his "shock therapy" approach, aim to address Argentina's severe economic challenges, including high inflation and a looming recession. The IMF endorses these steps, but execution risks and political challenges remain. (FT)
A closed rock salt mine operated by Braskem in Maceio, Brazil, partially collapsed without causing injuries, following years of mining that led to significant community displacement and land sinking. The company had previously warned of the collapse risk, causing local anxiety. This incident underscores the long-term impacts of extensive mining activities in the area. (AP)
Brazil's President Lula, previously hailed as an environmental hero, faces criticism at UN climate talks for plans to increase oil production. Despite promising to combat deforestation, his government's alignment with OPEC and continued oil exploration, including in the Amazon, contradicts global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (AP)
For the first time in their 111-year history, Brazil's Santos FC, Pele's former club, was relegated from Serie A after a 2-1 loss to Fortaleza. Meanwhile, Palmeiras secured back-to-back championships, marking their record 12th title. Santos' relegation ends an era for a club renowned for its football legacy and famous players. (Reuters)
Time for Fun, the company behind Taylor Swift's Brazil concerts, was fined approximately $120,000 by São Paulo’s consumer protection agency for ticketing issues during Swift's Eras Tour shows. Complaints included inadequate services and failure to adhere to their own terms and conditions, as well as problems with refunds, VIP packages, and concert entry regulations. (NBC)
In 2024, the NFL will hold its first regular-season game in Brazil, São Paulo, marking the league's continued global expansion. This event, set to occur at the Neo Quimica Arena, follows the NFL's efforts to host games in various countries, including the United Kingdom, Mexico, and Germany. (The Score)
A deadly fire in a Chilean shantytown, killing 14 Venezuelan immigrants, highlights the country's struggle with a growing migrant crisis and housing shortage. The tragedy in Los Pirquenes, reflecting inadequate infrastructure and living conditions, underscores the urgent need for effective government responses to the challenges faced by an increasing number of migrants in informal settlements. (Reuters)
Colombian President Gustavo Petro warns that middle-class fear of losing comfort due to green policies is fueling the rise of the far right globally. Speaking at Cop28, he emphasizes the need for carbon-free prosperity and highlights Colombia's commitment to phasing out fossil fuels. Petro criticizes Brazil's approach to the Amazon, advocating for its conservation as crucial to combating the climate crisis. (The Guardian)
Colombia's Ombudsman reports that 91 individuals, including three minors, are currently held hostage by guerrillas and organized crime groups. The increase in kidnappings, especially in areas controlled by the ELN and FARC dissidents, has raised concerns and become a priority in peace talks. (Colombia Reports)
Colombia and Brazil jointly destroyed 19 illegal gold mining dredges in the Amazon rainforest, disrupting an operation producing 23 kilograms of gold monthly. This effort aimed to curb the significant environmental damage caused by the release of mercury and pollution of water sources, aligning with both nations' commitment to Amazon conservation. (Reuters)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
China has dismissed Costa Rica President Rodrigo Chaves' concerns over cybersecurity and spying related to Huawei's role in developing the country's 5G network. Chaves cited a lack of judicial framework in China to prevent spying as a reason for Huawei's ineligibility, leading to a sharp rebuke from the Chinese embassy in San Jose. (Reuters / US News)
Costa Rica's President Rodrigo Chaves credits fiscal discipline and foreign investment, including significant contributions from Intel and Johnson & Johnson, for the country's economic success. Chaves' policies have fostered a pro-business environment, contributing to a projected 5% GDP growth in 2023, positioning Costa Rica as a standout in Latin America for its stability and macroeconomic performance. (Bloomberg)
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa reveals an unnamed criminal gang has proposed a peace deal amidst rising violence, especially in prisons. Noboa, committed to reducing violence and bolstering job creation, plans to revamp the prison system with Israel's technical assistance, including the use of prison boats for dangerous convicts. (Reuters)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
El Salvador's President Bukele claims a profitable return on the country's Bitcoin investment, amid his broader social and economic reforms. Despite Bitcoin's volatility and expert caution, El Salvador continues to embrace cryptocurrency, recently introducing a "Freedom Visa" program for investors. However, the country's harsh measures against gang violence and potential human rights violations raise concerns. (ABC)
El Salvador's "Freedom Visa" program, part of President Nayib Bukele’s Bitcoin strategy, aims to attract high-net-worth individuals with a $1 million donation in exchange for residency benefits. Limited to 1,000 applicants per year, it offers a path to citizenship and supports the country's economic transformation through Bitcoin-friendly policies. (Forbes)
Guatemala's President-elect Bernardo Arevalo's victory is under threat as prosecutors question the election's validity, sparking domestic and international backlash against a potential democratic breakdown. The Supreme Electoral Tribunal defends the results as unalterable, amidst accusations of prosecutors' undemocratic actions and public protests supporting Arevalo. (Al Jazeera)
International and regional leaders condemn Guatemalan prosecutors' attempts to block President-elect Bernardo Arévalo from taking office. The prosecutors sought to annul the election results and strip Arévalo of his immunity, sparking criticism from the UN, EU, and others, who viewed these actions as a potential coup and a violation of democratic principles. (AP)
The U.S. has imposed visa restrictions on nearly 300 Guatemalan lawmakers and others, accusing them of undermining democracy. This move comes amid attempts by Guatemalan prosecutors to block progressive President-elect Bernardo Arévalo from taking office, which has drawn international criticism and allegations of a coup attempt. (AP)
Honduras's state of exception, intended to combat gang violence, has led to increased human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial killings. President Xiomara Castro's security strategy, mirroring El Salvador's approach, has suspended key constitutional rights and granted excessive powers to the military police, exacerbating the situation. International bodies and human rights organizations have documented these abuses and are calling for a rights-respecting approach to security. (Al Jazeera)
The US and Mexico have agreed to monitor foreign investments, focusing on national security risks, amid increased Chinese investment in Mexico. This collaboration, announced by US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, aims to coordinate investment screening and safeguard critical technologies and infrastructure, while also considering opportunities to reduce remittance costs. (AP)
A drug-related killing spree in Tijuana targets corrupt police officers who allegedly stole a drug shipment, leading to widespread violence and further destabilizing the city already plagued by high homicide rates. This incident underscores the deep-seated issues of corruption and cartel influence in the region. (AP)
Mexico's Supreme Court has lifted a ban on bullfighting in Mexico City, allowing the tradition to resume despite opposition from animal welfare advocates who consider it cruel. Several Mexican states and countries like Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay have banned bullfighting in recent years. (AP)
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to eliminate most government oversight and regulatory agencies before leaving office, citing them as "useless" and costly. The agencies to be eliminated include the federal anti-monopoly commission and regulatory bodies overseeing telecommunications, energy markets, and government information access. López Obrador has clashed with these agencies, particularly the anti-monopoly commission, which he accuses of obstructing his efforts to strengthen government-owned energy companies. However, it remains uncertain if he can secure the required two-thirds majority in Congress to enact these changes, as many of these agencies are constitutionally mandated. (AP)
Mexican authorities have raided and closed 31 pharmacies in Ensenada, Baja California, for selling fake or fentanyl-laced pills. The Marines and health inspection authorities seized 4,681 boxes of medications that may have been offered without proper safeguards. This move comes in response to the irregular sales of medications contaminated with fentanyl, which poses a serious public health risk. The pharmacies were found to target tourists and had been offering controlled medications, including Oxycodone, Xanax, or Adderall, often in counterfeit form. This issue has been a concern for some time, with U.S. researchers pointing it out almost a year ago. (ABC)
The director of the Miss Universe franchise in Nicaragua, Karen Celebertti, has announced her retirement from the role after being charged with conspiracy against the government, along with her husband and son. This comes after Nicaraguan Sheynnis Palacios, whom Celebertti oversaw, won the Miss Universe pageant. The victory caused controversy when videos emerged of Palacios participating in anti-government marches in 2018, leading to government accusations of using her victory to plan new protests. Celebertti and her family have been accused of organizing the anti-government protests. The Miss Universe organization seeks a peaceful resolution of the issues related to Nicaragua. (Reuters)
The sudden shutdown of the Cobre Panama copper mine has caused a $5 billion drop in the bonds of operator First Quantum. The mine was closed by Panama's government after six weeks of public protests, which halted production. The protests were triggered by the government's approval of a new operating contract for the mine, which was later invalidated by a Supreme Court ruling. First Quantum's market value has fallen by about half since the mine's future was questioned in October. Without Cobre Panama, the company may breach its debt covenants, and Panama could lose its investment-grade credit rating. (Bloomberg)
Due to drought and canal restrictions, bulk grain shippers are experiencing longer routes and higher freight costs, causing disruptions and potentially affecting U.S. corn and soy exports. (Reuters)
Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori was released from prison on humanitarian grounds. Despite a regional human rights court's request to delay his release, Peru's constitutional court ordered the immediate release of Fujimori, who was serving a 25-year sentence for human rights abuses committed in the 1990s. The release sparked controversy due to Fujimori's polarizing legacy, with supporters celebrating while victims' families and human rights advocates expressed dismay. The decision highlights complex issues of justice, human rights, and political influence in Peru. (ABC)
Peru, once a beacon of economic growth, faces its worst recession in two decades, fueled by relentless political turmoil. The country's enduring instability, highlighted by an attempted coup, has severely impacted its economy, leading to a stark divide in public opinion: only 1% of Peruvian CEOs supported former President Castillo, while 79% approved of President Boluarte. This political upheaval has eroded business confidence, with the rich largely supporting Boluarte, in contrast to the 35% poverty rate, which reflects the struggles of the broader population. This situation underscores the deep socio-economic and political divides in Peru. (Bloomberg)
Spotify has decided to continue its operations in Uruguay, reversing its earlier decision to leave due to changes in the country's music copyright laws. The Uruguayan government clarified that the new law does not require double payment by platforms like Spotify. This clarification allows Spotify to keep offering its service in Uruguay, benefiting both artists and listeners. The decision comes amidst a challenging period for Spotify, which recently announced significant layoffs and the departure of its CFO. (Billboard)
Under pressure from Brazil and other regional entities, Guyana has agreed to engage in bilateral talks with Venezuela regarding their long-standing territorial dispute. This conflict has intensified following the discovery of significant oil reserves in the disputed Essequibo region, a vast territory claimed by Venezuela but considered part of Guyana. The talks aim to address the disagreement over a boundary established in 1899, with both nations holding firm to their respective claims. (NBC)
A military helicopter carrying five senior Guyanese military officials has gone missing near the tense border with Venezuela. This incident occurs amidst escalating tensions between the two countries over the disputed Essequibo region, which is rich in oil and minerals and claimed by Venezuela but controlled by Guyana. The disappearance of the helicopter, which was conducting an inspection of troops in the contested area, adds to the growing concerns in the region. (AP)
The U.S. has announced joint military flight drills with Guyana amid escalating tensions over the oil-rich Essequibo region, a disputed territory claimed by both Guyana and Venezuela. This announcement comes as the U.N. Security Council convenes an urgent meeting to address the dispute, which has intensified following Venezuela's recent referendum aiming to assert authority over Essequibo. Guyana, emphasizing diplomacy as its first line of defense, has been preparing for potential conflict while seeking international support to encourage Venezuela towards a peaceful resolution. (CBS)
China's independent refiners, previously capitalizing on cheap Venezuelan oil, face new competition as U.S. sanctions ease. Large trading houses and Indian buyers are now eyeing Venezuelan crude, threatening the bargaining power of these private Chinese refiners amid an already struggling economy. (Bloomberg)
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